New Van Lines Cause Headaches For Passengers, Owners

This summer, amid protests, lawsuits and public outcry, the Metropolitan Transit Authority severed five bus lines in Brooklyn and Queens as part of it's deep citywide service cuts.

Among the eliminated lines was the B71, which traveled from Prospect Heights through Park Slope to Carroll Gardens, leaving roughly 1,000 daily passengers without direct transportation through Brownstone Brooklyn.

In place arose Brooklyn Van Lines, the byproduct of an MTA and Taxi Limousine Commission agreement that enabled the private van service to retrace the eliminated bus lines. However, according to frustrated straphangers, the arrival of private public transportation has been coupled with inconsistent service.

"Unfortunately, because of a lack of a publicized schedule, riders have complained of waiting up to one hour for a van," said Assemblywoman Joan Millman, who considers the private van service a stop-gap measure while she fights for restoration of the B71.

"This is not the way to build a business," she said.

Oppositely, the owner of Brooklyn Van Lines, Sulaiman Hauq, complained that the severe lack of passangers threatens not just their ability to offer frequent service, but any service at all.

"It's a tough time trying to develop something that was dropped three months ago by the Transit Authority", says Sulaiman Hauq, owner of Brooklyn Van Lines.

While the B71 provided service to roughly 1,000 passengers a day, the Brooklyn Van Lines have yet to surpass their one-day peak of 12.


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