Summer 2000, p.9

NY Apple Tours Finally Taken Off the Road

This Hell's Kitchen Street is more peaceful when NY Apple Tours is off the road.The tragic death in late May of Hell's Kitchen resident Randolph Walker under the wheels of a New York Apple tour bus finally compelled Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani to shut NY Apple Tours down. In the aftermath of the accident, the press had a field day detailing what Hell's Kitchen residents, State Senator Tom Duane, Council Member Christine Quinn and T.A. have been telling the City for years: NY Apple Tours has egregiously violated almost every conceivable City, State and Federal law. Among the statistics: 625 violations in its most recent state audit, 1,400 traffic summonses, 140 traffic accidents and an $800,000 fine in 1999 from the EPA for lying about the age of its imported buses.

Lost in the recent discussion about NY Apple Tours, however, are the widespread problems with idling, noise, air pollution and pedestrian safety from tour and charter buses. While NY Apple Tours seems to be the worst offender, numerous other bus companies have been repeatedly cited for moving violations, illegal loading and unloading and prolonged idling on city streets. In particular, hundreds of buses descend on the Clinton/Hell's Kitchen neighborhood every day, but residents' repeated requests for police enforcement have gotten little more than lip service. T.A. calls on the City Council to hold a public hearing to devise solutions for reducing the impact of tour buses on NYC neighborhoods.