On Feb. 8, 2019, the Bieber Bus company announced that it is discontinuing service to New York City and Philadelphia. The buses previously operated out of Kutztown and Hellertown. (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

Bieber Bus closes, community seeks alternatives

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Bieber Bus company closed for good on Feb. 8, leaving many loyal passengers left to find other modes of transportation to Philadelphia and New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Bieber was evicted from the Port Authority Terminal in late July because it owed $214,000 in unpaid debt to the terminal, according to The Morning Call. This led the company to begin parking its buses on Manhattan curbsides, which requires a permit that it allegedly did not obtain.

The New York Police Department said Bieber owed $91,000 in fines as a result of this behavior, according to The Morning Call article. In total, there were 77 citations, 50 of which the company was found guilty of. 

Bieber broke a historically long streak of bus chartering from the Lehigh Valley, having previously offered services since 1946. Recently, its debts had reached $7 million, mostly affecting taxpayers.

Many Lehigh students have now been left without means of transportation home for spring break.

“This change is going to make going back home to New York City much harder,” said McKenzie Figliolini, ’22, who described herself as a ‘loyal bus-taker.’

Figliolini said she relied on the bus when her mom can’t pick her up from Lehigh.

The bus is not just used by students who live in the city.

“Even though I live in Rye, New York, taking the bus home is the easiest way to go on my terms,” said Catherine Bird, ’22.

There are still bus companies that are running to Port Authority from the Lehigh Valley. Bird said she had only used Bieber Bus once, but mainly travels on Trans-Bridge buses. 

Bird said she is “thankful” there is a bus that still takes her to New York.

While riding the bus is always an adventure, Daniela Slepak, ‘22, said Bieber wasn’t necessarily a comfortable mode of transportation.

“It’s always nice to know I can take the bus home whenever I want,” Slepak said. “(Bieber) was a smelly but convenient way to get to New York City.” 

Alternative transportation services to get to New York City from the Lehigh Valley, like OurBus and Trans-Bridge, have been working to fill the void left by Bieber.

Trans-Bridge offers daily service to New York City and tweeted that they are working to accommodate former riders of Bieber. The transportation company is seeking to add a Philadelphia route, which would include stops at the Bethlehem Transportation Center and Lehigh Valley International Airport, among others.  Additionally, Klein Transportation is partnering with OurBus to add a stop in nearby Hellertown.

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1 Comment

  1. Robert F Davenport Jr on

    I wonder how much it would cost to charter a train to New York. The tracks to Philadelphia have been ripped up.

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