Midtown merchants claim that bus companies that use curbside stops — like Megabus and Bolt Bus — are hurting business. With as many as eight coaches idling on West 33rd Street at one time, business owners say that the vehicles create a "wall of metal, glass and rubber" that makes it hard for pedestrians to see or visit the shops on the other side of the street, according to the Daily News.
"It's terrible and it's hurting our business," said Noelle Mooney, co-owner of the Stout pub and the restaurant Fat Annie's Truck Stop. The city's Department of Transportation admits it has little jurisdiction over the Bolt Bus and Megabus companies, which bring passengers to East Coast cities for fares as low as $1 and use sidewalks as their stations. "This is something we are more and more concerned with and are looking to address," said agency spokesman Seth Solomonow, who noted that the city cannot ban the buses from the bus stops and no-standing zones where they load and unload passengers. The Bolt Bus website describes one of its stops: "This is an outdoor stop at the northwest corner of the intersection. The primary landmark is the New Yorker hotel and the Tick Tock Diner."
The manager of the pub Irish Times on West 32nd Street — where Megabus coaches often idle — said his relationships with the buses and their passengers have been hit and miss. "We like it when they come over for a drink or a bite to eat, but we don't like it so much when they come over as if this is their private bathroom."