Monday, July 16, 2012
Crackdown on illegal Main Street buses
From the NY Times:
More than two weeks after large buses started competing with vans for passengers traveling between Chinatown and Flushing, Queens, city enforcement officials began a crackdown this week that resulted in the towing of several buses and the levying of fines.
The departure of the big buses was as abrupt and dramatic as their arrival, 18 days ago, which touched off tensions along the commuter van route, including a price war, screaming matches and a smattering of violence.
City officials and the police arrived Thursday at the two main stops – 41st Avenue in Flushing and Division Street in downtown Manhattan – and shut down the operations of the large buses, which were charging $1 for a one-way ride between the Chinatowns in Queens and Manhattan, compared with $2.75 that the smaller vehicles had been charging.
Faced with losing riders, many vans, which typically have less than half of the 57-passenger capacity of the buses, dropped their prices to $1 as well. Other drivers simply stopped operating.