Thursday, September 16, 2010

City Launches Van Sharing Program

Photo courtesy NYCTLC
The city Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) began its Group Ride pilot program on Monday, which allows privately run commuter vans to operate on some of the bus routes that were eliminated or reduced by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) during the last round of service cuts.

Service between the Kew Gardens Union Turnpike subway station and Queens College began on Monday to compensate for the cut Q74 bus route. Other vans serving the former B71 route, the former B39 route, the former B23 route and the former Q79 route, which served Little Neck, Glen Oaks, Bellerose and Floral Park, are expected to begin on September 20.

The vans cost $2 and MetroCards are not accepted. Proper vans will be clearly marked with “Group Ride Vehicle” on the exterior and will have identifying decals inside the van. Pick-up and drop-off locations will be clearly marked by Department of Transportation signage. Passengers may also request to be dropped off along the route if the drivers agree.

“The purpose of this program is to provide safe and reliable service in areas that have been impacted by the MTA’s service disruptions, some of which were already challenged by limited transportation options,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky. “This is an exciting opportunity for the TLC to help introduce and test an entirely new kind of service that never before existed—one that we believe will help thousands of people get where they need to go in a safe and convenient way.”

Based on the results of the pilot program, additional vans might be put into service in other parts of Queens.

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