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Inside New York's shadow transportation network

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New York City has one of the best mass transit systems in the world, but there are giant areas that are still inaccessible by subway and underserved by buses. An unofficial system of dollar vans and shuttles sprang up to compensate. The vans can cut commute time in half and serve communities like Chinatown where the residents feel more comfortable communicating in their own language. Some are legal but many are unlicensed. The New Yorker has a beautiful interactive feature on the phenomenon with maps, video, and a history of the dollar vans.