July 24, 2018
Group forms to address Chicago party bus ordinance issues
An ad hoc committee concerned with the onerous Chicago ordinance regarding party buses has formed and held a first meeting to address a path forward. Now incorporated into the Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association, the group met Friday, July 13 to discuss and plan ways to amend the language in a manner that does not ensnare typical charter buses into an ordinance intended for party buses.
John Dunn of McGuire-Woods Consulting has been retained to represent the effort. He previously served for eight years in the office of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, most recently as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA). As IGA Director, he reported directly to Mayor Daley an was the senior advisor on all legislative and political matters. He served as the mayor's liaison to all federal, state and local elected officials.
Along with UMA's Ken Presley, others attending in support of the meeting included: Cherie Hime, Executive Director, Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association, Dan Shoup, Board Member, Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association (Cardinal Coach), Andrew Newhart, Director of Policy and Legislation, American Bus Association, Tracy Raimer, President, Illinois Limousine Association (Your Private Limousine), Marty Vitelli, Sales Manager, Grech Motors, Richard DeYoung, New Coach Sales, Motorcoach Industries.
June 26, 2018
Chicago leaders not budging on party bus ordinance
Chicago's Mayor and City Council have dug in their heels regarding a controversial ordinance designed to regulate so called "party buses." Meanwhile, the effort has ensnared nearly every charter bus traversing the city.
In response, a newly formed "Chicago Bus Coalition" has joined with the Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association, employed an advocate, and is actively working to revise the ordinance. UMA is providing support in an advisory role and will continue to update members.
Here is some helpful information operators should know:
While a permit is part of the ordinance, buses registered and regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation or state of Illinois are exempt from the permit part of the ordinance. However, buses operating within the Chicago city limits must comply with the other components of the ordinance.
Vehicles that are rated to carry 15 or more passengers that may be stopping at a location or venue where there may be an "opportunity" for alcohol to be served or consumed on the vehicle must:
- be outfitted with a security camera
- have a licensed security guard present
- all passengers must be informed of the prohibited acts
Further, the driver must take "affirmative steps" to ensure that no prohibited acts are taking place.
Those prohibited acts include underage drinking, disorderly conduct, possessing drug paraphernalia or drugs, unlawful possession or discharging a firearm, throwing items from the vehicle, indecent exposure, and littering.
Fines for noncompliance with city regulations can range from $100 to $10,000. Earlier this year, Chicago touted over $80,000 in fines had been issued to noncompliant charter bus operators.
Charter buses visiting or passing through Chicago must comply or avoid destinations where an opportunity to consume alcohol exists, such as ballparks, museums, concert venues, and restaurants that serve alcohol - regardless of whether anyone in the group is consuming alcohol.
For more information, go to the city of Chicago's website or contact UMA's Ken Presley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-424-8262.