Friday, October 22, 2010

Van service not working out as planned

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.


Anonymous said... city does away with bus service because no one was using it-- and replaces it with vans. Now, there is surprise and shock that there is no one using the van service. Huh? Clear to me that service was never needed to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Just because ridership is low does not mean the service isn't needed. Access to mass transit should be available to people throughout the city. Public transportation is an important public service, not a business. If the mayor wants to prohibit car ownership through reduced traffic lanes and parking, people should be provided with alternatives whether they are profitable or not.

Anonymous said...

Here is how it works:

Millions is being spent to construct the second avenue subway line in Manhattan. Millions more for the rapid bus service and dedicated bus lanes for the East side of Manhattan, millions for pedestrian plazas in Manhattan.

In order to show they are not racist, they put an rapid bus service in the Bronx as well.

Cuts to transportation service in Queens..

What a disgrace.


Anonymous said...

1. Make the fare a quarter for a week and see the ridership increase.

2. Increase the fare by a quarter each week until supply equals demand.

georgetheatheist said...

What's with this van nonsense? Doesn't the ridership know of the bicycling alternative?

Anonymous said...

So how was it supposed to work out?-- no one took the Q79, and now no one is taking the vans. Who is the idiot that said "give them vans, and they will come..."?
Also, "waited an hour for a van"-- you can walk the entire length of Little Neck Parkway (the Q79 route) in 40 minutes. How about we just pay you for a taxi next time? The next time, Mr. Democrat, you want to piss my tax money away, please just let me use it to wipe my own ass, before you throw it away on this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Z -

The MTA wanted to put SBS in Queens, but were soundly rejected by Community Boards 8 and 13. The reason why it went in on Fordham Road first is that the groups there wanted it.

kingofnycabbies said...

Yassky and the TLC are battin' 1.000, it looks like. Also from today's Daily News:

Three new group-ride taxi stands in Manhattan have turned out to be lemons, the city's taxi czar said yesterday.

Commuters willing to share the backseat with a stranger can get a discounted fare on southbound trips from E. 72nd, W.72nd and W. 57th Sts.

But such arrangements have been rare since the Taxi and Limousine Commission launched a pilot program in March, Chairman David Yassky said.

"They simply haven't worked," Yassky said. "The reality is they're not functioning as group-ride stands."

Word is Mayor McChee$e is so verklempt with this unexpected news that he's ordered the DOT to add 25 more miles of bike lanes to Manhattan by year's end.

Anonymous said...

In order to show they are not racist, they put an rapid bus service in the Bronx as well.
Uhh, the Bronx SBS was in place for years before the Manhattan line.