Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dollar vans in Sunset Park may be here to stay..

According to a piece at Streetsblog those dollar vans that clog up traffic in the mornings along 8th avenue and 7th avenues will likely increase in their operational scope.According to the article :

Mayor Bloomberg announced a new pilot program to provide livery van service for transit-starved neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, a proposal stemming from his 2009 campaign transit platform. The push to provide more mobility options in the wake of MTA service cuts is to be applauded, as is the administration's willingness to experiment with something new.

That's all well and fine, but as anyone in the neighborhood knows those vans are a pain in the *ss. The only reason they exists is not to supplement the MTA, it's because they provide direct service to the other Chinatowns in New York. They skirt the law by picking up passengers just as taxis are supposed to do driving slowly up the avenue and stopping whenever it suits them to pick up passengers. The result is a commuting nightmare if you happen to be driving by in the morning as I do. The reason there has been no enforcement of the taxi laws is purely political so as not to aggravate interests in the community. The vans only benefit those whose destination is the other Chinatowns in the city. How will this alleviate the problem for other residents of Sunset Park who need transit to other parts of Brooklyn or Manhattan. Are they going to clog the streets with more expanded dollar vans? And who is going to inspect these vans insofar as safety and other issues? Are we going to set up another bureaucracy while we cut the MTA budget to oversee the problem? What about liability? If you think are streets are clogged now, wait till this brainchild takes off. I personally think it's a bad idea who's time hasn't come.

The problem with our city is that too many agencies have come to exists to provide jobs for political cronies. The reason our MTA is in the red is because it was not designed to make a profit as it is constituted now. It has become a machine to provide employment and n expanded membership base for transit unions who are powerful backers of the politicians in city hall. Aggravating the problem by "legalizing" these dollar vans is not the solution to our transit problems. If the MTA was run as a private enterprise the cuts would not come in service, it would have meant lay offs. Nobody wants to make sacrifices in this town any more, or for that matter in the rest of the country either. The result is that we are broke, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Commuter_Van.jpgCommuter vans, like this one in Sunset Park, could become a more common sight on New York's streets. Image: The Brooklyn Ink.

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