The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dollar Danger

The Q takes Dollar Vans all the time. Cheaper and more fun than buses, I'm generally happy to pass along my transportation dollars directly to a hard-working commuter van driver and company. Plus, they're fast and ubiquitous. But like many of you, I find some Commuter Van operators to be totally out of control, driving like maniacs and putting their passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk with each rev of the engine.

Despite what you might think about the precinct's indifference, there have been 100s of Dollar Van seizures for infractions large and small over the past couple years, many in Flatbush (mostly 70th, 71st and 78th precincts, plus lots more in East Flatbush and Crown Heights east of here). The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has submitted to a pilot oversight program, born not of any animosity towards the (often) Jamaican drivers generally, but responding to consumer and citizen complaints about the driving behavior of so-called "cowboy" drivers, many of whom haven't the proper license to be competing in the field. If you're a frequent rider, you know precisely what I'm talking about. It's definitely a case of Rider Beware. It's one of the reasons I refuse to take my kids along for the ride, even though drivers often don't charge for kids, and my little ones are curious as beavers. Or cats. Or catlike beavers.

Yesterday, I took a van that was, from all appearances, legit. It had a license, TLC plates (NY 23407 BB to be precise) and the name of its company - Citivan - was plastered on the side. But the driver was acting like he'd put meth on his Wheaties that morning. As soon as I got in, I knew he was trouble. The van reeked of pot. He was shouting obscenities out the window at other van drivers. And he managed somehow (I'm still blown away) to change lanes on average three times per block all the way home. Everyone in the van was saying things about his erratic behavior, one was mock-praying, but of course he couldn't hear it because he'd cranked the filthiest pornographic gansta rap I've heard in some time. This is an example of the kind of Dollar Van driver that ruins the stew for the whole lot. Ask any honest driver and they'll tell you - these guys are threatening the livelihood of hundreds of (mostly all) guys.

So here's what I did. I looked up the number of Citivan and reported them directly to the company. It took a few tries, but I eventually got someone on the phone. Below is a list of all licensed and registered companies doing business as Commuter Vans with the number of vehicles. I enjoyed being able to have a conversation with the company directly, since I'd think they'd have some interest in the behavior of their fleet. That and a complaint to the TLC and we'll see how it goes.

I highly encourage all of you to help the situation by jotting down the license (either plate of registration number) and complain to TLC AND the company itself. I know it's a bit of time, but it could make the 'Bush a whole lot safer. And have the added bonus of keeping this great transportation option in business.

ABRAHAM'S TRANSPORTATION SERVICE INC (718) 739-3994 16
ACE-VIP TRANSPORTATION INC. (646) 296-0388 5
ALEXIS VAN LINES INC (917) 434-1614 41
ALPHA VAN LINE (516) 285-0750 13
B.Q.E BUS SERVICE INC (718) 690-3318 7
BLACKSTREET VAN LINES INC (646) 296-0388 26
BROOKLYN VAN LINES INC (718) 676-0504 40
CALLAVAN TRANSPORTATION LLC (718) 709-7131 3
CEDI TRANSPORTATION SVC (718) 523-0705 13
CITIED EXPRESS INC. (718) 399-8888 3
CITIVAN LINES, CORP. (718) 772-7885 17
CITY EXPRESS CORP (888) 646-8666 32
CITY LINK CORPORATION (718) 723-7269 29
COMMUNITY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, CORP (718) 297-0715 45
CONFIDENCE TRANSPORTATION (516) 285-0750 6
DESTA TRANSPORTATION (718) 327-4083 20
DORCAL EDENWALD INC (718) 994-0834 10
EARLY BIRD TRANSPORTATION INC (718) 217-2308 8
EASY TRANSPORTATION CORP (718) 712-7390 17
EDEN'S TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION (718) 308-5965 2
EIGHT STAR INC. (718) 886-1700 10
FELLOWSHIP COMMUTERS INC. (917) 868-7032 5
FLEXIBLE LINE INC. (347) 551-0593 3
FLUSHING VAN SERVICE INC (718) 236-2082 27
G & E EXPRESS INC (718) 539-7777 22
G & E EXPRESS INC (718) 539-7777 15
GRAND APPLE TRANSPORTATION CORP. (718) 492-8888 11
GUYMACK EXPRESS INC (347) 728-4701 4
HAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE INC (718) 666-5062 2
HCWC INC. (718) 425-8388 5
HENG TONG TRANSPORTATION INC. (718) 439-1111 8
HUMMER TRANSPORTATION INC (718) 723-3430 6
J & HE TRANSPORTATION INC (718) 709-8004 23
JAH LOVE (347) 387-4263 11
L & H (NY) TRANSPORTATION, INC. (516) 620-2932 8
L & W EXPRESS VAN SERVICE CORP (718) 879-2220 23
MARIO'S TRANSPORTATION INC. (718) 748-4100 12
MILLENIUM TRANSPORTATION INC. (718) 439-1111 2
MONTEGO VAN SERVICE INC. (718) 481-7715 14
OGO VAN SERVICE CORPORATION (718) 209-3660 5
PEBBLES TRANSPORTATION INC. (516) 354-3337 21
PRESTIGE CHOICE TOURS INC. (917) 586-8842 3
RED COLOR VAN SERVICE INC (212) 529-6060 10
ROYAL ROSE TRANSPORTATION LLC (718) 593-9290 15
SCARLET GIRL VAN LINES INC (718) 481-7715 5
SUNSET SERVICE TRANSPORTATION INC (718) 539-7777 24
TD VAN SERVICE INC (718) 331-6688 5
TRANSXPRESS SERVICES,INC (718) 899-9348 23
WHITESANDS TRANSPORTATION, LLC. (718) 723-7676 6
YOURS 'N MINE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE, INC. (718) 527-5519 6






















































































































































