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Ford E-Series (Econoline) | by JLaw45
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Ford E-Series (Econoline)

This is a route taxi, a type of public transport that falls sort of in the gap between the full fledged bus and the standard taxi cab. In many parts of the developing world (ex: the Caribbean), route taxis are the primary form of public transport available to the masses. They don't use strict timetables and do pickups and drop-offs at unmarked points along major commuter routes, which are sometimes fixed but often just semi-fixed and flexible. This one is in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY.

 

As my description above should indicate, the route taxi has sort of an anarchic and highly informal nature to it, and their operation is often not centrally controlled or regulated. This form of informal transport is frequent in Queens and other parts of the New York City metro area now because of the large number of Caribbean migrants present there.

 

As the advertisement on the back of this and many other local route taxis indicates, most of these vans are owned and/or operated by Caribbean migrants (the bulk of whom are Jamaicans but many of whom are Trinidadian, Guyanese, Dominican, Grenadian, etc). Route taxis operating in the USA like this one are a little more well regulated than their foreign counterparts, but they're still pretty informal forms of transport (ex: they still stop pretty much wherever they like, still have no strict timetables, etc). Most of the route taxi operators in the NYC area seem to be using the Ford E-Series - I didn't see any other vans in their service. Ford has finally stopped making those, so we'll see which way the drivers decide to go in the future.

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Taken on June 11, 2014