HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday, February 25 to regulate which streets tour buses can use during operation.
The new measure, which was spearheaded by Councilmember David Ryu, will give the Los Angeles Department of Transportation a new set of guidelines for designating streets that are unsafe for tour bus operation. The Tour Bus Route Restriction Law was approved without discussion.
“For far too long, unscrupulous tour bus operators have been putting their passengers and the public at risk by driving up narrow hillside roads that weren’t built for heavy vehicles, making illegal U-turns, and allowing passengers to hop on and off behind blind curves,” said Councilmember Ryu in a statement. “We had no way to stop them and keep people safe. After years of working with the State and working with the City, we are finally bringing some common sense safety to this industry.”
Under the bill, cities will be allowed to issue fines starting at $100 for the initial offense, $200 for the second and $250 for a third offense. Tour bus companies that violate the new regulation a fourth time within a year could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Councilmember Joe Buscaino recommended issuing warnings for offenders instead of citations at least for the first 30 days after the law becomes effective.
“We also know that tourism…is one of our most important industries and most important sources of tax revenue for this city,” said Buscaino. “But we also need to be responsive to the residents that are being impacted, and I believe that we as a council and a city should do all we can to support the residents and this industry.”
Hollywood Hills residents have complained to the city about lengthy traffic delays, tour buses blocking driveways on narrow roads and other traffic problems caused by tour buses. The bill is expected to be signed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and will go into effect in April 2020.