More Chinatown Bus Stops Proposed

By Lisha Arino on June 3, 2014 11:05am 

 Passengers board a low-cost Chinatown bus in this photo from 2013. Community Board 3 will consider two proposed intercity bus stops in a June 12, 2014 meeting.
Passengers board a low-cost Chinatown bus in this photo from 2013. Community Board 3 will consider two proposed intercity bus stops in a June 12, 2014 meeting.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

LOWER EAST SIDE — Two more bus companies want to set up shop in Chinatown.

Rockledge Bus Tour, Inc. and Classic Coach & Tours, Inc. recently applied to run buses between New York, Virginia and other locations, and will present their plans to Community Board 3 next week.

The move comes as the board is considering a temporary moratorium on new intercity bus stops on Canal Street, which was recently turned into a slow zone as part of the city's Vision Zero plan.

CB3, which has an advisory role in approving bus stop applications, recently rejected three other proposed bus stops in the area based on concerns about safety and pollution, and the two latest stops are already sparking community concerns.

Rockledge would pick up and drop off passengers three times daily at 160 E. Broadway. It would share the stop with AA Bus Inc., according to a letter from the Department of Transportation to the community board. The bus would travel from the city to Wilmington, Delaware; Baltimore, Maryland; and Virginia.

“We will definitely fight that one,” said Emma Culbert, a founding member of the Seward Park Around Canal East block association, which has opposed new Chinatown bus stops in the past.

The Classic Coach & Tours line would provide service between the city and Virginia, sharing a stop with an MTA bus at 45 Allen St., according to another DOT letter. The company would pick up passengers at 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and drop off passengers at 6:30 a.m., 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., seven days a week.

The block association has not taken a position on the Allen Street stop because it is outside the group's scope, but the association generally opposes more buses in the area, Culbert said.

Neither bus company responded to a request for comment.

Rockledge and Classic Coach & Tours will appear before CB3's transportation committee the same night the committee will consider a temporary moratorium on new intercity bus stops on Canal Street, according to the agenda.

Incoming CB3 transportation chairwoman Karen Blatt said the buses should be "an asset to the community, not a nuisance."

"On the one hand, this is an industry that provides a service to the community," she said. "But on the other hand, we need to be careful about the locations that we approve."

The Department of Transportation has the final say on granting new bus stop applications.

The CB3 meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on June 12 at Seward Park Community Room, 266 E. Broadway.

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