Home Asides Livery van pilot to target former Brooklyn, Queens bus routes

Livery van pilot to target former Brooklyn, Queens bus routes

by Benjamin Kabak

A little less than a month after the Taxi and Limousine Commission revealed its plan to replace lost bus routes with dollar vans, the agency has unveiled five routes in Brooklyn and Queens that will serve as pilots for a potential citywide program. The TLC announced on Friday that they will soon be accepting solicitations for bids for passenger van service that covers routes once served by the B23, B71 and B39 in Brooklyn and the Q74 and Q79 in Queens. Specific drop-off and pick-up locations will be determined before the service is put in place on or around August 16.

Per the press release, the TLC plans for these rides to have a flat fare of $2 with clear DOT signage — perhaps old bus shelter? — demarcating route stops. The vans will carry between six and 20 passengers and will be licensed by the TLC with insurance requirements akin to current regulations for van and livery service providers.

“The TLC’s action today paves the road for a new form of service that we believe will be of great benefit to people affected by the MTA’s service reductions,” David Yassky, TLC commission, said. “One of the great advantages of having a comprehensive transportation network as we do in New York City is that it sometimes has the flexibility to serve people in new and better ways that never before existed, and this van program is a perfect example of this.”

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John July 20, 2010 - 3:46 pm

Will those routes run at the old hours as the old routes or just weekdays or just rush hours?
I just can’t see a private operator willing to run a route at $2 per person if the old rotue wasnt making money. Don’t forget that, unlike a publicly operated company, a private company’s main concern is making money.
These routes seem like good choices because they weren’t the really expensive routes that the MTA ran. Besides the Q79, all of the other routes have weekday costs per passenger of $2-$3. However, I can’t really see those routes getting much off-peak service, especially the Q79, which had a cost per passenger of $4.25 on weekdays. I’m also not sure why a private operator would take over the B39, as it parallels the J/M/Z trains, though the weekday cost per passenger is a reasonable $2.34. Maybe they feel that between the fact that disabled riders would still have to pay full fare and the fact that they save on labor costs, they might be able to make a profit.
The only route that could realistically be run on weekends would be the B71 because that had a lot of recent growth (over 35% in the past 5 years).

Fredrick Wells May 11, 2012 - 10:18 pm

This is the LEGALIZED LIVERY VAN service and to operate along former bus routes and non bus routes. This is NOT THE ILLEGAL LIVERY VAN SERVICE that you see in Queens and Brooklyn along established bus routes that are heavy and the MTA has NO PLANS ON ELIMINATING SERVICE.

The ONLY WAY this LEGALIZED LIVERY VAN service is to DISCONTINUE OPERATION (along the routes) is if the MTA plans on reinstating the old bus routes or extend other heavily used bus routes to replace the old service. This means that these VAN SERVICES must operate elsewhere or THEY ARE PERMITTED TO MERGE WITH THE REGULAR TAXI (but with Higher Passenger Intake and to charge the lower of the fares [the regular Yellow Taxi cars will have a higher fare charge than the Livery Vans because of the Higher passenger intake).

Al D July 21, 2010 - 12:47 pm

A bit overlyoptimistic with the new and better ways since niether is true, and now a new 2 fare zone would be created since certainly no van would honor a MetroCard. But, the service could have limited applications and success for the ‘single-seat’ ride solely on the displaced line. More and more costs are being passed down to the consumer.

John July 21, 2010 - 7:37 pm

Maybe the MTA ould be able to work out some kinf od Smart Card system where riders can transfer from vans to regualr buses for free.
To an extent, we are going back to 2-fare zones. However, if we were going back to 2-fare zones on a large scale, the MTA wouldn’t worry about expensive “coverage” services. It is up to the person as to whether they want to make their commute easier by spending an extra $2.

William Cerf July 24, 2010 - 12:18 am

I’d love to see a livery van service on the B23 line, particularly on Cortelyou Road between Flatbush and Coney Island Avenue. The VOXPOP Cafe (see website above) at the corner of Stratford and Cortelyou would make a fabulous livery stop. Personally, I’d make these guys rich all by myself!

John July 25, 2010 - 12:31 am

Or a simpler solution to keep the riders with the MTA would be to allow the B103 to make the former B23 stops.

Dollar van debate: deregulation or privatization :: Second Ave. Sagas August 9, 2010 - 1:39 am

[…] Commission — would target outer borough areas that no longer have bus service, and it will go into effect on August 16. In the build-up to the program’s debut next week, city officials and union leaders are […]


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