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New council transit chair wants more ferry service, policing of taxis

Councilman James Vacca, (D-Bronx), 54, last month took over as chair of the council Transportation Committee. The lifelong Bronx guy sat down with amNewYork recently to discuss this new role:

How will you improve transit?
I want to promote ferry service. We have a vast waterfront in New York City that’s underutilized. If we made it affordable … that’s another alternative to get people out of their cars.

What’s your take on the city’s bike lane push?
I’m open to bike lanes, but there’s got to be some common sense as far as where they go.

What needs to be done with the taxi industry?
I’m definitely concerned that people are boarding taxis that are not registered, licensed or insured.

When did you get interested in transit?
I was always interested in transit starting from eighth grade … with the Bruckner Boulevard bus. The bus never came. We would wait in the rain. The buses were always packed with kids. I got petitions together. I wrote to elected officials. ... The MTA sent out a team of inspectors to check on the Bx5 bus, and by the summer, they had added more buses to the route so we didn’t have to wait so long.

What’s your favorite bus line?
“I do like express bus service. I like it very much. Whenever my wife and daughter and I come to Manhattan, we always take the express bus ... Those are schedules that are adhered to, which I think basically is all you can ask.”

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