Legislation Proposes Increased Oversight in Drafting Commuter Van Routes
NEW YORK , NY, Aug. 8 – Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley introduced legislation that will crack down on unregulated commuter vans throughout New York City.
Currently, neither community leaders nor public groups are consulted on commuter van routes, which often create frustrating traffic conditions for members of the communities in which they operate. These vans enter narrow side streets, block driveways and intersections, and blow their horns for the passengers to come out of their house.
The sometimes erratic and reckless driving on the part of unauthorized commuter van operators has also been a persistent and growing problem for taxpayers in Council Member Crowley’s district.
This legislation would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to inform community boards of the approval of a commuter van routes by the commission located in the board’s district. The TLC would also be required to notify the City Council of a route’s approval.
This bill would also focus on increasing the transparency and accountability of the TLC. On their website, the commission would be required to post the geographic area to be served, and the number of vehicles to be operated by the company.
With approximately 300 legal commuter vans accounted for and hundreds more operating under the radar, this is a growing problem for the residents of New York City. After the MTA’s budget cuts resulted in less operating bus routes, residents will likely see more and more of these commuter vans springing up to take their place.
Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley stated: “Commuter vans are becoming increasingly popular throughout New York City, which means it is critical that we regulate their operation. The more accountable these commuter van companies are to the public, the greater the likelihood that they will provide a safe and dependable commute for City residents.”