More Than Just A Chinatown Bus Stop

by COLLEEN KROPP · June 10, 2008

Chinatown BusesThere is a fear that what can be considered the center of "immigrant entrepreneurship" will be closed due to a lot of the complaints associated with Chinatown. In a New York Times article written by Saki Knafo, a detailed account of the Chinatown-to-Chinatown bus system is explored.

As a college student whose parents' house is in Philadelphia, I've had the opportunity to take advantage of what the Chinatown bus has to offer. The time efficiency and decent prices allow for an easy trip home at a significantly more affordable expense than Amtrak. Over the past ten years that the Chinatown bus system has grown and developed, the innate community surrounding it has also grown and developed.

Knafo's report, along with contributor and translator Mandy Ng, offers much insight into the debate of keeping the buses running. Knafo writes that, 'to many Chinese immigrants…

the bus stop was essentially the geographic center of America. The complaints of Chinatown's pollution, poor economic situation, and crime seem to make some people believe the system should shut down. However, the sense of community and the service itself that is offered to the public makes for a great counter-debate.

Will the buses and the Chinatown community that surrounds them stay? I sure hope so – I'm trying to go to Boston this summer…

[Image via New York Times]