Senator Alan Hays has filed Senate Bill 158, which seeks to prohibit buses from stopping on public streets.
The complete bill is one single paragraph:
“Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a bus, other than a school bus, may not be stopped in such a manner so as to impede, block, or otherwise restrict the progression of traffic on the main traveled portion of a roadway while the bus is loading or discharging passengers if another reasonable means is available to safely load or discharge passengers.”
As Orlando Sentinel columnist Lauren Ritchie tells it, Hays is bent out of shape after driving on Bay Street in Eustis behind a LakeXpress public bus when it pulled toward the side of the road to pick up and discharge passengers. But the bus wasn’t completely off the road, and Hays couldn’t go around it.
As a result of this episode, the head of the county’s bus service and the director of transportation planning for the region were summoned to Hays’ office. The pair said Hays was blustering and visibly angry as he told this story to illustrate his desire to keep transit buses from stopping on roads to let passengers on and off.
The two public transportation advocates figured the senator was just blowing off some frustration.
“He was very agitated, so I just listened,” said Dottie Keedy, Lake County’s director of community services, which operates the public transit system. “He said he wasn’t going to take it anymore, and if I didn’t do something, he would.”
Hence SB 158.
Read more about Hays crusade against buses here.