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BrooklynBus last won the day on October 25

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  1. Apparently, though obvious to us, it wasn’t obvious to the MTA that no one (except for bus fans) wants to stay on a bus longer than necessary. Waiting 45 minutes in the bitter cold for a bus is something I never want to do again. And people wonder why some would take their car instead.
  2. That is certainly true. I remember once reading about a politician who obviously never rode a bus making a comment that there were too many buses in Downtown Brooklyn. He was around Adams and Joralemon where like a dozen routes pass and most are one or two stops from the end of the route where most of the people had already gotten off or had not gotten on yet. Not only didn't he realize that, he thought they were all on the same route, so he commented to the press, why do we need a bus running every minute that carries only a handful of passengers? He claimed the MTA was being wasteful with all that service. As far as the other comment that the are sufficient, that is exactly what the MTA thought when they proposed the B44 SBS. They stated that it would be so attractive with its quick service, people would switch from the B36 and the B4 to go to the instead of the Brighton line. That never happened and they had to cutback the 2 minute B44 rush hour service after the first pick.
  3. Plenty of people depend on the eastern portion of the B4 especially in the rush hour to get to and from the subway. When KCC is not in session and there’s is no beach service, B4 buses are just as crowded as the B49, yet no one would suggest to cut that route at Sheepshead Bay Station during those times. There even is ridership on Neptune Avenue which is why service was returned there in 2013. When the MTA cut midday and evening B4 service in 2010 to CI Hospital, their first plan was to terminate it at the hospital during non rush hours. I wrote to them that buses on Neptune Avenue at 2PM carried full seated loads in both directions, so how could they discontinue it? So they redid their counts and based on what I told them, they started afternoon buses to Knapp Street at 1:30 PM instead of 4:30 PM. They even told me so.
  4. Because of irregularities in the grid system, there are many instances where we cannot meet the maximum walking guidelines to a bus stop of a quarter-mile, known as transit deserts. Increasing bus stop spacing will greatly increase the numbers not within acceptable walking distances to a bus route and will decrease the attractiveness of bus routes. And since the average local bus trip is only 2.3 mikes, the amount of time saved for the average passenger by eliminating bus stops is minimal at best. The purpose is mainly to save operating expenses, not to help the bus rider. Still this wouldn't be bad if those savings were put back into providing more service. But it is not. The savings will go to reducing the deficit. Why have walking guidelines, if you are just going to ignore them? There are no plans to operate routes closer together to maintain the walking guidelines.
  5. So what exactly is your point? That walking an additional 45 seconds is insignificant? What about my other points? That many would be beyond the quarter mile standard to walk to a bus stop; some have difficulty walking and can't walk at 3 mph; why pay $2.75 to walk for half your trip?, what about inclement weather?, the greater chance of missing a bus the longer you walk, that buses may not stop anyway at lightly used stops so eliminating them is of little benefit, that eliminating heavily used stops would overload remaining stops increasing fare abuse, etc. Also, some stops are still 500 feet apart, so the extra walking would be more than 45 seconds.
  6. No one ever said operating cost reduction is bad. It is only bad when it has a negative effect for the passenger. Consider the fact that non-revenue miles was once considered a bad thing that should be minimized. Now it is considered good because non revenue trips can be made at a lower operating cost than when passengers are picked up. So as a result many partial trips to and from depots which used to carry passengers, now run in non-revenue service. So we now have some trips traveling half-way across boroughs out of service and in the MTA’s misguided thinking, this is deemed a more efficient operation. The MTA decides which trips run not in service when the passenger loading guidelines can still be met without these trips. Okay In theory, but doesn’t work in practice because the wrong assumption is that all buses are running on time which of course is not the case. So in practice, you can have an overloaded bus bypass a stop because it is late and too full and right behind it is an empty bus not in service that won’t pick up the passengers that were bypassed. That never happened when those partial trips were passenger trips. Of course if you reduce your operating costs, you can use that money to run more trips but that doesn’t happen. If it did, every routine schedule change would show a net zero change in operating costs. Instead, those savings are used to help balance the budget not to provide additional service. We know that happens because every time a schedule change is announced, it is associated with an operating cost savings of several million dollars. Where are you getting a “40 percent” decrease in trip time from? I don’t see that anywhere. Are you saying buses are operating 40 percent quicker because of stop consolidation, or passenger trips are 40 percent quicker because of it? What I do see in what you quoted is this: “this indicates that stop consolidation had no appreciable effect on service reliability”. I thought it was supposed to improve service reliability. I don’t consider diagonal streets “grid irregularities”. They supplement the grid. A grid irregularity is a street without through service like Albany Avenue in Brooklyn, so there is a wide gap between the remaining north south routes creating long walking distances to them.
