Amendment to Sightseeing Bus Rules

Proposed Rules: Open to Comments

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Comment By: 
Monday, October 5, 2020

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule


The Department of Consumer Affairs is proposing to amend the sightseeing bus rules to implement Local Law 176 of 2018 relating to sightseeing buses and sightseeing bus drivers. 


Local Law 176 of 2018 (“LL 176”) requires SSB drivers to possess a valid commercial driver’s license (“CDL”) and forbids SSB businesses from employing drivers who: (1) are disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle pursuant to federal law, (2) have had their CDL suspended or revoked two or more times within the past five years, (3) have accumulated nine or more points on their driving record for acts that occurred within an eighteen month period, unless a statutory exception applies, and (4) have been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related offense pursuant to article 31 of the vehicle and traffic law or any similar offense under the laws of any other jurisdiction within the past three years.  LL 176 also sets SSB business compliance terms for the company’s SSB drivers, sets accident reporting standards, and SSB driver driving record recordkeeping requirements.


Finally, the Department is proposing certain amendments to update and modernize its sightseeing bus rules. Specifically, the Department is proposing to:


Remove an outdated provision requiring Departmental approval of advertising materials (§ 2-211(a)). This removal will ease the regulatory burden on sightseeing bus owners.


Delete provisions requiring sightseeing bus drivers to, among other things, possess English language skills, be of “sound physique”, and have his or her “physical condition” examined by the Department.  These provisions are outdated, do not increase safety, and are an unnecessary burden on drivers.  (§§ 2-211(r) and (s)).


Change the number of hours a driver may operate a sightseeing bus to better align with federal regulations.  Currently, the rules prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle for more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period.  Federal regulations found in 49 C.F.R. § 395.5 prohibit operating commercial passenger vehicles for more than 10 hours following 8 consecutive hours off-duty.  These proposed amendments would make the Department’s rules mirror the federal standard.  


Sections 1043 and 2203(f) of the New York City Charter, and Sections 20-104(b) and 20-384 of the New York City Administrative Code authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to make these proposed rules.


New material is underlined.

[Deleted material is in brackets.]


“Shall” and “must” denote mandatory requirements and may be used interchangeably in the rules of this department, unless otherwise specified or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Public Hearing


Public Hearing Date: 
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 10:00am

Carlos Ortiz -