Chinatown bus chaos
Chinatown's private bus business is booming. That this industry has grown to its current level in a little under 10 years is amazing. The rates are cheap and if one is not too fussy these rides are just the ticket.
Yet, while the busy bus business is good news for Chinatown's economy over all, it also has brought a host of problems that are affecting Chinatown as well as the Lower East Side.
The buses increase traffic, pollution, noise, garbage and even violence, due to the fights that sometimes flare between rival operators in their competition for passengers. Police say it's hard to oversee these problems because the buses are so spread out. And the buses' picking up at the curb at scattered locations means traffic is being impacted in a haphazard, irrational way. Residents, in particular, are feeling the bus invasion's effects.
As The Villager reported last week, the city recently proposed a 30-day pilot program under which all the Chinatown interstate buses would be shunted toward the end of Pike St., with no more than seven dropping off or picking up at any one time. However, neighbors at Knickerbocker Village and the Rutgers Houses opposed the idea and so did Community Board 3.