On Monday, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced the results of recent enforcement action of party bus operators. In a joint-operation, CPD and BACP investigators issued 17 Cease and Desist orders and numerous violations to companies found to be out of compliance with the Mayor’s strengthened party bus ordinance.
“Consumers need to know that they are putting themselves and others at risk when they do business with an unlicensed operator,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “We want to help legitimate bus companies compete and thrive and operate in a safe environment.”
Through field investigations and compliance checks, BACP and CPD enforcement teams identified companies lacking proper licensing to conduct business in Chicago or were not in compliance with requirements for vehicle signage, security cameras and security guards. From July 26 through July 28, Business and Compliance Enforcement (BCE) investigators focused enforcement action in the Central Business District including River North and the South Loop, which resulted in issuing several violations. BCE investigators determined that there were 17 party bus companies not in compliance and Cease and Desist orders were issued for operating a
Charter Sightseeing Bus without a proper license. “Time and time again we have seen violent incidents stem from unlicensed party buses that do not have proper safety standards in place,” said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “By taking comprehensive steps to crack down on these illegal operators we are sending a message that if you contribute to violence or put Chicagoans at risk we are going to hold you accountable.”
Party buses operating illegally will be subject to the maximum fines and impoundment of the vehicle. Minimum fines are $1,000 for a first-time violation and increase to $5,000 for subsequent violations. Ignoring a Cease and Desist order also carries a minimum $5,000 fine.
The companies issued Cease and Desist are:
• AAA Exquisite Limousine, LTD
• Almost Famous
• Chicago Classic Coach
• Chicago Cloud 9 Limo
• Chicago Party Bus 1
• Chicago Party Bus Rent
• Chi Town Limo Bus
• Chi Town Party Bus
• Crystal Limousine
• Elite Chicago Limo
• Exquisite Limo & Party Bus Chicago
• Limos Alive Party Bus Rental
• Manuel D. Tavarez
• Professional Limousine Service, Inc
• The Trolley Car & Bus Company
• Viking Limousine
• VIP Limousine, Inc and Chicago Party Bus Rental
The new ordinance, passed by the City Council in April, cracks down on illegal party buses that operate in the city and increases safety requirements for licensed bus operators. The toughened ordinance requires that a licensed security guard be onboard all trips involving 15 or more passengers, serving alcohol or making stops where alcohol is consumed; that a cease and desist applies across the entire fleet, not just the cited vehicle; and that a bus owner take affirmative steps to ensure that no passenger is illegally carrying a firearm or drugs.
BACP and CPD continue joint-enforcement efforts to ensure party bus companies operate safely.
Last week, BACP issued 14 Administration Notices of Violations (ANOVs) to party bus companies. Earlier this month, through collaboration with CPD, police conducted bus compliance checks and issued 20 ANOVs.The way to remind Charter Sightseeing Vehicle operators about the ordinance requirements, BACP is sending letters and providing a general notice to all public vehicle operators in the city.