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First Party Buses. Are Bars and Nightclubs Next?

Since June of 2017 the city of Chicago  has cracked down on outlaw party buses and their operators. Dozens of cease and desist letters have since gone out to these companies deemed to be operating illegally along with 125 tickets and 11 arrests due to illegal weapons and narcotics being found on buses.

In a statement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “The ordinance we passed this summer is showing progress,” he said. “The party is over for illegal party bus operators, and the parties are safer for people using licensed operators. I’m proud of the progress we have made to protect residents and visitors, and looking forward to building on our efforts in 2018.”

Due to the perceived success of these efforts by the city, the Business Affairs and Consumer Protection department as well as local and state police there are now talks of rolling this ordinance out to the entire state of Illinois. The ordinance is stringent in its requirements, which includes:

  • Requiring a licensed and insured security officer to be on all buses that have alcohol or that makes intermittent stops at any establishment that serves alcohol.

So, one has to wonder, will the establishments that these buses and charters stop at be required to have licensed and insured security officers on site as well?

Currently bars and nightclubs have “in-house” security, or more commonly referred to as “bouncers”. These individuals are not required to hold any licensing, insurance or even have training. So, what makes these individuals qualified to work in any security capacity? Also, why are these establishments exempt when party buses and charters are not?

Party buses, trolleys and other such businesses have to shell out hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars to enhance their security protocols and procedures. Along with physical security officers onboard they are also required to install cameras to monitor all activity. They are even susceptible to unannounced inspections by police to ensure these measures have been taken and no illegal activity is taking place.

So, why are these transportation companies held to a higher standard than the bar and nightclubs in the city?

Sure, bars and nightclubs have cameras and are inspected at random as well. But, when it comes to the much more expensive security, which is licensed, insured and trained and one could argue much more qualified why are they exempt and transportation companies are not?

Seeing how the ordinance has seen success and may be expanded across the state only time can tell as to what domino effect this may have on other industries outside of the transportation industry.

To review the actual ordinance, MCC Section 9-114-315, please click on the link below:
MCC Section 9-114-315

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