Saturday, June 12, 2010

Battle of the dollar vans

From the NY Times:

Commuter vans are a familiar sight in many city neighborhoods, linking parts of Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx not served by subway lines to subway stations and also to the financial district in Manhattan and to a large mall in Nassau County. The routes, which are defined by the city’s Transportation Department, are meant to supplement the public transit system, not compete with it, though that is not always the case.

There are nearly 300 van drivers in New York who abide by the rules, paying thousands of dollars a year in licensing fees and insurance. They are outnumbered by hundreds of drivers who work the same routes, but have no permits and no insurance, and whose numbers have increased as the economy has soured.

Beyond a financial threat, their legal competitors say the unlicensed van drivers are a growing safety menace. “They’ll run red lights, they’ll drive against traffic, they’ll cut you off,” said Gregory McDonald, 43, who has been a licensed van driver in Queens for 12 years.


Anonymous said...

the other problem with the dollar vans is that the drivers are are parking these 20 to 30 ' vehicles, on residential one and two family home streets, all over Bayside /Auuburndale,Queens.

they partially block driveways,because of their length.
they damage sedans when turning on narrow streets.

they rent or own their dwellings ,but the vehicles are to large and cover two to three spots.
my block looks like a van sales lot.

it appears to be a chinese/korean specialty.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't hurt to have them around though when the transit authority goes on strike.

Anonymous said...

This is one reason why the MTA is always crying that they have no money. These vans are taking business away from the MTA.

Anonymous said...

Not that I like risking life and limb in uninsured vehicles, but the dollar vans often filled a need.

I remember those frigid days in college waiting for the bus from the Continental Avenue subway station to Queens College and freezing and freezing with no bus in sight. If the bus drivers don't keep to their schedules and MTA cuts corners, someone else will step in.

Anonymous said...

These vans need to be reigned in. The Chinese vans poach MTA bus passengers at the MTA bus stops - thus revenues go down and reduce frequency of the bus line. The Chinese vans do not post their services in English nor do they speak English. If your not Chinese don't even try getting on the bus. The drivers of these buses make illegal u-turns, block private driveways and wait in MTA bus stops that prevent MTA buses to pick up their passengers. Who monitors and requlates these vans - TLC?

Anonymous said...

When John Liu was head of the Transportation committee of the city council he never did anything about illegal dollar vans. Or about taxi overcharges.

Anonymous said...

Of course John Liu never did anything about these illegal vans; most of them are Chinese -- he needed their vote!

pitchforks! said...

i heard john liu worked in a sweatshop when he was a kid...what a man of the people

when he's mayor everything will get better

Anonymous said...

why aren't these oversized transportation buses considered "commercial " vehicles. they all have regular license plates,so they park on residential streets.

my area is loaded with "church buses".

i hope CM koo and halloran and ulrich debate this issue at the city council.