I took the Lucky Star bus for the first time last summer, and after waiting an hour and a half for a replacement bus because the first one didn’t pass inspections, it was a marvelous ride. It got me to Boston from New York in great time. Ah the Chinatown buses always hold such adventures.
For those of you who remember, and for those who wish to forget the Fung Wah bus, I am posting an old picture of it. I know it’s old news, but it was news to me when I looked for the Fung Wah, this summer, only to find the Lucky Star. Fung Wah went out of business in February 2014, because their buses were foo-foo, among other things.
Fung Wah was one of the first Chinatown bus services out of New York City. It served the Boston to New York to Boston community, primarily. The tickets were always rock bottom prices. Compared to other companies, this one was no frills. And frankly, that’s what I loved about it. When you got on, the driver barely spoke, not because he barely spoke English, but because there was nothing to say. Unlike the Peter Pan, or Greyhound, the driver of the Fung Wah found it superfluous to go on missives of stating the obvious: the virtues of leaving trash in bags; urinating in, not outside of the toilet; speaking quietly when talking on phones; and keeping headphone music on low. Most importantly, the Fung Wah driver avoided speculating about traffic and arrival times. We’ll get there when we get there. Obviously. This is the Northeast corridor, between two huge metropolises. Anything goes, traffic-wise. Yes, they’d gotten themselves into trouble for speeding and other things. I just looked the company up on Wikipedia, and just learned, fittingly, that Fung Wah means “Magnificent Wind.” With that name, of course they had to fly like the wind.
The only thing that the bus driver ever said, in my memory of traveling on the Fung Wah bus, was, “Ten minutes.” The time you had in Connecticut, to have a cigarette (not me), go to the bathroom, (one not on the bus, but not necessarily better) or pick up some greasy food at a given fast food restaurant that was lucky enough to be the stop of choice. The bus was so cheap and convenient, I turned a blind eye to any headlines about bus safety issues, violations or the like.
This is one of my favorite pictures. I managed to capture the iconic Lucky Star bus zooming across the Manhattan Bridge. I was in Brooklyn, at the ClockTower Building, with a 200mm lens. The subway cars were pictured below it. If my calculations are correct, this one was getting some magnificent headwind toward Boston.