  7. I guess I supposed to be impressed by the two papers you cited. I am not. Just because a paper is published in a journal or someone writes a Masters Thesis doesn’t make everything stated correct. The data needs to determine the results, not predefined conclusions deciding the data collected. First, here are my problems with the first undated paper. First it is undated, so we do not know how old it is. The entire tone of the paper is how the operator can be benefitted with goals to reduce operating costs. I am not disputing the conclusions that wider spacing reduces costs and improves reliability. But what about the impacts to the passenger which are glossed over? Here are a few quotes: “The findings indicated that bus stop consolidation had no significant effects on passenger activity, whereas bus running times improved by nearly 6%.” What is meant by “no significant effects on passenger activity” and how do they determine what is significant? Where is the discussion on passenger trip time? The time spent on the bus is not the only variable that needs to be considered. Where is the discussion on the effect on ridership? Another quote: “For example, Benn (footnote 5) cited a 1992 study conducted by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority showing that after an increase in the distance between stops of more than 40%, resulting accessibility declined by only 12%.” So who decided that “only 12%” is insignificant? If I stated ridership declined by “only 12%, wouldn’t you have problems with that statement and say 12% is significant? So why is 12% insignificant when talking about accessibility? Also, I was once interviewed by Benn, and wasn’t impressed. He also was fired by the MTA for inappropriate conduct. Quote 3: “In contrast to the existing 37 stops, the model indicated that the optimal number of stops was 19, with several at new locations. Average spacing increased from approximately 200 to 400 m. Passengers’ average walking time increased 0.60 min, whereas their in-vehicle times declined 1.8 min.” How can an increased walk of 100 meters, over 300 feet, take a little over a half minute? Who can walk 600 feet in one minute? That would mean a mile in under nine minutes. Someone would have to be running to the bus stop. Now the Masters Thesis. “Bus stop consolidation was found to have reduced bus travel times and improved schedule reliability on the route, without adverse impacts on ridership.” Again, the entire focus is on speed and reliability, not the effect on passenger trip time. Second quote: “Review of coverage area Generally, a quarter-mile walk is considered to be a reasonable distance that customers will walk to a bus stop. With a detailed neighborhood map, the quarter-mile coverage area was sketched out by tracing all of the possible walking paths, following only legal walkable paths (usually streets, but sometimes also sidewalks, public paths, stairs, etc). Areas that would lose quarter-mile access to a bus stop as a result of a bus stop closure or relocation were scrutinized carefully; if high-ridership generators such as schools or multifamily dwellings existed within the lost coverage area, then alternative bus stop placement scenarios were evaluated. In areas with a regular grid street system and existing bus stop spacing of less than 1000 ́, the lost coverage area from revising the bus stop spacing to 1000-1200 ́ is typically small. However, irregular streets and gaps in the grid may make the lost coverage much larger. Figure 5 shows an example of a sketch of the coverage area.” The important sentence here is the last one. What percentage of New York City has an irregular grid system? Probably 75 percent. The only places it is fairly regular is Manhattan north of 14 Street, Bedford Stuyvesant area, and southwestern Brooklyn. Even central Brooklyn’s grid is broken by Kings County Hospital and Holy Cross Cemetery. Queen’s grid is totally irregular, Staten Island has no grid, and the Bronx has many topographical issues. So one can assume that increasing bus stop spacing will have a negative effect in those areas since many would now be outside the quarter mile they would be willing to walk. And the data presented does not dispute that. Third quote: “This represents a 7% ridership increase, at a time when many of Metro’s other inner-city bus routes saw a slight decrease in ridership. However, it should be noted that some additional service, approximately 8 trips both directions, mostly in the late evening period, were added to the route between 2002 and 2003.” We all know that there is a direct relationship between increasing service levels and increasing ridership. Had there been a 7% increase in ridership or no reduction in ridership, without a service change, we could conclude no negative effects due to bus stop removal. But that is not the case. We have no way of knowing, that with the same service increase, and with no bus stop removal, the ridership increase would not have increased by 10 percent. So to conclude there were no negative effects or no significant negative effects by removing bus stops, from the data presented, would be irresponsible.
  8. Your logic is flawed The added three minutes and two minutes do not cancel each other out. They are cumulative. So if my trip previously was 30 minutes, it is now 35 minutes or about 16 percent longer. As far as short stop spacing discouraging longer trips, all heavily used routes either have limited or SBS service or a subway alternative. Buses are usually for shorter trips.
