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Sep 24, 2001 06:02 AM

Travel from Manhattan's to Flushing's Chinatown

  • j

A while ago, Time Out NY had a tiny mention of a car service which runs vans from Bowery and Bayard to Flushing Main St., for $2. Has anyone on this board ever ridden with them? I've done the 4-to-the-7 often enough, but it seems the extra dollar, round-trip, would be well worth it, if they're reliable.

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  1. While I did read about the van to Flushing, the idea didn't appeal to me as much as the LIRR to Main street. I think it would be the Port Washington Line, but have not actually tried it myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HLing

      This van appeals to me because I work downtown. I've done the LIRR (it is the Port Washington line) but the downside is that the train doesn't run all that often--hourly on the weekends--so unless you're nearby to Penn Station you might as well take the IRT to 42nd and take the 7, which is cheaper and more colorful.

    2. I haven't ridden on these vans myself, but I have counted at least 10-15 vans waiting at the Flushing terminal end (Municipal parking lot directly south of the LIRR station) that make the Manhattan/Flushing Chinatown express runs during the weekends (We assume that they run also on weekdays). From what I can see there is no strict schedule for the vans, but basically leave whenever they have a full load of passengers. Previously, the fare was $3 per trip, but as you have stated, the fare has now been cut to $2. But at such a low fare, we wonder how they can make a profit. There is some question if they have the necessary insurance, although the assumption is that they would be required to have a city license to operate a public van service and would therefore have to show proper insurance. Nevertheless, the vans are always leaving full at the Flushing end. I have a neighbor who has taken the van between the Manhattan/Flushing Chinatowns and considers it much more convenient than the subway.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lwong

        I've also wondered how the "dollar vans" which run from downtown Brooklyn to Crown Heights make a profit, but they seem to. As to the legalities, I recall a couple of years ago the city (the current administration) gave the green light to these services (if you've ever been to the "E" terminal in Jamaica you know they basically have control over the whole curb between Archer and Jamaica Aves. as you exit) so I assume there's licensing, but I don't know. $2. is definitely a bargain, and would make the trip a lot more palatable after a workday.