By Kaylee Lindenmuth
On Monday, Feb. 11, Klein Transportation took over the New York City bus route from the now-defunct Bieber Tourways, and the first return bus dropped off a KU student who was left stranded in the city by Bieber.
Shortly after Bieber ceased operations on Feb. 8, Klein announced they would begin service on Monday, Feb. 11, connecting every town previously serviced by Bieber’s NYC route–Reading, Kutztown, Hellertown, Wescosville and New York City–plus Douglassville. Stop locations, times and prices would be announced over the weekend on OurBus.com.
Information was made available on the OurBus.com website late Saturday, Feb. 9, noting the Kutztown stop would be on the KU campus in Lot E3 near the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center. Two buses would depart from KU in the morning for NYC, one at 5:15 a.m. and one at 6:45 a.m., and two in the evening for Reading at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The first bus from New York City arrived at KU around 7:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, dropping off a KU student and a Leesport resident.
Lin Tian, a junior and applied digital arts major, took a Bieber bus into the city for the first time on Friday, Feb. 8, before the company abruptly closed.
“I purchased another ticket to get back on Sunday at 3 p.m.,” said Tian. “I waited for hours… we called them, and they said the bus was canceled, then we got an email this morning saying they were out of business.”
Tian added she nearly missed a test Monday morning, which was rescheduled to Wednesday, Feb. 13. She stayed with a friend at their apartment before catching the Klein bus back to Kutztown.
Tian added at the time she hadn’t heard anything from the company regarding a refund for her return ticket.
Bieber posted a notice to their website asking anyone in need for a refund to send their name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org, adding that a representative would be in contact.
Morgan Kauffman of Leesport takes classes in New York City and has used Bieber buses frequently for a year and a half.
“It was frustrating because I had bought a two-way ticket,” said Kauffman, speaking of the experience on Friday, Feb. 8. “I feel really bad for the people who depend on it for work. I was there for class, so it wasn’t a huge deal for me, but it was frustrating that the notice was so sudden.”
Kauffman added that she was glad Klein picked up the majority of the line.
In addition to Klein, Clydesdale Bus Lines of Reading also began using Lot E3 on Monday, Feb. 18 when they began service along with Bieber’s Philadelphia line. Using 15-passenger vans, Clydesdale runs five buses a day between Kutztown and Philadelphia, departing at 5:00 a.m., 5:30 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. for Philadelphia.