The eliminated B23 bus route was replaced with commuter vans, beginning on September 20th, providing the needed transportation to the travelers between Flatbush, Boro Park and Kensington. The B23 was eliminated as part of the MTA’s attempt to close a nearly $800 million budget deficit. This bus line served an estimated 1580 weekday commuters until it was eliminated this past June.

Councilman David Greenfield applauded the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) for implementing this Group Ride Vehicle Program, which will provide point- to- point, shared ride van service between specified pick- up and drop- off locations along former MTA bus routes.

“I thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg and TLC Commissioner David Yassky for responding to our protest of the elimination of the B23 bus line by including our community in the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program,” said Councilman Greenfield. “This community desperately needs public transportation and the TLC’s innovative program will ensure that residents have a safe and affordable way to travel, something the MTA should, but clearly cannot, provide.”

In addition to running licensed TLC vans along the former B23 line, the Group Ride Vehicle Pilot Program will also operate routes that follow the former B39 and B71 routes in Brooklyn, as well as the Q74 and Q79 routes in Queens. The TLC will add five additional routes to the pilot before soliciting and approving companies to operate van service. The vans would transport 6- to 20 passengers, and charge a flat fare of $2 per ride, which is twenty-five cents less than the current price of a MTA-operated bus ride.