Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Transportation Alternative

Did you know that there is a commuter van that serves the old B71 bus route on Union Street? Meet Osmond, whose van company was approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to serve our area and the old B71 route. He's been taking me to work every day since December, shaving 30 minutes or more off an unpleasant commute on two buses. I tell him he's my hero, but he truly is a champion for our neighborhood.

When the MTA eliminated the B71 bus last summer it was a big loss for our isolated community. To get across town through Park Slope by bus we now have to take the B61 either downtown and change buses, or meander through Red Hook to get to the north Slope. Commuter van companies were offered the route to give riders an alternative.

Because the ridership is still low, they don't make regular stops unless you call them first to arrange it. Call the number posted at the bus stop, 718-676-0504, or you can call Osmond directly on his cell: 347-526-9504. Rides are $2 cash. Weekdays he has been picking up riders at Union and Columbia St at 7:55 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. As demand increases they will introduce a second van. He has a few other regular riders during the day, but the van needs more business to making serving our neighborhood worthwhile. In fact, Osmond has fought to keep working here because he likes this area and believes demand will grow.

If you work in Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, or Crown Heights, or want a direct ride to the 4th and Union train, the Food Coop, Central Library, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum or Botanic Garden, give Osmond a call.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I had heard long ago that these vans existed, but I've never seen any evidence other than a sign on Union at the old bus stop by Calexico. You have increased ridership by at least one!