NEW YORK (Jun. 25)
A communally-endorsed, privately-owned enterprise to provide door-to-door transportation for Jews throughout Brooklyn on an around-the-clock basis will start operations tomorrow with three cars driven by young Orthodox Jews, the president of the company said today.
The enterprise was organized to response to the need for such a service stemming from the reluctance of drivers of regular taxicabs to enter some areas of Brooklyn with high crime rates where many Jews live. Moshe Kahan, who quit a job with a Brooklyn car rental service to organize the Shomrim Car Service with two other Orthodox Jews as partners, said that a single telephone number had been established at the firm’s headquarters in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The telephone is manned by the three partners 24 hours a day. Its existence is being publicized in local English and Yiddish media and by posters being placed in 1,000 synagogues, stores and other public facilities throughout the borough, Mr. Kahan said.
The president said that the service was created after months of discussions with Jewish communal leaders. Under New York City law, such a car service may operate as a private enterprise provided its drivers do not pick up passengers on the street. Mr. Kahan said calls to the company’s number will be relayed to the radio-equipped Shomrim cars which will be stationed throughout the borough. He said the firm hopes to have 10 cars in operation by the July 4 weekend.
All drivers of Shomrim cars will be Sabbath observers and most of them will be yeshiva graduates, he added. The service will not operate on the Jewish Sabbath and holy days. Fares are set as close as possible to regular taxi fares and they will not be higher than such fares, he said. Drivers will work on commission. The company buys and owns the vehicles. Mr. Kahan said he and his partners had sufficient access to financing to assure the purchase by the firm of all cars needed to meet whatever demand develops and that there would be no problems in obtaining additional drivers.