Home Asides TLC commuter van pilot to launch Monday sans TWU

TLC commuter van pilot to launch Monday sans TWU

by Benjamin Kabak

As the city looks to private operators to replace lost bus routes, the first of the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s six commuter van routes will debut on Monday with the rest to follow in a week, The Post reported today. According to Tom Namako, the first of the pilot routes will be a van that replaces the Q74 service in Queens, and it will debut on the 13th. On Monday, September 20, vans will start running along the former B23, B71, B39 and Q79 routes.

The city has yet to announce pick-up locations or frequency of service for these routes, but The Post says the vans will not operate as frequently as buses did. The vehicles themselves will hold 16-20 passengers and charge a flat fare of $2 per ride. Riders, says Namako, will be able to negotiate with the driver over drop-off locations “as long as it’s in the general direction of the van.”

Finally, as an odd ending to an ongoing saga, the TWU has dropped its plans to operate its own TLC-licensed van with unionized bus drivers. The union had recently lost its lawsuit challenging the city’s legal ability to operate this privatized program, and more than 100 laid-off bus drivers were recently rehired. The TWU did not provide me with a comment by press time, but the Daily News via Twitter reports that the union thinks the idea is “self-defeating.” We can only speculate as to why they came to this realization so close to the pilot’s launch.

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John Paul N. September 9, 2010 - 3:40 pm

The Q47 is still running. You must mean the Q74.

Benjamin Kabak September 9, 2010 - 3:43 pm

Yes. That was just a typo. I’ve fixed it.

toby September 9, 2010 - 3:43 pm

maybe the TWU recognized that they couldn’t compete with private free market industry when compelled to overpay for their labor costs.

Sharon September 11, 2010 - 1:07 am

Last week the supermarket workers union forced Majority leader Sampson give back Walmart’s Campaign donation(Bribe) . The only way riders and taxpayers are going to get a fair shake is to demand that any elected official who takes a bribe from any labor union give the money back

John Paul N. September 9, 2010 - 4:02 pm

If the unionized drivers had to pay for their own vans, licenses and maintenance, isn’t that a turn-off for them?

Al D September 9, 2010 - 4:04 pm

With union leadership like this, the transit workers don’t need enemies.

JebO September 9, 2010 - 4:30 pm

I don’t understand how the TWU was ever going to operate the service. Yes, they have drivers – good ones who know the rules of the road and safe operating practices better than anyone. But they don’t have any actual vans or dispatching offices or insurance or maintenance garages or any of the other stuff that van companies have. A labor union and a van company are two different things.

Cap'n Transit September 9, 2010 - 7:56 pm

Meanwhile, Queens College has been in session for two weeks already. Way to go, TLC!

Think twice September 10, 2010 - 1:53 pm

God, it was bad enough that one could not get there by train. Now this.

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines September 13, 2010 - 9:06 am

[…] Commuter Van Service Starts Today, TWU Drops Plans to Operate Own Line (2nd Ave Sagas) […]

Larry Littlefield September 13, 2010 - 10:48 am

Perhaps the TWU meant to do this and found it was infeasible.

But perhaps they were never sincere. As our public services decline and taxes soar in the wake of Generation Greed, the only goal for those with power is to keep your privileges and find a place to shift the blame.

beads charm November 24, 2011 - 10:56 pm

You could definitely see your expertise in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.


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