Brooklyn Cops Crack Down on Cheap Public Transportation

The Brooklyn Paper observes a crackdown on unlicensed Park Slope jitneys:

It's set in Pittsburgh, but we'll let that "New York Premiere" line do some heavy lifting.

Park Slope cops have been ticketing and seizing dollar vans since January, a move activists are calling a racially motivated blow against drivers trying to make a living.

Prospect Heights' 78th police precinct has cited nine drivers and seized 14 of the vans, which these days charge $2 for sometimes-wild rides along major thoroughfares such as Atlantic and Flatbush avenues...

Dollar van drivers and company owners unsuccessfully lobbied to get a shot at the 6,000 livery-cab street hail permits the city sold off for $1,500 each starting in 2012. All but 10 of the permits have been sold, according to city records.

To read the rest—which includes quotes from cops who say the vans are unsafe and quotes from activists who say the crackdown is state-enforced gentrification—go here. My sympathies are entirely with the dollar vans' drivers and their clientele, who are challenging the New York taxi cartel from one end while Uber and similar companies chip away from another direction. Let a thousand transit flowers bloom, especially the most inexpensive and flexible kinds.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Almanian!||

    Everything's a cartel in NYC. Everything. It's rather remarkable to behold in its entirety. A cesspool.

  • Almanian!||

    PS Boston basically the same thing on a bit smaller scale, and - therefore - a little less remarkable to behold. Still remarkable - just a little less so than NYC.

    "If I can
    take it here
    I can take it from....
    any wherrrrrrre....."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Where in the Constitution does it say, "Right to Earn a Living"?

    Rights are granted by the State, and may be modified or rescinded at any time, without notice.


  • Doctor Whom||

    Unless the passengers are all going to an abortion clinic, it isn't a real right.

  • dinkster||

    Abortion clinics should have to go to the women. It isn't fair that these pregnant and emotionally compromised souls would have to travel.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    a move activists are calling a racially motivated blow against drivers trying to make a living.

    Can't it ever just be a blow against people trying to make a living? I know, I know..


  • ||

    The dollar vans have been around for a long time (I used to drive down Flatbush into Brooklyn for work every day), and the cops have been playing this game with them that whole time. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if De Blasio ordered this crackdown to appease some taxi cronies. It seems like the exact kind of thing that New York Obama would do. The good thing is that the dollar vans tend to just keep going no matter what, because the demand is there.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Way to get people out of personal cars and give transit options. If I didn't know better, I'd almost think that stated and revealed policies differed somewhat.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if De Blasio ordered this crackdown to appease some taxi cronies.

    Don't those people understand how much richer and more fulfilling their mundane little lives would be if they were transported to their places of employment in battery powered flivvers by unionized chauffeurs?

    Fucking peasants. So revolting.

  • Medical Physics Guy||

    A rational media would report Bill DeBlasio as the most anti-poor-and-black-people Mayor NYC has ever had. He does little other than attack their few opportunities to better their lives and get out of the ghetto.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    What are the odds de Blasio gets a second term

    I'm going with "substantially higher than 50-50."


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.