Three bus lines that ferried Long Islanders to the Hamptons or on their commutes to Manhattan will go out of business, after a federal bankruptcy judge in Central Islip on Wednesday approved an auction to sell their vehicles.
The judge approved the sale of the 27 buses belonging to Hampton Luxury Liner, 7Bus and Classic Coach.
Judge Alan S. Trust approved GA Global Partners, based in Woodland Hills, California, as the auctioneer. GA Global Partners guarantees a minimum of $2.35 million from conducting the auction, which may occur in mid-October.
The bus lines suspended service after Labor Day, and 53 full-time and part-time employees were let go. All three lines operate out of 1600 Locust Ave. in Bohemia.
“The business is over,” owner William E. Schoolman said in an interview after the judge’s decision. “I lost everything and good people lost their jobs.” He added that the employees initially received a layoff notice in late June and were told that the layoff date was Sept. 26.
Until the judge’s ruling, Schoolman was working on a reorganization plan to emerge from bankruptcy or find a buyer for the company that operated the bus lines.
Hampton Luxury Liner filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September. Classic Coach and 1600 Locust Avenue Associates LLC, which owns the building where the companies operate, filed in March. The bankruptcy court combined the cases in May.
Court-appointed Chapter 11 Trustee Allan B. Mendelsohn decided to cease business operations by Monday.
The biggest creditor, Big Shoulders Capital LLC, a Chicago-area financing services company, is owed more than $2.5 million.
Schoolman and SY Bus, a joint venture partner of Hampton Luxury Liner, objected to liquidating the assets, saying that the business was still profitable.
There will be $113,000 in outstanding wages and $66,000 in unreimbursed bus tickets, Schoolman’s attorney, Michael G. Mc Auliffe, said.
Schoolman, who has run the business since 1976, said he mortgaged his house 17 times to keep the company going and has not received a salary since March. “I don’t want anyone to go through what I have.”