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About JAzumah

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  1. You are better off figuring out how to secure your future than running 100% service for 30% of normal ridership. The new bus orders are a clue to what express bus service is going to be left. The Federal Reserve will bail out the MTA if needed, but it is not going to be free.
  2. The only reason why the subways are closed is because politicians do not want to propose a plan to deal with the homeless in a meaningful way. Free shuttle buses move the homeless issue onto buses. That does not solve the problem. How do you access control free buses? The express bus system should have a peak/off-peak fare structure. A lot of people would opt for a $3.50 off-peak express bus outside of Staten Island.
  3. There is WAAAAAY too much daylight express bus service and virtually nothing new at night replacing the subway. The bus system is carrying 30% of its normal riders overall. I would make a guess that express buses are tracking similarly to commuter rail at around 20-25%. That means MTA express bus service should be operating at 50-60% of its normal capacity with a base rush hour schedule of 30 minutes and a base off-peak schedule of 60 minutes. The BM Downtown/Midtown splits should be on a base schedule. That schedule should be reviewed every two weeks for adequacy. Local bus service should be operated at 75% of normal schedules and bumped up as needed. Meanwhile, buses should be running a subway shuttle parallel to the closed subways every 20 minutes. They should not be free. There should be a double transfer issued between 12AM and 5AM across the entire city. That is cheaper than Uber. In addition, certain core routes should run every 20 minutes overnight, such as the B41, B46, M15, and Bx12.
  4. That will not happen in this environment unless they duplicate an existing MTA route.
  5. My legal fight created a set of "bright lines" for anyone operating a special operation service in New York State backed by voluminous research. NYSDOT did not assess any fines because in their eyes, I had followed their guidelines and used big, strong bus companies which gave them no reason to question the safety of the operation. They are hyper focused on safety. Everything else is negotiable. The MTA's unofficial position is don't poach their services and they are not going to complain. They are well aware that they do not have the resources to provide all of the needed services. You underestimate the "shadow boxing" that goes on in the background. 2010 was an interesting year. You were going to have commuter vans replace discontinued bus routes, but the city took so long to let them operate that by the time they did, all of the passenger demand dried up. The essential connector plan was supposed to include commuter vans. Where are they? Commuter vans are the only unsubsidized public transit option in NYC and if they get TOO successful, it puts pressure on the MTA and its labor agreements. If the city took every illegal van off of the road, the legal guys would be rich. If they have NYSDOT operating authority, they are fine. They should not collect any money on the bus unless it is done through a coordinator. The driver should just drive (like a charter) and coordinators should handle everything else. The fastest way to ramp up would be to try and replace the hospital bus network that is slowly being wound down. You might be able to get the operator a start-up grant through FEMA as they are going to be interested in methods to social distance on transit.
  6. The reason I was shut down is because I made very powerful people look stupid. You can run through legal challenges with your own equipment, not someone else's. You can claim you know what you are doing or you could spend your time pouring through the actual filings made by TransportAzumah's legal counsel at the time. If it was good enough for Academy's lawyers to reference when NY Airport Service sued to block the transition of the airport services to Golden Touch, it is good enough for you. When you break the rules, you are fined, not sued. Remember when some of the Chinatown carriers briefly put buses on the Chinatown-Flushing route? Did they get sued? No, they got fined and impounded. If your operator operates in this sector under its own name, their insurance company will assess their vehicles as an Urban Bus. The base rate is $48,000/bus/year for that (which puts them out of business). You will have to shield them. Have you figured out how to do that? The height of arrogance is assuming that all the people that tried before were idiots. My mentor was the only African-American to ever be awarded a regular route authority from Nassau County to Manhattan and lots of the names you know fought him. He ran that route for almost 20 years. People like us use the tools we have until we can do better. Along the way, we meet people who can help us get to the next level. No one is going to fight you in the current environment unless you duplicate an existing MTA express bus corridor. Your biggest challenge is economics. Know your numbers and figure out how you will get to them.