  9. Request a stop is only for getting off the bus right? You can't ask a driver to stop for you at a non bus stop when you get on. So it only works half the time. And if they removed stops on a case by case basis, I have no problem with that. I was basically responding to the 1,000 foot standard that another poster proposed. I still believe it makes little sense to remove very lightly utilized stops that 70 percent of the buses skip anyway which was the case with my stop. Heavily utilized stops should not be removed either even if all are close together because the remaining stops would become overloaded and more prone to fare evasion. Only closely spaced moderately used stops should be considered for elimination. But a law requiring cars to give the right of way to buses pulling out from bus stops would save much more time than eliminating bus stops. A bus saves an average of 12 seconds by eliminating a stop. Buses sometimes wait 30 seconds to a minute until they get the right of way when pulling out. Two states have such a law.
  10. I disagree with you that the chance of missing a bus is not greater the further you walk along the route to the bus stop. Yes, most of the time it makes no difference in trip time because you are walking instead of waiting. But for some trips it does make a difference. My stop was removed in 2006, so I have been able to compare the differences for 13 years now. When the bus did stop, I just missed a bus about 10 percent of the time. Since the stop was removed, that increased to about 30 percent and I only had to walk an additional 200 feet. If I had to walk an additional 400 or 500 feet, there would be a much greater chance of missing a bus that I would have been able to catch at my corner. Missing a bus usually adds 10 minutes. If buses are bunched it could add 20 minutes. That would turn a trip previously taking 30 minutes to one taking 50 minutes. Even if that happens only ten percent of the time it is still significant. More significant than the ten seconds the bus may save by skipping the stop. And as I stated before, because of the low usage of stops in the area and only one bus in six was previously stopping anyway. The time savings by eliminating this one stop was insignificant even if you multiply the ten seconds by all the people on the bus. And how many people know about request a stop since it is barely publicized? And I don’t see how stopping at lightly utilized stops affects bus bunching and unreliability. Wheelchairs and traffic are a much bigger factors affecting bunching. As far as buses stopping at major activity centers, that may account for one end of the trip. Few are starting and ending their trip at an activity center. And as I stated the 500 feet to walk with 1,000 feet spacing does not take into the account the walk to get to the bus route. If you have service gaps like no bus between Utica and New York/Nostrand Avenue, the additional walk with further spaced stops would put both routes B44 and B46 out of reach for many. As far as longer distance riders, on local routes they account for a small minority of riders, since the average local bus trip is only 2.3 miles. And don’t forget many routes are SBS or Limited, so you have many bus routes with widely spaced stops anyway for longer distance riders. Why would we want to make every route, even low usage routes, Limiteds? In areas where you have the choice of taking a subway or a bus, the bus stops definitely need to be closer together. I never said that some stops couldn’t be removed on a case by case basis. But applying a standard of something like 750 to 1000 feet all over would be a huge mistake. You would lose many more riders than you would gain. Walking long distances in bad weather is not inducive to attracting riders and certainly not for someone who has difficulty walking. Those people have to be considered.
  11. Isn't it amazing that in 1978, when I made my southwest Brooklyn proposals to ten routes, all the communities loved it. There was only one written complaint received. In fact the only other complaints were from the parts of the proposal the MTA changed which had to be undone. That proves when a proposal is a good one, people like it. So what does that tell you about MTA proposals which always receive protest?
  12. If bus stops are that far apart, then we would need the routes to be much closer together. Walking a half mile or three quarters of a mile at either or both ends of the trip is ridiculous. That's why people use Uber or car service. They want more direct service. Also, just because there is a bus stop, doesn't mean the bus stops. Many stops are skipped anyway so no time us saved by their removal. Riders are just inconvenienced and their trip takes longer if they miss a bus because of the extra walk.
  13. Stops spaced at least every 1,000 feet would be ridiculous. Don't forget you first have to walk to the bus route and then up to another 500 feet to the stop. That means many would have to walk a half mile or more at either end. What if you are only on the bus for a half mile or a mile? That would mean at least half your trip you would have to walk. So why pay $2.75 for only half your trip? It doesn't make sense. Not to mention the longer you walk, the greater the chance of missing the bus and lengthening your trip. And don't forget about those who have difficulty walking.
  14. Supposedly the passenger loads are not heavy enough to warrant them.
  15. I was the one who suggested the B83 to the MTA. They initially rejected it, but after studying it for a full three years accepted it. They also thought they couldn’t operate buses on the Belt Pkway until I told them they only needed a permit from DOT. Shortly after I informed them of that requirement, buses started to regularly operate on the Belt Parkway not in service from Ulmer Park to both ends of the B1 route.

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