Dollar van protest gains traction with Public Advocate’s support

The commuter van (referred to as greenback van) group of drivers has struggled with town of New York lately to get the identical consideration and respect as ride-share companies, and they’re ramping up their trigger this fall. They’re calling on Governor Kathy Hochul to step in and make insurance coverage prices decrease for these important, licensed transportation staff. 

In the summertime, trade members instructed am/NY that they had been vulnerable to shedding their jobs as a result of insurance coverage was too excessive. Commuter van drivers already serve those that wrestle to entry transportation in outer boroughs, particularly aged communities in transportation deserts, by charging lower than the MTA bus would.

Whereas usually advocating for extra inexpensive van insurance coverage choices from town, they’ve obtained support from Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Council Member Laurie Cumbo from Brooklyn, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Williams has been a supporter for years, since he was a council member representing East Flatbush, and has continued to take action at an Oct. 27 demonstration.

“Every time we make a step forward, they try to bring them back. Again, this always seems to happen primarily to Black, brown and communities of color,” stated Williams, including the drivers haven’t seen a lot change to insurance coverage prices that may typically add as much as $30,000 per 12 months, which is troublesome to make again.  

Williams will probably be working towards Governor Hochul within the 2022 governor’s race. He has filed to enter, after forming an exploratory committee, however as of Nov. 4, he has but to announce. On the demonstration, he addressed her immediately. “As you’re starting to run for reelection, you should make sure that these communities are first in line because they were hardest hit,” Williams stated. 

In his years-long work with commuter van drivers, Williams stated he discovered that many don’t want to be conducting their work illegally, however the troublesome insurance coverage course of can typically pressure them to strive working with out one. They’ve expressed unfavourable run-ins with the NYPD in consequence.

“These are responsible drivers that you’re putting in this situation,” he stated. 

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