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About 67thAve

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    West Hempstead, New York

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  1. Anyone here wanting to take bets as to what gets to live and what gets to die, especially since these could be worse than 2010?
  2. Printed publicity, in this day and age, is something that still needs to be taken seriously - even if the Internet has reduced how often people use it. By making customers wholly reliant on real-time tracking (knowing the MTA, they'll probably stop creating full PDF timetables for each bus route once the new site is fully up and running), the agency is no longer beholden to any set schedule - the only guideline for service the customer would be aware of would be the frequency charts listed on the back of the bus maps. Of course, that's only for Luddites, so the MTA thinks - everything is online, as everyone has (and loves!) to use their cellphones, even when they are sleeping. Who cares if the bus is 15 minutes late - whoops, it cannot be late any longer, for there is no longer any fixed schedule! Also, notice how little money this saves the MTA. Many transit agencies (more often abroad - in particular, this was the case when I went to Germany in May) are able to cover the costs of printed publicity by including advertisements and/or charging a nominal fee for the publication. Notice how many Guide-a-Ride cases have empty panels with nothing at all? Why not use that as ad space to cover the costs?
  3. What should scare you is that the n31/32 are probably among the most reliable services that NICE operates.
  4. I would say this is actually a very good set of service changes for NICE, especially considering that about a year ago, every service change was just a service cut. Splitting the n22 into a inner local section and an outer express section will speed up trips a lot for passengers going east of Roosevelt Field, but I'd local services to get more crowded because the n22x doesn't service 165th Street. Splitting the n24 into two weekday legs basically returns weekday service on the route to its previous form (minus the East Meadow branch). I'm not familiar enough with this route to see how it will play out. Swapping the alignments of the n41 and n43 services in Roosevelt is a solid booster for frequency along Main Street (since the n43 was not synchronized time-wise with the n40 along that leg), and since the frequency on the n41's Babylon Turnpike leg is about the same as the n43's frequency (every 30 minutes on weekdays, though with some minor variations in the case of the n43), the frequency of service remains the same. However, Babylon Turnpike and Grand Avenue passengers now have to transfer to reach Hempstead and Mineola, but they do gain a one-seat ride to NCC and Roosevelt Field (I'd say that the former two are slightly more important to the average passenger). NICE should've also done away with the n41 designation here, as the route is now the exact same as the n40. Shifting the n6 to a headway system isn't terrible due to the route's frequency: every 10 minutes weekdays and Saturdays, and every 12 minutes on Sundays. I saw that they only did the change for weekdays, when I think changing it for weekends as well would have been acceptable! Alas, I cannot praise the headway management system on my own route (the n31/32), as since September, despite the service increase to every 15 minutes (which it didn't need, if you ask me), what was likely once one of NICE's more reliable routes has really sagged (there are regular 30 minute gaps in service now). The Shore Road shuttle (basically an extended variation of the old n28) was not something I thought I would ever see coming to light, and the reality is that this route will likely not last very long. Based upon the different style of publicity (the online timetable is completely different from the rest of the routes in terms of layout, font, etc...), as well as basing the service around connections to the LIRR, the Shore Road shuttle is clearly an attempt to capture the LIRR commuter market... but the service's two main intermediate stops are a retirement home and an industrial park, which are places where LIRR riders will likely not be coming from or going to. And even if it was a commuter shuttle similar to the n57, it would almost certainly fail, because most LIRR passengers would rather not use a bus. If this route somehow manages to get some riders, I could see it becoming a secondary rush-hour branch of the n23 (the n23a?). Otherwise, I'll give it a year tops before it gets cut. If NICE really wanted to find a better place for its minibuses, mid-day service on the Elmont Flexi would be a good start.
  5. The MTA would never consider "bustituting" train services if they were on the chopping block because the bus operations of MTA are designed to facilitate travel within New York City, not from the suburbs. On a different note, perchance this is a good time for NICE to get itself into providing express bus services that run along/near the Queens/Nassau boundary and go head-to-head with the MTA...
  6. Now that's one hell of a surprise... and one stupid maneuver! It surprises me that the MTA would rather cut reasonably well-patronized express bus services in New York City rather than, for instance, various mid-day and weekend trains that get low ridership (for instance, the 10:46 outbound from Valley Stream to West Hempstead, which I have used, is a six-car consist... but I've never seen more than five passengers aboard at the same time on the damned thing).
