Yep Tour Intercity Bus Operator Owes $300K in Fines, Denied Permit by CB3

Posted on: November 16th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The years-long battle against intercity buses is gaining more traction.

Yep Tour, a Chinatown bus operator that’s elicited vehement local opposition, was again denied a permit to operate by Community Board 3. The company had applied to legitimately operate on Pike Street and East Broadway (former Yo! Bus stop). This was the second denial in as many years in their bid to legitimize the illegal business.

Yep Tour president Jeremy Walker, vis-a-vis his counsel, tried to kill with kindness, as it were. The team intimated a renewed “commitment” to the community, and wanted to create a “dialog” to ensure they have a “home” in the neighborhood. That they’re growing and changing their sordid past of non-compliance. Walker promised to be more “hands-on.” He spoke about “strict monitoring” of drivers and forcing them to pay out-of-pocket for any tickets (plus suspension); how the tickets-are-part-of-doing-business mentality is in the past; and that the number of routes was reduced to approximately fifteen buses, so not as visible.

This image has been archived or removed.

Long lines for Yep buses on Pike St.Pretty much everyone called bullshit, though. Board member/activist Trever Holland noted how Yep has “terrorized the neighborhood” for years with illegal pickups/dropoffs, idling, parking in non-designated areas, and the like. There were questions as to why these improvements weren’t implemented two years ago, when things were so out of control. It was clear that Walker was simply pandering to get the green light, as these alleged improvements started happening right when the application was first submitted.

And then there is the issue of outstanding violations totaling more than $300K. Unpaid to date, according to the NYC Department of Finance. However, because Yep is incorporated in Massachusetts, they’re exploiting a loophole whereby fines are not as easily collected (i.e. bureaucracy).

Even District Manager Susan Stetzer was opposed to the permit, revealing the magnitude of resources currently going into resolution. Apparently, the 5th Precinct (which says Yep is impossible to work with and has no regard for the community), Senator Squadron’s office, Stetzer, and the Department of Finance have been working endlessly to close the loophole. The next step is heading up to Massachusetts. Yep Tour will certainly be the example for future problem buses.

Several neighbors also provided opposition testimony, and the SPaCE Block Association collected 231 petition signatures against the applicant.

In the end, the CB3 Transportation subcommittee seemed to realize that rewarding a bad actor would set a dangerous precedent for other unchecked bus companies. The motion to deny a permit carried, alongside strongly-worded recommendation to the Department of Transportation to that effect.

Yep Tour nevertheless admitted that they’d continue to operate even if a permit remained elusive.

Recent Stories

Entrance to Broadway Lafayette Goes Under the Knife (Again)

One of four main entrances to the Broadway-Lafayette subway station just (partially) closed for an extended period. The shutter, albeit temporary, is the second time for this particular stairwell in the two years since development began at the southwest corner of Lafayette and East Houston. A large sign on the sub-level landing announces the closure […]

An Elon Musk Space on Rivington Street?

Until 106 Rivington Street fulfills its destiny as the next Hell Square nightspot, this. A tunnel construction company? A tipster was out front last night and snapped a few photos before security stepped in. Below a “boring” neon sign, the sparse space is occupied by something called The Boring New York Company. There is a […]

Man Repeatedly Slashed on Rivington Street Yesterday Morning

When someone asks you if you’re a gang member, just keep walking… Early yesterday morning, at around 5am, a man was slashed across the torso near the corner of Rivington and Ridge Streets. Police said that two assailants, male and female, approached another guy and asked if he was a gang member. When the victim […]

My Time Recording the Buzzcocks’ Pete Shelley During his Lower East Side Years

Beloved Buzzcocks frontman Pete Shelley passed away of a suspected heart attack last week (December 6). Ken Lockie, singer-songwriter and sometime collaborator with John (Rotten) Lydon of Public Image Ltd., fondly recalls his time behind the board with Shelley thirty years ago in Williamsburg and on the Lower East Side. Pete Shelley was a charming, likable, […]

Cristin Tierney Gallery Takes Space on the Bowery

The decade-running trend of Chelsea gallery refugees quartering on the Lower East Side continues with news of another. The Cristin Tierney gallery just signed a lease to take over 219 Bowery. It sits one store south of the Camper Lab concept shop, both of which formerly comprised the Chair Up restaurant supplier. Tierney, who had […]