The Department of Transportation has decided to approve an application from Greyhound/Peter Pan for a new bus stop on Essex Street, alongside Seward Park. Last week, Community Board 3’s transportation committee voted to oppose the application, following a contentious meeting in which many residents spoke out against the proposal. A resolution urging the DOT to reconsider, and to come back to CB3 with alternatives, was forwarded to city officials. But today, we’ve learned, the agency has signed off on the location across from 3 Essex Street, near Canal Street. It’s a six-month permit that will be re-evaluated next spring.
Greyhound and Peter Pan are creating a new service to compete against already-existing Chinatown bus companies. “YO!” Bus will offer eight daily stops between New York and Philadelphia. The service begins operating September 27; a ticket office will be located at 98 East Broadway.
In a press release, Greyhound President and CEO Dave Leach said, “YO! offers a safe and relaxing new option for travelers who like the convenience and affordability of Chinatown bus lines… Currently intercity bus service between Chinatown in New York and Philadelphia is virtually non-existent, so we are excited to offer customers a service that meets their travel needs.”
Residents opposed the Essex Street stop primarily because it’s in front of a playground in Seward Park. The application is an early test of a new state law setting up a permit system for intercity buses. The law, which hasn’t officially taken effect, requires community board consultations. Greyhound and Peter Pan saw an opportunity in Chinatown after the federal government shut down more than 20 operators for safety violations this past spring.
City Council member Margaret Chin told us she hopes the city can find an alternative location after six months, since there was so much community opposition.
We have a call into the DOT press office for more information; we’ll let you know what we hear.
Editor’s note: Thursday afternoon a DOT spokesperson confirmed the permit had been approved on a “six-month trial basis” and said the agency would “monitor operations at this location going forward.”