The MTA was set to end its temporary For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) program, effective Aug. 30 at 5:00am, leaving some New Yorkers without options for overnight transportation. The MTA cited high costs and the fiscal crisis for ceasing operations.
“At the height of the pandemic, it was critically important to ensure essential workers who were subway-dependent could get to overnight shifts reliably, and without spending considerably more time on their commute than they were used to,” said Sarah Feinberg, New York City Transit Interim President. “Given our significant financial challenges, we are unfortunately no longer able to provide this service to the limited number of people it was serving sporadically, and the even smaller population it was serving regularly. We have recently added three new bus routes – all of which we believe will significantly assist our overnight passengers in this transition.”
The FHV program was launched in May as an alternative to overnight subway service, which had been suspended so subway stations and cars could be disinfected and cleaned thoroughly during the pandemic. Since the program began, roughly 1,500 customers have been using the service per night, costing the MTA over $6 million. The average cost per trip was estimated at $49.
For those who came to rely on the FHV service, the MTA said it is adding three more bus routes that mirror the more frequented trips taken by FHV program users: the B99, the M99, and the Bx99. The B99 connects Midwood in Brooklyn to Midtown West and follows a similar route to the 2 train. The Bx99 connects the Woodlawn section of the Bronx with Manhattan’s West Village. The route travels on Jerome Avenue and down the east side of Manhattan much like the 4 train does. It then crosses west on 57th Street and travels south to the West Village. The new M99 route runs between East New York, Brooklyn, and Hell’s Kitchen, via 14th Street in Manhattan.
Source: AM New York