MTA Bus Drivers Fed Up With "Dollar Vans"

Public Transportation DisastersDisasters and AccidentsTransportation DisastersHighway and Road DisastersVehiclesFar Rockaway

With MTA service cuts and fare increases, many are taking advantage of so-called dollar vans, but now some MTA bus drivers are complaining about this new form of budget transportation.

Some Q22 drivers in Far Rockaway Queens are complaining that the enterprising van drivers are swooping in and stealing their fares, and even tearing down the MTA bus stop signs.

"They run people over, cause accidents (and) they delay the buses." said driver Rob Volkens.

Ever since the MTA canceled several bus routes in Queens and Brooklyn, van drivers have been illegally picking up commuters even though they don't have licenses from the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Fifteen signs are missing in just an 8-block stretch on Beach Channel Drive, and area resident Henry Jones believes the van drivers are to blame. "(They do it) so they can park and wait and get more customers," said area resident Henry Jones.

Many dollar van drivers say they are blamed unfairly, however, and are tired of being fingered for things they haven't done. "That's nonsense for us to take down bus stop and illegal parking signs, we get tickets regardless whether they see us doing something or not," said Mike Meyers a driver for Black Star Commuter Van Service.

So where are the signs going?

"Maybe the elements are pulling them down," said resident James Harris.

Pizzeria owner Artie Farley says he thinks it's collectors.

"Some people take for memorabilia actually."

Whatever the case, the city Department of Transportation plans on replacing the signs next week.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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