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City Puts Brakes on Controversial Greyhound Bus Stop on LES

By Serena Solomon | September 25, 2012 1:41pm

LOWER EAST SIDE — A contentious plan by bus company Greyhound to turn the sidewalk outside an Essex Street playground into a bus stop will not go ahead as originally planned, elected officials announced Tuesday.

The Department of Transportation decided not to move forward with the proposal for the new stop at 3 Essex St. after initially approving the location last week, according to a joint statement from State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver  and Councilwoman Margaret Chin and confirmed by the DOT.

Greyhound had intended to use the spot, outside the city's oldest playground in Seward Park, to launch its new YO! Bus line Thursday and enter into the low-cost Chinatown bus market.

The six-month permit would have given YO! Bus the ability to transport about 800 passengers daily with eight round trips per day to Philadelphia at $12 a ticket.

The backpedal comes after the DOT approved Greyhound's application last week, despite residents' concern over increased traffic in the area, added exhaust fumes from buses and their impact on children who use the nearby playground.

Community Board 3 unanimously denied supporting the proposal at a packed meeting more than two weeks ago, where residents presented a petition of about 1,300 signatures opposing the idea.

"We will continue to review this and other potential bus stop locations in coordination with the community," wrote a DOT spokeswoman in an email to DNAinfo, after the announcement.

Greyhound Lines did not have an official comment on the decision Tuesday. A red YO! Bus could still be seen driving along East Broadway at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. 

"Our community has spoken loudly and clearly," said Squadron, Silver and Chin in their statement.

"Now, we urge DOT to go back to the Community Board and work with its members, as well as the public, in a collaborative manner to come up with a solution that works for our neighborhood."