Community Board 3 last night rejected three requests from interstate bus companies to add or expand bus stops in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
First off, the panel voted against an application from Yo! Bus to go from 14 to 28 daily round trips from a stop at 2 Pike St. The center median is already very busy during much of the day and evening. The committee agreed, however, to support the company’s bid to extend its hours of operation to 12:30 a.m. from 10 p.m. Also CB3 members turned down applications for Asian Express Travel (30 Pike St.) and A&W Inc. (9 Chatham Square) — both companies offering service to Atlantic City casinos. The committee supported two other permit proposals from New York Style Limo (95 Canal) and Blue Sky Bus (51 Chrystie). The final decision is up to the city’s Department of Transportation. CB3’s votes are merely advisory opinions.
Last night, City Council member Margaret Chin came to the meeting to announce her opposition to granting permits for bus operators offering service to casinos. She said new state legislation she supported was meant to accommodate bus carriers offering service between Chinatown communities (in Washington, Philadelphia, etc.), not to foster shuttle service to gambling destinations. Along with other elected officials, Chin said, she would be meeting with Department of Transportation officials to iron out difficulties in implementing the new law.
A short time ago, we spoke with David Crane, CB3 transportation committee chair, who’s definitely frustrated with continuing problems dealing with the burgeoning Chinatown bus industry. Last night, a large number of residents in Chinatown showed up to vent their own frustrations. We’ll have a separate story later detailing their remarks and his observations about this continuing mess.