NEW YORK --
All open-air double-decker tour buses that ride around New York City neighborhoods will have to replace loudspeaker systems with headphones. It's now the law. Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the bill today after some hesitation. The mayor was set to sign the bill yesterday, but held off after hearing from tour guides who were worried about losing their jobs. The mayor says he wanted to make sure the bill wouldn't hurt the city's tourism industry while maintaining quality of life needs for residents.
Residents in Greenwich Village, the West Village and Hell's Kitchen have pushed for headphones on the tour buses.
The mayor says he agreed to sign the bill after speaking with Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who convinced him that requiring the system to be silent as opposed to amplified shouldn't change the demand for live guides. "The companies could have switched to recordings long ago but there's a reason they never did," he said