MONDAY MORNING

D.C.-N.Y. Bus Shuffles Stops After Rival's Complaint

Passengers wait to board a bus bound for New York City at the corner of 15th and K streets NW in Washington.
Passengers wait to board a bus bound for New York City at the corner of 15th and K streets NW in Washington. (By Kevin Clark -- The Washington Post)

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Passengers who ride the Vamoose bus from Tenleytown to New York City were disappointed last week to find there would be no vamoosing from the American University area.

The company's Web site ( http://www.vamoosebus.com : "More Bang for Your Buck -- No Bull") said the bus line was temporarily shut down because of an injunction against it by rival line Washington Deluxe.

Curbside buses, which started as a way to ferry a largely Chinese clientele between the two cities' Chinatowns, have become popular among riders of all backgrounds in recent years. The $20 to $25 one-way fares on lines including Vamoose, Washington Deluxe and Dragon Coach are cheap alternatives to get to the Big Apple.

The Tenleytown drop-off and pickup point was crossed out on the Vamoose site Thursday, replaced by a temporary location in Bethesda, near the Metro.

On Friday, the site listed the Bethesda location, along with this: "Due to an injunction against us by the Washington Deluxe Bus Company we will temporarily not pick up or drop off in either Tenleytown or Downtown Washington DC."

"It's a long story," said Florence Bluzenstein, the wife of the Vamoose owner. She would not give details of the legal dispute. An attorney for Vamoose did not return messages seeking comment. Washington Deluxe wouldn't comment and did not return messages seeking its attorney. Both bus lines are based in New York City.

Vamoose is frequented by American University students and other Tenleytown area residents. Two women from Chevy Chase who often ride Vamoose were in line at the corner of 15th and K streets Thursday, waiting for a Washington Deluxe bus. "We'll go back to Vamoose," one said, when told it was just moving its pickup point.

"We have a very loyal customer base," Bluzenstein said.

-- Amy Joyce


© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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