NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Business owners are complaining that a stream of buses are crowding Midtown streets scaring away customers and creating a dangerous scenario for pedestrians.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman In Midtown
Bobby, who runs a restaurant on West 33rd Street, says he’s seen it everyday for the past two years and claims the buses don’t show any respect for the storefronts.
“It’s just an assembly. [It] looks like a flash mob appears,” he says. “Customers who really want to pass through get intimidated because they all have the suitcases with the strollers and who knows what’s inside those suitcases. [It] could be an Oxycontin convention going on in D.C. We don’t know.”
Discount inter-city buses like the BoltBus line up on this narrow street blocking traffic and packing the sidewalk with suitcases.
The BoltBus also picks up and drops off customers on West 34th Street across from a movie theatre forcing pedestrians to walk out into the streets and around the buses.
“They can get squished there and we’re very worried about an incident,” Dan Biederman, who runs the 34th Street Partnership, told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman. “The idea of loading inter-city buses in a commercial district was a shock to everyone.”
The group has hired a lawyer threatening to sue the city, state and bus companies over the issue.
“We don’t use words like sue very often, but this is so catastrophic for our district after all the progress that’s been made,” Biederman said.
The Department of Transportation says it is working on finding a new spot for these buses.
A spokesperson for BoltBus says they haven’t been contacted by the city.