  7. Surprised that no big service cuts have been announced yet, especially since I have heard the budget is more dire right now compared to 2010. If that is the case, say goodbye to weekend Greenport service, all off-peak West Hempstead service, and so on...
  8. Well, I guess that means goodbye to printed schedules (both Guide-a-Ride and regular leaflets) for MTA bus services, unless they do print-on-request. Then again, there's really little need for them outside of late night hours, express routes, and some outer borough local service. Wouldn't be surprised if they begin charging a dollar or so for hard copies of bus and subway maps. What I would like to see, however, is a third-party organization take up the challenge of creating some sort of "late-night transit guidebook" with full subway/bus maps and timetables for the five boroughs. I'd pay money for that!
  9. I agree with your opinion on the new designs. They're solid! One strong point of Transdev seems to be graphic design. You should see some of the stuff (both PDF and paper... I could upload images of the latter) that they publish for their operations in the UK and France.
  10. I don't think that increasing mid-day service on the n31/32 to every 15 minutes from every 20 is a smart idea. While it does benefit me as it is the nearest route to where I live, mid-day buses on the route are typically around 50-75% loaded. It doesn't need more frequent service, and assigning headway schedules would have been better for a busier route, such as the n4 or n6. Another thing that makes me wonder is how NICE is going to sustain higher frequencies on these routes, both with the fleet and with finances. Last time I checked, NICE hasn't bought any new buses in the last couple of years, and the quality of the fleet is still not the greatest. The financial situation has improved, but it is still not great, and increasing service now could dig an even bigger hole in the future. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that switching the frequency-based operations versus timed operations is an attempt by NICE to hide their poor on-time percentage...
  11. The PDF file is littered with typographical and geographic errors (East Rockaway instead of Far Rockaway, for instance, is the terminal of the n31/32). But that's not the main point: I feel this plan is too ambitious. Frequent service: This category seems to be loosely defined, even in the current tense, as the n48/49 are listed, when they have a midday frequency of only 30-40 minutes combined, while the n25, which is more frequent mid-day and during peak hours, is not listed or shown. Regardless, I am going to infer the that a "frequent network" likely means service at least every 15 minutes Monday-Friday. I certainly don't think the n26 could sustain such frequencies, and it doesn't even have service outside of peak hours as of now. Other routes, such as the n1 and n25, as well as the n43 when NCC is not in session, possibly could sustain 20-minute headways, but I don't think there's enough ridership on these routes for service every 15 minutes. Other routes, such as the n22, n24, and n48/49, likely could sustain frequent headways through part of the route, but beyond, for instance, NUMC on the n48/49, I don't think the route could sustain anything more frequent than every 30 minutes. Express service: Now this makes sense in terms of the routes chosen for expansion. Many of them are long, and have heavy peak traffic flows going to/from Queens. However, I don't think that any of them besides the n4 and n6 could sustain off-peak service, and only the n6 could likely sustain weekend service. Direct service to Manhattan: Risky, but not a bad idea. Areas like Levittown, which have little in the way of train service, really benefit from this. I'd also add services from locations along the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway, and perhaps open a park-and-ride or two. But even with the love/hate relationship Long Islanders have towards the LIRR, the bus still has a high risk of getting stuck in traffic in Queens, and unlike buses coming in from New Jersey, there is no gigantic bus station to feed the routes into, meaning that they have to navigate Midtown traffic. Still, I could see some people using these services, particularly heading to jobs located closer to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Evening and late night service: I see little problem here, except for the n43 having 24/7 service. The n26 could sustain perhaps one or two late night trips, provided they are timed for shift changes (if those exist) at the hospital on Community Drive. Weekend service: I see no problems... wait, where's the n15? How about the n31/32? Except for the mapping and typographical errors here, not bad. New Hempstead and NCC bus stations: In the case of the both, I agree. Hempstead's bus station is probably one of the worst I've ever used (terribly unclean, lots of people loitering, and often a lack of security), and could certainly use a new layout to handle the artics on the n6. NCC certainly has the passenger numbers to handle a bus station, and would also help to fix the spaghetti web of routes on campus - provided they eliminate a couple of current stops to speed up travel. "Smart stops": Not a fan. NICE is still on shaky ground financially (in my view), and things like these