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Dollar vans: Fantastic or pandemic? - Brooklyn Paper

Dollar vans: Fantastic or pandemic?

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.

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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.

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.

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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

Becky Szeto, Sunset Park

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

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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.

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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.”

Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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