DOT Flip-Flops, Grants Yep Tour a Temporary Intercity Bus Permit
The city’s Department of Transportation flip-flopped and agreed to issue the egregious Chinatown bus operator Yep Tour a temporary permit for a stop at Pike Street and East Broadway, Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer confirmed last week. This reversal comes nearly two months after the agency blocked the identical application for loading and unloading on this spot, and all thanks to a federal lawsuit filed at the same time.
Indeed, Yep Tour filed against DOT, the New York City Sheriff, and the Department of Finance. The complaint shows that both sides negotiated a settlement for a temporary, six-month bus stop at 2 Pike Street to help Yep pay the fines accrued while operating illegally.
Senator Squadron commented through a spokesperson that he has “serious concerns” about the DOT’s determination allowing Yep to operate on Pike Street. His staff is gathering information and studying the situation before responding fully.
The SPaCE Block Association, whose raison d’être is fighting the proliferation of vigilante Chinatown Buses, issued the following statement:
The DOT’s granting of an intercity bus permit to an egregious operator who has been doing business illegally on the lower east side for three years is atrocious. The DOT has set the bar very low for how intercity buses can behave. It is clear that the quality of life and safety of the residents and other business owners in our community are of no concern to the DOT.
The intercity bus industry is a highly unregulated yet major transportation industry, which is rife with gun running and counterfeit goods transportation. Further, despite claims to the contrary traffic enforcement has been non existent as it relates to intercity bus permits in the last few months. One can only wonder who is getting paid off. DOT’s allegiance is obviously not to the residents of this city. Shame on the Department of Transportation.
Yep Tour is one of the worst bus operators in the wild west of Chinatown. For three years, their buses have consistently (nay, furiously) flaunted the law. Illegal pick-ups/drop-offs without permit and in non-designated areas, unlawful standing, illegal parking, and other violations. They regularly create a commotion for both local residents and business owners.
Between January and Feburary of this year, the Sheriff’s brigade took action and seized six Yep Tour buses in and around Pike and East Broadway, and held ransom for more than $130,000 in fines.
Community Board 3, which also denied the bus permit application back in November due to Yep’s track record, will further discuss the issue in the Transportation subcommittee meeting planned for this Wednesday (April 5).