3.27.2005

Hating on Mini Buses

Where to even begin on this one. If you are not from around here then you may not know what I'm talking about. Aside from the NJ Transit buses we have some independently owned and operated buses that run many of the more popular routes in the state. These were at first a local phenomenon limited to 1 or 2 routes. Over the years however they have expanded to other cities within the state. I have seen these in other states run by municipalities or large organizations like senior homes and hospitals.
Let me take a moment that I am a huge supporter of small business as I am a small business owner myself. I am also against overregulation. This unfortunately is a case of not enough regulation or perhaps non-enforcement of regulations.
A large majority of these drivers have limited abilities in this direction. Combine these limited driving abilities with the huge amount of these vehicles on the road and the fiercely competitive nature of the business and you have a recipe for disaster. Unnecessary traffic, traffic accidents and general rudeness are traits that distinguish this sub-species of homo-sapiens. The DOT needs to step i and take a look at what can be done about these guys. NJ Transit is in large part responsible for this. Instead of stepping up service in key routes, they in their infinite wisdom cut back. Thus allowing these shuttle jockeys to get a toe hold.
It wasn't all that many years ago that complete identity packets were being sold on the streets to illegal immigrants which included a drivers license a illegally obtained, yet valid one. For a small fee this could and frequently was upgraded to a CDL with whatever endorsements you wanted/needed. How many of these guys are still on the road?
Wake up NJ Transit. I am a loyal customer, but there are only so many nights that I can wait for up to an hour for a bus going my way comes along. In that one hour I may watch 5-6 shuttle vans go by. You do the math. $0.10 cheaper, more frequent. I must note that you do take your life into your own hands when you get in one though. You also might get tortured by being forced to listen to obnoxiously loud bachata music. Maybe I'm just over sensitive. Nah.