Breaking: City Rescinds YO! Bus Permit on Essex Street
It’s back to square one for YO! Bus, the new service from Greyhound/Peter Pan that was to begin service to Philadelphia from a new bus stop on Essex Street on Thursday. The Department of Transportation decided to grant the permit in front of Seward Park, in spite of strong community opposition. On Friday, local elected officials sent a letter to the DOT, urging a reversal, and today they have gotten their wish. Transportation officials have decided to rescind the permit and are now looking for alternative locations on the Lower East Side and Chinatown.
Word of the reversal comes not from the DOT, but from State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Council member Margaret Chin. In a statement received moments ago, they write:
We are very pleased that the Department of Transportation has decided not to go forward with the bus stop currently approved at 3 Essex Street. Our community has spoken loudly and clearly. Now, we urge DOT to go back to the Community Board and work with its members, as well as the public, in a collaborative manner to come up with a solution that works for our neighborhood. The legislation we authored to oversee intercity buses lays out a procedure for working with the community to identify appropriate locations for bus stops. We look forward to seeing that procedure followed in the future.
In August Governor Cuomo signed legislation setting up a permit system for interstate buses in New York City. Although the law will not be implemented for several months, some people saw the Greyhound permit as an early test of the legislation, which requires the DOT to seek community feedback regarding bus stop locations. On Friday, Squadron objected to this characterization, saying it’s unfair to call the just-completed community board consultations an outgrowth of the new law.
UPDATE 4:05 p.m. Responding to a request for comment, a DOT spokesperson tells The Lo-Down: “We will continue to review this and other potential bus stops locations in coordination with the community.”