Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New York's Shadow Transit System

Aaron Reiss put together an interactive map and article for the New Yorker on New York's "shadow transit" system. It consists of dollar vans and unofficial shuttles that serve areas of the city poorly served by public transportation.
Dollar vans began running as a result of the transit strike of 1980. From the article:
Today, dollar vans and other unofficial shuttles make up a thriving shadow transportation system that operates where subways and buses don’t—mostly in peripheral, low-income neighborhoods that contain large immigrant communities and lack robust public transit. The informal transportation networks fill that void with frequent departures and dependable schedules, but they lack service maps, posted timetables, and official stations or stops. There is no Web site or kiosk to help you navigate them. Instead, riders come to know these networks through conversations with friends and neighbors, or from happening upon the vans in the street.
Reiss spent a year riding these vans and put together summaries of the major areas served along with videos taken from the vans. The videos and descriptions can be accessed by clicking each area on the online map. The routes continuously change according to demand. This makes it impossible to show all routes but the "major lines and connections" are shown here.

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