NOVEMBER 2002

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Employees At Chinatown Bus Companies Get Violent Over Customers
From World Journal
September, 30, 2002

Related Story:
The fiercely competitive Chinatown buses (Gotham Gazette) have become a popular discovery among budget travelers.

As competition among Chinatown long-haul bus companies continue to escalate, violence broke out yesterday at a bus stop on East Broadway in Chinatown. Employees from two competing companies got violent when fighting over parking spots. Both companies claimed that one person from each camp was seriously injured.

A driver almost lost consciousness from the beating and was taken to a hospital, while an employee from the rival camp claimed to have a broken arm. The driver, Zheng Xuei-zhen, was arrested by the police from the Fifth Precinct and is facing charges of assault.

The two companies, Golden Dragon and New Century, have been competing neck and neck over the past few months, trying to put each other out of business with extreme measures, including lowering bus fares. Now, a one-way ticket from Philadelphia to New York is only five dollars and a ticket from New York to Virginia costs ten dollars.

In addition, both companies send aggressive salespersons to solicit customers on the streets. There has been a lot of tension in the air as if the area was at war.

At five o’clock yesterday afternoon, violence broke out when employees from the two companies were fighting over buses’ departures and arrivals. An eyewitness said a bus driven by Zheng, of Golden Dragon, was leaving the bus stop but was blocked by Mei-ying Gao, an owner of New Century. When he got off the bus to ask Gao to get out of the way, Zheng reportedly started a quarrel with two other New Century employees, Yuwen Wang and his brother, Yuguo Wang.

According to the eyewitness, Zheng was beaten to the ground and almost passed out. His wife, Lihua Liu, was hit in the stomach by the Wang brothers when she tried to stop the fight.

Liu said that New Century employees blocked the bus and beat up her husband. However, she said the four police officers from the Fifth Precinct did not try to investigate the incident, only taking Zheng to a hospital before putting him under arrest.

Lan Li, an owner of Golden Dragon, said she has no problems with competing by lowering bus fares and aggressively soliciting customers. Whoever has a stronger financial background will survive, she added. But she complained that the police has failed to maintain order at the bus stops, and that they did not look into the incident.

On the other hand, Gao, of New Century, said that the quarrel started because a departing New Century bus was blocked by a Golden Dragon bus. She said one of her employees had a broken arm and that the police knew that Zheng was the one who started the fight.

The Fifth Precinct confirmed the arrest of Zheng yesterday. Zheng might be charged with assault and would be required to appear in court. Li, the Golden Dragon owner, has asked her lawyer to bail Zheng out as soon as possible.

Translated From Chinese By Larry Tung


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