New Van Service to Pick Up Riders Affected by Bus Cuts

Monday, September 20, 2010


More than 5,000 riders in Brooklyn and Queens who lost bus service this past summer due to MTA cuts will now be able to ride private vans along their old routes.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission has issued licenses to five van companies to pick up passengers along the old B71, B39, B23, Q74 and Q79 bus lines. The service is part of a year-long pilot program and starts Monday. 

"The MTA is in the middle of a very difficult fiscal time," says TLC Commissioner David Yassky. "They just are not in the position today to provide all the service that's needed in the city. So we're trying to pick up the slack."

The Transport Workers Union, which represents 500 bus drivers and mechanics who were laid off because of the MTA service cuts, has been fighting the city and TLC, arguing that the pilot program turns over a portion of the public transit system to private van companies that are less regulated, less safe and that employ people at low wages, without health insurance. The union lost a court battle against the city and TLC this summer but is currently appealing the judge's decision to allow the pilot program to move forward. 

The licensed private vans are required to pick up passengers at designated locations but can drop off passengers anywhere in the service area. Yassky said because of the MTA service cuts, the TLC wanted to give riders another transportation option.

"It certainly is different from the buses they're familiar with, so we will see if passengers want to make that leap or not."


Fares are $2.00, and each line has buses running on various schedules. Passengers are picked up at designated stops and drop offs must be arranged with the driver. The TLC's licensed vans must display the logo on the left. 





Flatbush Ave. and New Utrecht Ave.

Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Union Square.

Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Kew Gardens and Queens College

Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Little Neck Station and Jamaica Avenue

Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Red Hook and Crown Heights

Everyday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.



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Comments [2]

Carol from Park Slope

Two of the few great things that Guiliani did was to arrange for free transfers between subways and busses, and arrange reduced fares for the elderly. Will these vans do that? Of course not. The eleven blocks that I must trudge along to the subway no longer have a bus route. Since I will be forced to travel on foot, winter ice and summer heat will keep me shut in, and the hills of this neighborhood will stop me from getting around. The $2 vans will nearly TRIPLE the fare when I do go out. It was a nice idea, but there are major drawbacks.

Sep. 20 2010 02:52 PM
Gregory F. from Park Slope, Brooklyn

"but can drop off passengers anywhere in the service area." -- This is pretty unclear: does this mean that the "service area" is the whole area of blue-colored streets? "There is no fixed route"??
So that means that if the driver is willing to, they can take me wherever? Are they allowed to take tips? At what point will the destination become auctioned -mid ride!- to the highest bidder?

Sep. 20 2010 10:13 AM

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