CB3 Committee Moves to Approve Another Chinatown Bus Operator

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 at 5:09 am by
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Heretofore operating illegally on East Broadway, GD Bus Tour Inc. is now looking to legitimize its intercity bus company. They’ve already signed a lease on a store at 125 East Broadway (sign is up), and plan on continuing twice-a-day service to Orlando, Florida. The stop will piggyback off the M9 there.

Its owners appeared before Community Board 3 last week for the green light, so to speak. As with anything Chinatown bus-related, emotions were high.

GD Bus has one pickup (7pm) and one drop-off (noon) each day; layovers are allegedly in Brooklyn. On paper, this doesn’t seem like it would have much of an effect on locals. The Transportation subcommittee even channeled that sentiment when members claimed that their operation isn’t as burdensome as, say, Yep Tour, noting that it’s “just a drop in the bucket.” However, that comment didn’t go over too well. Emma Culbert, spearheading the charge vis-a-vis SPaCE Block Association, retorted that the “bucket is already full.”

Board member, and local activist, Trever Holland then showed a video illustrating the clusterfuck of humanity in which GD Bus operates. Boarding the M9 is nearly impossible, especially for the handicapped and disabled, and requires middle-of-the-street access. Plus, there is also little to no queue management, something the principals promised to rectify.

Of greater concern, however, is that by activating the M9 bus stop for curbside pickup, other Chinatown bus companies are legally allowed to stop there, as well. Aggravating the the free-for-all situation already in play (i.e. at least three other buses operate here). For its part, though, GD Bus will operate a ticketing office storefront at 125 East Broadway. There will be a waiting room and loo for customers.

Rather than take a stand of denial – thereby risking the elimination of including stipulations – the subcommittee voted to approve (5-2-1). Committee Chair Karen Blatt noted that “our hands our tied,” and that a strong enough case couldn’t be made to dissuade the DOT from approving after the stated 45-day window.

If the Chinatown bus situation is getting you down, CB3 is hosting a town hall on December 1 to discuss the over-saturation. It’s a chance to “identify problems and potential solutions resulting from noncompliant interstate bus companies.”

The town hall is located at PS 124, 40 Division Street.

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