Published on September 15th, 20120
Brooklyn’s ‘Dollar Vans’ – Illegal, but Very Popular
–Sumathi Reddy, reporter for the Wall Street Journal , writes about the city’s illegal commuter van network.
Eevery day, dollar vans barrel along Flatbush from downtown Brooklyn. Past Atlantic Terminal, on to Grand Army Plaza, through Park Slope and Prospect Park, they head into the heart of Caribbean Brooklyn, all the way to Kings Plaza mall.
Nearly all on Flatbush are run by Caribbean operators and ridden by people from the Caribbean. Such commuter vans are not limited to Brooklyn: A large network operates out of Jamaica, for example, and vans shuttle residents and employees between the city’s three largest Chinatowns.
While there are hundreds of legal commuter vans that ply their trade in the city every day, it has been estimated that there are an equal or greater number of illegal ones.
The Flatbush vans in particular have long sparked complaints about noise, safety and legality.
Interesting video report on the Dollar Vans and their impact on the people of Brooklyn (2006) http://youtu.be/6wVBAw8fi08