By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
Standing with a dozen tow truck operators from Motor Vehicle Operators Local 983, Mayor de Blasio announced that the Police Department will dedicate tow trucks to remove vehicles illegally parked in or blocking bus lanes.
For the first time the NYPD will assign at least one tow truck in each borough dedicated to clearing blocked traffic and bus lanes.
“To comply with the mayor’s initiative, our members who are NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agent 3s and tow operators will step up and ticket and remove vehicles from bus lanes and bus stops in all five boroughs,” said Local 983 Vice President Marvin Robbins.
At the January announcement, the mayor explained that the primary goal of the tow operation is to improve transit times around the city. He projects towing illegally parked vehicles from bus lanes will speed transportation up by 25 percent, making it easier for bus drivers and commuters who rely on public surface transportation to get around the city.
Each day tens of thousands of New Yorkers use city buses to commute to work, get kids to and from school, to make it to their doctor’s appointments and more.
“Everyone knows traffic, especially in Manhattan, can be a commuter’s nightmare. Our members are making a difference in curbing congestion across the city. NYPD tow operations is responsible primarily for violation towing. Our work nets the lion’s share of annual revenues the city collects from parking tickets,” said Robbins.
In 2017, the NY Daily News reported that New York City raked in a record $993 million in ticket fines with parking violations accounting for about 55 percent or $545 million. Fines under the de Blasio administration climbed 32 percent from 2012 to 2016, according to a study by Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“Mandating that NYPD assign tow trucks specifically to reduce traffic congestion in each borough is one of the first major actions we’ve seen to free-up major routes and improve transit times,” said Local 983 President Joe Puleo.
“We applaud de Blasio’s initiative. Our dedicated tow operators are ready and authorized to remove and ticket vehicles illegally standing or parked, which will also improve public safety and generate revenue for our busy city,” he said.