Three companies that operate more than 600 school buses in New York City are being sued by the state attorney general's office on allegations they repeatedly violated bus idling laws and polluted the city's air since 2019.
Attorney General Letitia James announced the lawsuit on Thursday, saying the state is seeking monetary relief and a court order for the companies to fully comply with city and state idling laws.
The companies being sued are Jofaz Transportation, 3rd Avenue Transit and Y&M Transit Corp., which are all based in New York City and are owned and operated by Joseph Fazzia and his family, the attorney general's office said.
No one at the companies could be reached for comment Thursday evening. Messages seeking comment were left for attorneys representing Jofaz Transportation in other legal cases.
The lawsuit alleges the companies' buses idled longer than state and local laws allow at locations around the city that are predominantly low-income and have high concentrations of Black and Hispanic residents. State law prohibits idling for more than five minutes and city law bans idling for more than three minutes. Both laws have certain exceptions.
The attorney general's office said it previously reached an agreement with Jofaz and 3rd Avenue to stop violating the idling laws. But equipment installed on the companies' buses showed the vehicles continued to violate the laws after the agreement, officials said.
In one example, a Jofaz bus idled for at least 10 minutes at a bus yard in Brooklyn on 82 different occasions on 42 different days, the attorney general's office said.