  7. The numbers do not work at a 50% load factor (social distancing). Your yield at $200/month is $5/pax. The optimum case is a one hour sector with a 45 minute return deadhead. You use two buses on a route with a peak headway of 45 minutes. AM schedule: 600a, 645a, 730a, 815a PM schedule: 315p, 415p, 515p, 615p 28 x $5 = $140/trip 4 trips daily = $560/bus That is not enough money to operate the bus and maintain it to pass NYSDOT. At $63/week, you have a shot. 28 x $6.30 = $176.40/trip 4 trips daily = $705.60/bus You can do $650/bus with a bare bones operation except for SI, which would be $700/bus. Keep a set of membership cards on the coordinator in case someone wants to ride who has not signed up. Make sure you get their information for the passenger list (including phone number). If they do not provide their information, do not let them ride. Create a master customer list in case you become too successful and get sued. Update it at least weekly.
  8. 35' is too much. Maybe 30' tops. There is not a lot of space to turn around at some of the stations.
  9. 1) You can't actually limit a public transit system to "essential workers only" because the definition is nebulous. 2) Drivers should not be doing that. It is an assault risk. 3) You can remove the homeless, but you have to have standard published parameters to do so. You can automatically remove anyone that smells bad for a public health reason. If they don't smell all that bad, then you have to use a checkpoint system where someone can observe that a passenger has no destination. I would equip every officer with a body camera that is assigned to this work. So, if you see someone that has no obvious destination, you can pull them off at terminals. Otherwise, they would have to be a "potential health hazard" in some form or have a prohibited item (like a shopping cart with items not fastened or an excessive amount of freight). In light of the subway crime spike despite ridership being down by 90%, this should be an around the clock operation.
  10. I'm shocked...completely shocked. No need for the services to be free on the expresses. Make the fare $2.75 and give the routes a new designation overnight.
  11. They will try it, but it will only be successful with a Via style operation on a microbus (9-14 passengers) that has a designated territory. Typical Ubers and Lyfts are too small to handle the natural fluctuation of passenger loads. If Uber/Lyft up their volume of Metris vehicles, they could make it interesting. If you look at the overall trip costs, the small FHV model looks great. If you look at their unit costs, the picture would be horrendous. Typical paratransit costs about $90/hour to operate. Uber/Lyft would try to get $75-80/hour to have enough wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the pool. The fully allocated MTA bus cost is $225, with the cash cost being about $180/hour. I would rather that the MTA maximize the utilization of its own fleet for normal operations and only use Uber/Lyft etc for paratransit. In a semi-normal environment, subways should run at night unless construction windows are needed. It is folly to even consider replacing subways with FHVs.
  12. Your problem is a "you" problem. No one really cares that you don't like me, including me. You have lots of good ideas and some bad ideas. I will always evaluate you on your ideas and nothing more. The reason why the FTA no longer funds capital program at an 80/20 split is because of all the low volume light rail services that were used for economic development instead of transportation. Transit people just loved having new transit and didn't care about how things got paid for. At a 50/50 split, it has been a real grind to get anything done. The functional federal split will soon be 40%. Using resources properly matters. My biggest problem with the MTA is its inability to focus on its main task, which is providing the maximum amount of transportation with a minimum amount of BS. Of course, I have also recommended solutions to them to solve some of these problems. Nothing gets done in a simple manner unless a major event happens (9/11 etc). This current environment is the most permissive environment for funding they will have and we have Cuomo and De Blasio using the MTA as their play thing again. The only way to make it stop is to deny federal funds for this behavior. The cost of having 340 bus operators extra for 4 hours overnight will cost the MTA $150,000-200,000 per night on top of the cost of running the subways underneath those buses. The cost to have additional police in the subway would have been a quarter of that TOPS. That is simple math. When your agency is asking for $3.9B after just getting $3.6B and saying it has no other option but to get the money, you don't burn cash doing stupid things. You explain to the governor that people aren't going to trust the MTA if it seen as burning money.
  13. There are other places where I can be more useful at this point. The fact remains that it is stupid to have trains running empty because we can't reliably keep homeless people off of them. If you HAVE to run the trains, then they should run with passengers. To run shuttle buses on top of trains that are already running with three different police agencies (NYPD, State Police, MTA Police) unable to control homeless people on trains is a monument to ineptitude. Then, we'll get December hearings about needing a bigger than scheduled fare hike because "we don't have the money". Oh, and those capital program funds? Yeah, we burned that all too. So, you'll get less subway for more money and let's hope it works. No thanks. The bigger virus is politicians making decisions that they have not thought through because it is an "emergency" situation and they break things that aren't easily fixed.
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