TLC Commissioner David Yassky came to the CB6 Transportation Committee to introduce this service on the night of the tornadoes. It is very much a work in progress. We all wish to have the B71 back. In the meantime, Council Member Brad Lander sent out this note to mark the start of the new service - and to ask for your feedback. So tell him (and tell me in comments, for that matter) - how is it? Your feedback will help make the best of a difficult situation. Brad's note to constituents is below:
Today is the first day of the new "Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program" that the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (NYC TLC) has launched to provide shared ride van service along the former B71 route bus route.
As I am sure you know, the B71 bus route, which ran along Union Street and Eastern Parkway, was eliminated by the MTA in June, over the vehement objections of neighborhood residents, as well as myself and my colleagues. This new "group ride" service will never be a full replacement for the B71 bus service, as it does not meet the needs of disabled commuters and does not take MetroCards or allow transfers. I plan to keep fighting for the restoration of the B71 and other essential bus routes.
Nonetheless, given that the MTA has eliminated the route, I am grateful to the TLC for offering this new service in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, the Columbia Waterfront District and Park Slope.
The vans will charge a flat fare of $2 per ride. Vehicles will be clearly marked with the words "GROUP RIDE VEHICLE" on their exterior, and will have unique identifying decals in several locations, so be sure to check for these markers before you get on board.
The new vans will make the following stops, although riders may also request to be dropped off at locations along the route that are not among the specified stops.
This is a pilot program, so we are eager to hear your feedback. Please contact my office at 718-499-1090 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your experiences, opinions and ideas regarding this new program.
My colleagues and I will continue to fight for restoration of more complete MTA service throughout Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, the Columbia Waterfront District and Park Slope, but in the meantime I hope you will find the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program useful.