In the last few months, the triangle at Division and Ludlow streets has been a battleground in the Chinatown bus wars. On a daily basis, a company known as Asian Express Travel Inc. has been illegally using the area in front of 143 Division St. to load and unload passengers. On occasion, traffic cops are on hand to write tickets, but that has had little impact.
State law requires intercity bus companies to use city approved, designated bus stops. No bus company holds a permit for this particular location. A local block association, SPaCE, has alerted Community Board 3 about the situation and members have attempted to register complaints with the city’s 311 system.
Here’s the problem. Numerous residents, upon reaching 311, have been told that the office has no way of recording complaints about intercity buses. CB3 staff have now spoken with the Department of Transportation about the problem. DOT officials are said to be forwarding instructions to 311 about addressing bus issues. No mechanism is in place just yet. For the time being, CB3 District Manager Susan Stetzer tells us, complaints about specific locations should be emailed to the community board ( firstname.lastname@example.org). The board will relay the complaints to the Transportation Department.
She also indicated that the DOT intends to address the enforcement issues on Division Street. The agency’s rules give it the authority to revoke the permit of any company failing to operate legally. A firm going by the same name, Asian Express Travel, holds a permit at 30 Pike St.