Brooklyn — Councilman David Greenfield today applauded the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s (TLC) Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program, which will provide point to point, shared ride van service between specified pick up and drop off locations along former MTA bus routes. The program is slated to begin on or around August 16, 2010. Included in this program is the former B23 route, which operated in Brooklyn’s Boro Park, Kensington and Flatbush neighborhoods. The B23 served an estimated 1,580 weekday customers until it was eliminated in June over the vehement objections of Councilman David Greenfield. The B23 bus route elimination was part of the MTA’s attempt to close a nearly $800 million budget deficit.
“I thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and TLC Commissioner David Yassky for responding to our protest of the elimination of the B23 bus line by including our community in the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program,” said Councilman Greenfield. “This community desperately needs public transportation and the TLC’s innovative program will ensure that residents have a safe and affordable way to travel, something the MTA should, but clearly cannot, provide.”
In addition to running licensed TLC vans along the former B23 line, the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program will also operate routes that follow the former B39 and B71 routes in Brooklyn, as well as the Q74 and Q79 routes in Queens. The TLC will add five additional routes to the pilot before soliciting and approving companies to operate van service. The vans would transport 6 to 20 passengers, and charge a flat fare of $2 per ride, which is twenty-five cents less than the current price of a MTA-operated bus ride.
“This program would not be possible without the out of the box thinking and leadership of TLC Commissioner David Yassky,” noted Greenfield. “I applaud the city for this common sense solution, and encourage a continued emphasis on public transportation in our overlooked outer boroughs.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)