Long-Distance Bus Company to Establish Stop on Edge of Chinatown

Long-distance bus companies may have to turn to locations outside of the busy streets of Chinatown to get approval for stops. (Photo via Sing Tao Daily)

Long-distance bus companies may have to turn to locations outside of the busy streets of Chinatown – like this one under the Manhattan Bridge – to get approval for stops. (Photo via Sing Tao Daily)

Long-distance bus company Asian Express Travel’s application to establish a stop under the Manhattan Bridge was approved unanimously by the transportation committee of Community Board 3 at a meeting on March 17. A representative of the company said that these days if a bus company wants to get applications for more stops approved, it has to go a little further and look at areas outside of the saturated streets.

Last month, CB3 voted on a resolution to call on the Department of Transportation to stop approving bus stops on busy streets including Pike Street, Allen Street and East Broadway. Asian Express Travel’s application, which runs routes from New York to Pennsylvania and Ohio, is for a location opposite 132 Madison St. under the Manhattan Bridge. As there are no shops or residential buildings at that spot, the application was approved uneventfully.

According to the application, there will be three buses departing from the stop every evening during the week except for Friday, when there will be two. And every morning, before dawn and after, there will be three pickups for that stop except for Saturday when there will be two. The stop serves passengers traveling between Manhattan (Chinatown) and Pennsylvania or Ohio. Ms. Wang, a representative, said they are also planning to set up a waiting room around 115 Madison St.

Ms. Wang said the company has filed applications before for locations like 150 East Broadway and 34 Canal St. But these are busy streets and the applications were turned down amid strong opposition from residents. So the company has to board and unload its passengers on Pike Street temporarily while looking for a better location to set up a permanent stop.

In its application, Asian Express Travel chose the location under the Manhattan Bridge for its remoteness. There are no residential buildings or shops at the spot. Also, the company was confident about this location because another company’s application for a stop there had been approved earlier. Although it is far from the busy streets, the company believes it has built a stable and loyal clientele base in the past 10 years of doing business, and the customers will be able to find the stop.

The approval of the bus company’s application might be the start of a trend in which long-distance bus companies set up their stops. Coveted streets like Allen Street and East Broadway have now been saturated. In the future, more and more companies may set their sights further and further away. And the map of Chinatown buses will certainly expand.

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