Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dollar vans to replace the B71?

Gary Buiso of The Brooklyn Paper reports that the Taxi and Limousine Commission--now headed by former Brooklyn City Councilmember David Yassky--has approved a plan to turn the former B71 route into a dollar-van route.

As best I can tell, this doesn't mean we'll actually have dollar vans running up and down Union Street. The TLC just approved the concept. No dollar-van operator has actually said he or she will take the route.

Writes Buiso:
The Taxi and Limousine Commission quietly approved the privatization initiative that will allow livery vans to operate along bus routes eliminated by the cash-strapped state agency — including the B71 route that once journeyed from Columbia Street through tony Carroll Gardens and Park Slope on its way to Crown Heights.


Under the plan, the vans will only be allowed to pick up passengers at specified locations — but drop-offs can be at locations negotiated by the driver and commuter.
Some neighborhood activists are dubious about this proposal:

“Oh my god, it’s insane!” said Maria Pagano, president of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association. “You’ll have guys dive-bombing in and out on Union Street between school buses.”

Roy Sloane, president of the Cobble Hill Association, added that the “public-private partnership” leaves a bad taste in his mouth.

“The government should be providing essential services that don’t necessarily make a profit,” he said. “The government and this administration seems to be keen on privatizing all the services that [they] used to provide.”
What do you think?

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