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Dollar vans: Fantastic or pandemic?

The Brooklyn Paper
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Lisa Rucker, Canarsie


I think that they should crack down on illegal services when it comes to these drivers not having insurance, and in some cases, driver's licenses.

You're putting people's lives in jeopardy. I understand trying to make a buck, but $2 and you risk your life? That's crazy.

Terrelle Jones, Brownsville


I don't think they're doing anything wrong. They're just giving people rides and trying to make money. I think the city is trying to make money off of them.

Becky Szeto, Sunset Park


It depends on what the law says. It's the driver's responsibility to have insurance.

Ted Joyce, Park Slope


Totally crack down. I walk the streets and I'm afraid they're going to hit a kid, a bicyclist. They drive extremely fast; they're extremely aggressive on the roads.

The fact that they're not insured is terrifying to me.

Liz Foley, Prospect Lefferts Gardens


I think they should just enforce traffic laws a little better. I'm not that concerned about the drivers. I don't think they're going away.

It's pretty firmly entrenched in the culture of Flatbush."

Park Slope’s 78th police precinct is cracking down on dollar vans ferrying passengers along Flatbush and Atlantic avenues without the proper permits, though picking up street hails is technically illegal on its own. The clampdown comes in response to complaints from Slopers and Prospect Heights residents about the vans blocking bus stops to pick up and drop off passengers, according to police. But the question of whether the rides are rolling liabilities or essential conveyances for people with few transportation options is far from a settled. The outlawed-but-long-tolerated buggies are such a part of the borough’s transit fabric that the city recruited dollar-van drivers to pick up pedestrians along terminated bus routes in 2010 and an activist group says the ticketing blitz is a racist assault on the largely black- and Caribbean-run businesses.

We asked everyday Brooklynites at the crossroads of Flatbush and Atlantic, “Should the city crack down on dollar vans?”

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ian from Williamsburg says:
Terrelle Jones: "I don't think they're doing anything wrong."

Violating the livery laws is wrong. Those laws are on the books for safety and regulation and violating these laws unfair to the law abiding services.
April 18, 2014, 8:52 am
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
Some of these driver are hazardous, but as a Free Market guy, don't worry, soon as the next fare increase hits your pocket, some will appreciate the $2 van ride.

This crackdown has a lot to do w/ forth coming fare increase. The City & it's foot soldiers, along w/ the media as a tool, are re-enforcing the idea that the only transport u will have in the city is the MTA.

crackdown on transport alternative=chk
settle union contract to limit bad press=chk
ready fare increase=chk

Every vehnicle on the road can potentially kill, hurt anyone at any moment.

this is all about a monopoly for transport $$$$
enjoy ur fare increase, while Cuomo raid the MTA bank account.
April 18, 2014, 9:18 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
1) many dollar vans have out of state plates and probably don't have insurance;
2) their incessant honking is annoying.
April 18, 2014, 10:52 am
The Chooch from The Age of Reason says:
If they don't have insurance, they're illegal. Period. That's all it's about.
April 18, 2014, 11:46 am
Cris from Williamsburg says:
Dollar Van drivers are savages. They ignore traffic laws and lights, and I've seen them cause so many accidents. They should be banned
April 18, 2014, 11:58 am
T-Bone from DoBro says:
Ugh, the constant honking. Shut them all down!
April 18, 2014, 1:15 pm
Local from Here says:
If The Cracker from the white bread magic show and the dude from DoBro are bothered by dollar vans, then I want more of them on the roads.
April 18, 2014, 2:16 pm
ty from pps says:
Joey,
If they have out-of-state plates, they absolutely don't have insurance. They may have an insurance policy (of some sort), but their insurance is absolutely not valid here and no significant claim would be honored.
April 18, 2014, 2:19 pm
Bill from PLG says:
Personally, I hate them. They do block bus stops, and the incessant honking (especially some of the weirder horns some of them use) drives me nuts. As far as I can tell, they are responsible for at least 75% of the street noise around here.
April 18, 2014, 6:45 pm
Jay from nyc says:
hate them, they are the worst drivers in the city. I loath them. I really hate them. Did I mention that I hate them?
April 18, 2014, 7:39 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
It really doesnt matter what the naysayers think. The dollar vans have been around brooklyn for years. They have them in jamaica as well & they are not going anywhere. Like i said in the previois column a few days ago about this, its really the newbies complaining about them. Real ny'ers know how to deal with the vans & the whining transients dont, thus the crackdown. If you dont like how we do things in NY, then go back to your little boring town that you came from.
April 19, 2014, 6:41 am
ty from pps says:
Like I asked you the other day, jjm... What magical powers do "real new yorkers" have to prevent being crushed on the sidewalk when they jump the curb?
April 19, 2014, 12:21 pm
Local from Here says:
The same magical powers that keep us from getting run over by smelly hipsters on their brake less fixies.
April 19, 2014, 12:40 pm
ty from pps says:
Hey Local,
How many people have been killed by a cyclist in the last, say, three years? How many have been killed (on the sidewalk and in crosswalks) by dollar vans drivers?

hmmm?
April 19, 2014, 4:54 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
What a great idea. Can we get some dollar vans in Greenpoint, please.
Less bike and more vans!
April 20, 2014, 1:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I think the MTA only hates the Dollar Vans because they are taking passengers from them especially when they charge less than what the fares are.
April 21, 2014, 7:10 pm
Brooklynite from Brooklyn says:
The dollar vans should be banned. They drive dangerously, don't follow traffic rules, weave in and out of traffic without signaling and make illegal turns. All of this makes the innocent people in the van at risk of dying in a crash which is just waiting to happen.
On top of it if they have no insurance the people hurt in the accident have no coverage- I do not think that those who use these vans should japordise their well being trying to save 50 cents. It's being penny wise and pound foolish.
April 21, 2014, 10:11 pm

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