A dollar van (also known as a jitney) is a privately owned type of bus service used to carry passengers in the United States of America. Dollar vans typically operate in neighborhoods within urban areas that are under-served by public mass transit or taxis. Some of the dollar vans are licensed and regulated, while others operate illegally. Passengers may board them at designated stops along their route or hail them as share taxis. The name comes from the fact that it would only cost about one dollar or so to ride with such transit. Dollar vans are primarily owned and used by inner-city African/Caribbean American, Latino, and Asian American populations. Travelers cite cost and greater frequency as factors in choosing jitneys over larger bus service, whereas safety and comfort are cited for choosing buses.
New York City area
In New York City, dollar vans serve major areas that lack adequate subway service. The vans pick up and drop off anywhere along a route, and payment is made at the end of a trip. During periods when even limited public mass transit is unavailable, such as the January 2005 Green Bus Lines and Command Bus Company strike or the December 2005 New York City transit strike, dollar vans may become the only feasible method of transportation for many commuters. In such situations, city governments may pass legislation to deter price gouging.
- Richardson, Lynda (December 12, 1999). "As Transit Strike Looms, 'Dollar Vans' and Ferries Are Poised to Cash In". The New York Times.
- Sabulis, Tom (August 26, 2013). "Response to Recent Conversation". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- "Dollar Van". The Big Apple. February 16, 2005
- Joiner, Bryan (January 20, 2005). "Long Stalemate Expected After Union Quits Strike Negotiations". Queens Chronicle.
- Henderson, Christopher (December 22, 2005). "Crowds Overrun LIRR Station While Traffic Crawls In Jamaica". Queens Chronicle
- Wohlwend, Lynn (April 6, 2006). "Council Eyes Color Coding To Make 'Dollar Vans' Safer". Queens Chronicle.
- Jitney Buses of New Jersey