BACP, CPD Crack Down On Illegal Party Buses In Joint Enforcement

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and Chicago Police Department (CPD) today 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 who were not in compliance with the Mayor’s strengthened party bus ordinance.

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.

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 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 will 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.

To read the full press release, which includes the bus companies who were cited, click here.