have high chances of being vandalized. Rather, simply improve current stops, with more benches, more shelters, and perhaps Guide-a-Ride-esque timetables at each location. If those are vandalized, it would cost a hell of a lot less to fix. County-wide Able-Ride: It's needed, but per passenger, it certainly costs a lot. Still, in my view, good thinking. "Flexi-zones/community shuttles": It's a mixed bag here. A few of the zones make sense (such as the train shuttle to Great Neck - would this possibly replace the n57?), but a few would be better off returning as fixed routes (such as the Elmont Flexi), others serve areas with relatively dense bus service and therefore there is little need (such as the Nassau Hub zones), and others serve locations that simply would never get enough ridership (for instance, West Hempstead station, with its uncrowded trains and infrequent departures, could not sustain such a service). Signal priority/BRT: Could make sense on the n6? Possibly. Other routes? Not so much. Even with the n6, I feel that mid-day and weekend express service would be enough. Overall impression: Very ambitious, but is there ridership? More importantly, is there funding? About a year ago, many of us here likely would have expected that NICE would consist of perhaps a few routes running in/out of Queens within five or so years. Certainly things have improved since then, but there's still a backlog of service that needs to be reintroduced, buses needing to be replaced and maintained in better shape, and Mitchell Field can't squeeze in any more buses. The idea for express service to Manhattan, likely the best part of this plan, very much resembles Transdev's commercial gamble in the UK with its CityZap services between Leeds and York, as well as between Leeds and Manchester. CityZap relies on a model where higher-quality buses compete with the train with lower prices, but in return, you sacrifice speed. Leeds/York has been successful so far, but there are signs that ridership is on the decline. The Leeds/Manchester service is shutting down this month after about a year of operations, despite high hopes and large amounts of publicity. Transdev is aiming way too high. The system simply has not reached a standard where many, if not most, of these elements can be put into place without significantly increasing costs - something that the county can't afford to do.
  12. I could always try that out for a few days, and then see if it works. It seems well worth considering. It certainly will. I'm stuck with five days a week this semester, since there were issues with my transcript getting mailed, so I didn't get accepted until April 30th, meaning that I couldn't register for classes until very late.
  13. The N6 is on the opposite side of town from me, and despite it's frequency, it's excruciatingly slow, even if it's cheaper. NICE is also not very reliable (I commuted via NICE to NCC two years in a row, and would rather not step foot on a NICE bus again). That may not be a bad option, though it would be tight (the Hunterspoint train arrives at 829 and my classes start at 910).
  14. I'm going to be attending Hunter College starting in the fall. I will be taking train #907 (arrives at 8:29 to Penn, it's the only direct of the day) in, and am considering various routes via the subway to get from the railroad to Hunter. As I am not a regular subway rider (though I will be, come this fall), I am aware that other members on this forum will have much more knowledge about reliability and speed than I do. The options I am considering are: 1) LIRR to Forest Hills >>> walk to 71st/Continental >>> F to Lexington/63rd >>> walk to Hunter College The biggest appeal of this route is that I don't need to transfer between subway services. I may also be able to grab a seat at either 71st or when people get off at Roosevelt to transfer to the 7. However, the F, from what I hear, is very delay-prone, and I will have to walk a few blocks from Lex/63rd to Hunter, which may be a bit irritating in inclement weather. 2) LIRR to Woodside >>> 7 express to Queensboro Plaza >>> N/W to Lex/59th >>> 6 to 68th/Hunter College This route has the benefit of being nearly as direct distance-wise as option #1, and also happens to avoid the walk from Lex/63rd to campus. However, this option requires two transfers. If I can pull of the transfers with minimal wait (which I doubt is possible, thanks to the current state of the subway), then could it possibly be faster than option #1? 3) LIRR to Penn Station >>> E to 53rd/Lex >>> 6 to 68th/Hunter College This option requires backtracking across Manhattan, but it only requires one transfer. This is the least appealing to me, not just due to the longer distance, but also due to the fact that transferring at 53rd/Lex can be cumbersome due to the crowds and narrow escalators. However, I could easily be wrong. Out of these three, which one would likely be the best option? If anyone has any routes I have not considered, you are welcome to reply with those.
  15. I'm a bit late to the party, and not as familiar with the bus network as many others here, but I'm surprised that no one has suggested cutting the Q111 trip to Cedarhurst. It's a very out of place run, with no marked stops. To be fair, I'm not certain as to what kind of ridership that lone trip gets.

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