A well-known bus company that transports hundreds of Saucon Valley area commuters from the Hellertown Park and Ride just off Rt. 412 to and from New York City each week has lost its ability to take passengers to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan–the city’s main bus terminal–the Authority confirmed Friday.
In an email, Government and Community Relations spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Garrett Jochnau said Bieber bus service to and from the terminal will be discontinued July 28 “due to a pattern of nonpayment and a default on their licensing agreement with the terminal.”
According to a fact sheet Jochnau said is being distributed to bus passengers in New York, “Bieber Bus has an ongoing, persistent pattern of nonpayment over the past 15+ years.”
“Bieber (is) currently in default of their license agreement at the Port Authority Bus Terminal with arrearages of over $214,000, and (the) balance has been growing,” the fact sheet states. “Bieber’s history of non-payment prompted prior actions of termination in 2008, 2010 (and) 2012, as well as numerous other legal notices related to ongoing arrearages.”
The Port Authority says that in the past it has rescinded termination actions against Bieber Transportation Group after “accommodating the carrier with payback agreements,” which it says were not maintained.
“Recently, multiple checks from (the) carrier bounced due to insufficient funds,” the fact sheet states.
The Port Authority says it is concerned about the company’s solvency, and that “a sudden bankruptcy resulting in immediate discontinuance of service would be more disruptive to customers than a planned termination with a notice period.”
The fact sheet cites the following as evidence of possible company insolvency:
“Bieber discontinued service to several destinations in March 2018, citing financial issues.”
“Anecdotally, Bieber drivers have mentioned payroll checks bouncing, and the carriers’ fleet is in is reportedly in a state of disrepair.”
“Bieber’s letter of credit (LoC) expires on Aug. 4, 2018. Their bank advised the Port Authority that the LoC would not be renewed, and it is unlikely Bieber will be able to obtain a replacement LoC by Aug. 4, leaving the PA with no financial security or recourse for outstanding payments due.”
Bieber’s CEO Steven G. Haddad has not returned calls for comment, the Morning Call reported Friday, although just a day ago the company posted a message on its website stating that “Bieber Tourways Management is currently diligently working on a solution to this situation, as well as seeking alternative pick up and drop off locations to utilize if it becomes necessary.”
“Please know Bieber Tourways is committed to providing our passengers with the best possible service and will continue to work until a suitable solution to this fluid situation is achieved,” the Bieber travel alert stated.
Customers who will soon be affected by the Bieber bru-ha-ha can travel to Allentown or Bethlehem to catch a TransBridge bus to New York City, which is one alternative the Port Authority is making bus passengers aware of.
“Another carrier has already reached out to express interest in taking over Bieber’s route,” the Authority said Friday, adding that it “will work with any carriers interested in assuming this route in order to provide continued service to customers.”
Because none of Bieber’s routes are subsidized by the Commonwealth, PennDOT will not play a role in finding a replacement carrier, the Port Authority fact sheet states.
Over the next week the Port Authority says it will continue to make customers aware of the discontinuation of Bieber bus service via signage, flyers that are being handed to disembarking passengers at the Bieber gate–Gate 19–and e-alerts.
Their “primary outreach objective is ensuring customers are adequately informed about the termination so they have an opportunity to plan an alternate means of travel,” it states.
Customers can also contact Bieber Bus at 610-683-7333 or online.