Private Bus Service Actually Means No Bus Service

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10/26/2010 8:56 AM |

This is what the livery vans looked like, which may have also contributed to nobody wanting to hop in for a ride.
  • This is what the livery vans looked like, which may have also contributed to nobody wanting to hop in for a ride.

This summer, the Taxi and Limousine Commission sought livery vans to pick up the slack, and passengers, along now-defunct MTA bus routes; after a month of operation, the Brooklyn Paper reports, two of the three pilot routes have already been discontinued, due to nobody riding them.

This may have had something to do with the fact that nobody really knew about the vans (whereas people tend to be aware of “the bus”), or the fact that the vans never came. But at a Community Board 14 meeting, TLC head David Yassky indicated that the real problem was that the former B23 and B39 bus had relatively few riders to begin with.

1,180 weekday riders, which the Williamsburg-into-Manhattan-via-the-W’Burg Bridge B39 averaged when the MTA was still running it, is apparently not enough to sustain private service (the BP earlier noted that the route “was popular with seniors and the handicapped”). There is probably a lesson here about why transportation is public instead of private and for-profit, here, somewhere.