NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission - Dollar Van Progam a Total Bust

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A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue

A dollar van on Bushwick Avenue (Photo by Stephen Nessen)

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) The NYC TLC announced with some fanfare last spring that it would use private vans to serve bus routes that had been eliminated entirely. But, it turns out, no one -- really, almost no one -- used them.

The TLC released the stats today. Along the B23 line in Brooklyn, 1580 riders used to take the bus. Two took the privately run commuter vans. The most "successful" line was along the former Q79, which had 650 riders, and about 27 customers a day.

According to the TLC "Lessons Learned:"
* Drivers won't cruise where there is no demand.
* Timing is everything.
* Local outreach/advertising is essential.

The TLC recommends the pilot "be terminated and the lessons learned from it be used to inform other projects in underserved areas."  It says the three-month lag in setting up the commuter van meant commuters found other options, and by then, drivers weren't cruising for non-existent drivers.