Sunday, August 8, 2010
Reining in out-of-control illegal vans
From the Daily News:
Queens lawmakers are calling for a crackdown on illegal commuter vans, blasting them as dangers to public safety for riders and pedestrians.
The vans are especially popular in far-flung neighborhoods where subways don't reach and bus lines were recently reduced or eliminated.
"These are vehicles that haven't been inspected for safety and are operating without proper licenses," City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said during a press conference in Maspeth yesterday. "It's a growing problem."
Crowley recently introduced a bill that would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to train NYPD officers so they could more easily spot illegal commuter vans. The commission would also have to create a comprehensive book of operating guidelines for commuter vans.
The city has sanctioned the use of licensed commuter vans in some sections of Brooklyn and Queens as part of a pilot project, but that hasn't stopped other operators from swooping into neighborhoods and targeting bus stops.
"People need to know that when they get into these vans, they are safe," said Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
More from the NY Times.