CB3 Condemns Yep Tour, Calls on City to Reverse Pike Street Bus Permit

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

yep-tour-pike_wm

Spare the rod, spoil Yep Tour.

That seems to be what’s happening. Yep Tour, one of the worst bus operators in Chinatown, was awarded a six-month bus stop on Pike Street last month. The community, for its part, feels betrayed by the city’s decision to exercise this “nuclear option,” and this week’s Transportation subcommittee meeting of Community Board 3 had the feeling of an all-hands-on-deck strategy session for next steps.

It had been a watershed moment, and one of disbelief. Upon seeing a Yep Tour bus seized by the Sheriff, fed-up residents thought the tide finally turned against the vigilante Chinatown bus operator. Especially after a slew of additional bus confiscations and accumulation of fines toward its outstanding sum of $300K-plus in unpaid summonses. District Manager Susan Stetzer even noted the apparent momentum ever since the town hall in 2015. Local enforcement, Department of Transportation, and elected officials all seemed to be on the same page.

But the proverbial winds powering those sails quickly deflated when Yep Tour filed a federal lawsuit against the city (DOT, Sheriff, Department of Finance) in mid-February, a legal response spurred by the auctioning of its buses.

In the complaint, Yep alleges that it “applied numerous times for numerous bus stop” permits but was “denied each time with nothing more than an arbitrary reason of inconvenience,” when fact is that CB3 twice denied Yep a permit to operate on Pike Street due to its wanton disregard for the community and the law; that the “NYCDOT issued more than forty bus stop permits to the ‘Hampton Jitney’ and ten bus stop permits to ‘7 Bus’, both bus companies only transport passengers to-and-from New York City to the Hamptons” to support its baseless allegation that New York City has “been unfairly selective as to which companies are receiving bus stop permits”; that the way in which designated bus stop permits are issued is “arbitrary” and constitutes “protectionist measures intended to benefit New York based transportation companies at the expense of” non-New York transportation companies, despite CB3’s aforementioned deinals (and later by DOT); and worst of all, the accusation that the City of New York was racist for “arbitrarily and purposely [denying] plaintiff a bus stop on the basis that plaintiff operates from a minority neighborhood and more than 80% of plaintiff’s clientele are minorities,” when several other bus stop permits were issued to other operators in the area.

yep-tour-double-park_wm

The judge apparently decided against an injunction, and instructed the parties to reach settlement. Hence, the permit to operate on Pike Street. What’s curious is that the city was so quick to award a bus stop, even if only temporary. As Chair Chad Marlow noted, there were a host of other potential measures to negotiate this settlement, including a return of buses. Instead, this “nuclear option” was exercised.

The board spent hours crafting a resolution that effectively conveyed the collective frustration, disappointment, and outrage from both the community and elected officials.

“The granting of the designated bus stop permit to Yep Tour, Inc. severely undermines the work of every governmental, community, and law enforcement collaborator on the intercity bus issue in our district,” the strongly worded resolution states. It further concludes that “CB3 rejects and condemns any allegations by Yep Tour, Inc., in its lawsuit against the City of New York, that assert the decision to deny Yep Tours, Inc. a designated bus stop permit was based upon racial bias [or] a bias against bus companies that operate outside the State of New York.”

Long lines for Yep buses on Pike St.

Long lines for Yep buses on Pike St.

Below is the entire draft resolution from committee, which, if ratified by the full board, will be sent to the city’s Law Department and the Department of Transportation.

CB3 Resolution on Yep Tour by BoweryBoogie on Scribd

Recent Stories

Early ’00s LES Rock History ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ will be Adapted into Docu-series

You may have seen this… New York’s beloved gritty indie musc scene circa 2000s is getting a second life, through a four-hour docu-series. That’s right, the resurgence is a visual retelling based on Lizzy Goodman’s 600-page oral history called Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock & Roll in NYC 2001-2011. The documentary will […]

Anti-Gun Mural Painted on Hester Street

Shots fired. Muralist Otto Schade is throwing shade at gun control with this powerful new piece on Hester Street, just east of the Bowery. It was painted last week. The liberty eagle’s wingspan runs the length of the brick wall, and is composed solely of weaponry. Machine guns and knives. And the bird is clutching […]

‘Tang’s Noodle’ Joins the Leon Hotel on Canal Street

Chinatown has another noodle shop to its name. Coming soon to the four-year-old Leon Hotel is Tang’s Noodle. If the signage is to be believed, this is the first stateside restaurant for the import. Build-out of the small ten-table establishment had been underway since summertime. And it’s not to be confused with the new hotpot […]

Construction Resumes at East Broadway Modular Development Site After Collapsed Sidewalk

The modular housing construction on East Broadway reactivated in a big way last week after its second sidelining since summertime. Pile driver and backhoe are stationed onsite. The project parcel at 201 East Broadway has been relatively silent for much of the last six months. Twice in that time, progress was stymied thanks to safety […]

City Council Passes Bill for Increased ‘Urban Renewal’ Transparency

Earlier this week, City Council unanimously voted to pass legislation that would require the City to provide public access to urban renewal plans, which have been changing the real estate landscape of New York City for decades. Intro 1533-A, sponsored by Councilwoman Margaret Chin, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to […]