BoltBus' Midtown Stop Relocated to 12th Avenue by City
MIDTOWN — Go west, Boltbus.
Throngs of luggage-toting BoltBus riders who clogged a West 33rd Street sidewalk between Sixth and Seventh avenues each weekday for years suddenly disappeared last week — after the city relocated BoltBus' further west, to 33rd Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
"The new locations were selected in consultation with Community Board 4, which suggested the location, and which BoltBus agreed fit their needs," the city's Department of Transportation said in a statement.
BoltBus spokeswoman Carolyn Daly said the carrier is "happy about the move," adding "we will continue to operate from that location in less congested areas and see how it goes."
The DOT's decision was part of a larger change in how the city oversees bus stops for private intercity and interstate bus carriers including BoltBus and Academy, which both had stops on 33rd Avenue between Sixth and Seventh avenues. Academy was also moved further west, the DOT said.
The move is temporary, pending a re-application permit process instituted as part of a larger overhaul this summer of how the DOT regulates private bus stops.
If BoltBus wants to move back further east, it will have to apply for a new permit, which is subject to review by local community boards, as well as pay $30 for each scheduled pick-up and drop-off that's been approved.
The changes apply to all intercity and interstate carriers seeking to add or modify a bus stop. Since the change was implemented, there have been 250 new permit applications submitted, a DOT representative said.
Still, the decision elicited cheers from local business owners on West 33rd Street near Sixth avenue, who logged hundreds of comments and complaints urging the city to move the bus stops to get rid of the endless lines that stretched in front of their storefronts.
"We're really, really happy about it," said Bonnie Rozales, 34, manager of Feile Bar & Restaurant, adding that the buses and passengers were "a deterrent."
"People didn't even know sometimes that we were open," she said.
NYPD officers agreed, with Midtown South Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Ed Winski saying he was in favor of the move and that he would "support having the bus stops further west."
Businesses on the block said they have seen an increase in business since the buses left.
"It's better on foot traffic," said Stout NYC manager Tara Tingquist, 31. "It did get really crowded, there would be all these bags and little boys running around. There'd be no choice but to have to walk in the street. So for safety, it's better, too."
Still, some travelers pointed out that the move made the bus stop far less convenient.
"I like the location in terms of it lining up and it’s being more organized, but it’s annoying walking over here, especially from the E train [at Penn Station]," Midtown resident Jessica Fink, 36, said, waiting to board a BoltBus to Baltimore on Wednesday.
Having to carry luggage through the wind and rain, she added, "It was a bitch walking over here."