From the Daily News:
FRUSTRATED riders and hamstrung van owners say the pilot program that replaced axed Queens bus lines with private commuter vans is spinning its wheels.
The Group Ride Vehicle Program was introduced last month by the city Taxi and Limousine Commission, allowing Community Transportation Systems Inc. and Alpha Van Lines to take over the discontinued Q74 and Q79 routes, respectively.
Both companies have reported losing money each day due to extremely low ridership - sometimes only 20 passengers in a 12-hour span - forcing them to scale back the frequency of service.
Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky described the service as "spotty" thus far at a Community Board 6 meeting in Kew Gardens last week.
"The agreement with the operators obligates them to maintain a decent frequency of service. It's not clear that they're doing that," Yassky said.
The sporadic service in both areas has irritated many locals who were excited about what the van service could bring to the area.
Jim Trent, 64, a former city employee, was dismayed when he waited more than an hour to be picked up on a recent Sunday afternoon on the old Q79 route.
"I'm annoyed that we don't have the service we were promised. But I feel bad for the [van operators] - you can lose your shirt for this," Trent said.