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Breaking: City Rescinds YO! Bus Permit on Essex Street

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Publicity photo provided by YO! Bus/Greyhound.

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.”


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  1. We, the community around Seward Park, were fierce in our opposition. Our community board and elected officials listened when DOT would not. I am proud of us! And appreciative of the efforts of Senator Squadron along with Speaker Silver and Council Member Chin.

  2. just to clarify, did the DoT rescind the permit? or did Greyhound decide to look for another spot? This note implies that it’s DoT, but I’ve heard that it’s the bus company. Thanks for clarification!

  3. Perhaps this is Greyhound’s way of ‘spinning’ the outcome so it can later say it ‘worked’ with the community, which it didn’t.

    Let’s give credit where credit is due – it is Sheldon Silver, Daniel Squadron and Margaret Chin who finally stood up for our community and put pressure on NYCDOT. Then NYCDOT made its decision and notified Greyhound. Greyhound was still selling tickets on their website this morning.

  4. Chinatown already has two long distance bus stops (next to our local Park btw). It’s used by many people including many many white young adults who need a cheaper service to travel. If you don’t think a bus service of this nature should be in a residential area why would you suggest it for some other communities residential area?

  5. I hope that the community, the Community Board, and our wonderful elected officials Squadron, Silver, and Chin will watch DOT like hawks to be sure they don’t re-propose a spot by our park. DOT is without a doubt the most arrogant agency in the City.

  6. Rima Finzi-Strauss
    • a minute ago
    Flag as

    Now that this is over I want to share some of my impressions from being
    intimately involved with the opposition to Greyhound’s Bus stop at Seward
    To me, this is a story of great injustice inflicted on a local
    First, the outrageous proposal that a large 28/day bus stop should
    be outside Seward Park. Then, the huge community opposition, the resulting CB3
    vote’No,’ the NYCDOT’s total disregard of this community input, the relentless
    pressure the community put upon elected officials, the 3 elected officials who
    finally did an 11th hour rescue attempt, then still no response from DOT, a
    final push- and only 3 hours before Greyhound’s first 3 PM bus, DOT agreed to
    rescind Greyhound ‘YO’ Bus’s permit .
    A truly fearsome tale of how NYCDOT so
    brazenly ignored community concerns. But not only them – Why did the local
    community have to go through so much torment convincing other NYC officials and
    elected officials that a curb-side bus service should not destroy our gentle
    little park and neighborhood?
    Why did we have to fight so hard just for survival
    of this special place?
    I will never understand this…..

  7. You don’t know what you’re talking about! Most of the customers of the nearby Chinatown buses are not local residents – instead, they are mainly from Brooklyn – just ask them and you will find out.
    Also, no one suggested that bus stops be put in other ‘residential’ communities – rather the suggestions are for the bus stops to be in industrial/commercial sections where they belong. Also, what’s this thing about ‘white young adults’?

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