7 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a regular driver in the neighborhood and as a pedestrian, I loathe/fear the dollar vans. I don't know why they are allowed to operate outside the bounds of the law!! The number of times I have seen dollar vans run the red light at Flatbush and Midwood is mind blowing. I NEVER cross in front of one without making eye contact and waving at the driver. My car was almost T-boned last Sunday by a van running that light - and I had all my kids in the back! Then, the driver proeeded to cut me off and block my route all the way to the zoo. I know Imani Henry is out there every day complaining about police harassment - but from the way I see it, the police need to be cracking down on illegal maneouvers big time before someone dies.

Alex said...

Wow, that's a lot of vans out there on the road.

I've noticed that van driver behavior completely changes north of GAP for the better. I'm guessing that's due to lack of enforcement and a more limited traffic pattern.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

They're not all Flatbush. There's the Eastern Parkway Route, and Utica. During summer they run vans from Williamsburg to the beach. I almost took one from Riis Park last weekend, but they wanted $6 a person to go to Brooklyn College. Gouge!

North of GAP things do settle down...a bit. But then the 78th Precinct is perhaps the most under-worked in the Borough! Plenty of time to crack down on Quality of Life issues, and the political will to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

I tried the dollar vans a few times from Prospect Heights to PLG/Flatbush. They are generally faster than the buses but boy are they dangerous. Not just as a passenger, but especially as a pedestrian. Then I realize that they only exist because there is a demand. So my little way of voting is to not ride these vans. If it's not their speeding, it's the fact that they constantly honk their horn. Noise pollution is real, and they make worse an already loud neighborhood. Too many "con's" that far outweigh the "pro's"

mug of mead said...

Yes, the dollar vans exist on Flatbush because there is a demand. I hardly ever use them anymore because I have an unlimited Metrocard, and I don't want to pony up the cash out of pocket. However, if I were in a hurry to get somewhere by a certain time (because an appointment or the place will close) and I've been waiting 20 minutes for a B41, I'll bite the bullet and take it.

TPTB doesn't seriously to improve the B41 though?

Don Mel G said...

Not all drivers are reckless. Speaking from a drivers point of view. I drive illegally as you guyz call it. If the way some guyz drive change there will no longer be any real complaintz about the vanz at all. Other than the Illegal vs. Leagal van and driver. You could be in a lgal van and the driver might not be, or you could be in an illegal but the driver is lagally lisence to operate. Either way they are there due to demand and a meanz of employment. Don't kill those that are doing something to provide for their families. At least they're not out selling, or robbing people.

Unknown said...

I left my baby diaper bag on the van last night and all I'm asking is can you call me back at 3479041193asap I live at 155 woodruff avenue