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checkmatechamp13

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checkmatechamp13 last won the day on April 24

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About checkmatechamp13

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  1. checkmatechamp13

    BUS - Random Thoughts Thread

    I'm curious what SIM routes people have used so far. I've personally used the SIM2, SIM3, SIM3C, SIM4, SIM4C, SIM6, SIM8, SIM25, SIM26, SIM30, SIM32, and SIM33 (with the SIM4 and SIM8 being my primary routes).
  2. Option 2 is the better one as far as I'm concerned. The effective fare for pay-per-ride users is lower, and it encourages people to buy the PPR instead of the individual fares: http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/Final-Board-Fare-and-Toll-Proposals.pdf Not sure why on the Verrazanno it has a higher toll after 3 trips for SI residents (with the current plan the first 2 trips per month are the most expensive)
  3. checkmatechamp13

    MTA Snowmaggadon!

    Nah, the S79 would be a mess because between the Hylan traffic itself and the fact that buses going in the peak direction would be delayed getting down in time for their reverse-peak trips. Despite the circuitous route, the ferry would've likely been the best bet. At least that and the subway were running fairly reliably.
  4. checkmatechamp13

    MTA Snowmaggadon!

    @SIMplicity On the radio, they were specifically telling the drivers "Don't pull into the stops, pickup in the street" and I guess the reason was that they didn't want the drivers to get stuck pulling out of the stop. The thing with those last trips is that with the system being a mess overall, you don't know if cancelling those trips would leave people stranded (if the trips that left 57th around 7pm ended up being overcrowded, then people are going to wait until the next available bus, however long that takes). The other thing is, at least on 42nd Street, there's the SIM8, so some riders might've hopped on even if they were intending to catch the SIM8 so it wasn't a total waste (I mean shoot, with the PABT being closed, you never know if somebody will hop on a SIM bus and take an Uber or something across. As you know, there's a lot of NJ plates at the Huguenot SIR station). I do see your point, though. When something like that happens, it might be a good idea to get off at the CSI entrance, walk over to Richmond Avenue, and take the S44 to the ferry or S53 (the S53 has the risk of getting caught in the Verrazanno Bridge traffic and the traffic in the surrounding area). The North Shore route it takes is much less congested than Victory Blvd (sometimes it does get congested, but if you see traffic on Post Avenue, guaranteed it's 10 times worse on Victory).
  5. checkmatechamp13

    BUS - Random Thoughts Thread

    What they mean is that the limited-stop buses will make all of the corresponding local stops. They mentioned it multiple times on the announcements this morning "If you're a 98, you're doing a 48, if you're a 96 you're doing a 46, if you're an 84 you're doing a 74. The 93 is considered it's own separate route so you can skip stops". (Not sure why they mentioned the PM-only S84 during the AM rush unless they knew ahead of time they were planning on doing it the whole day. Honestly by the PM rush, service seemed to be back to normal). The S89 & S93 are always considered their own separate routes (so on "reduced weekday service" days when limited-stop service doesn't operate, the S89 & S93 still run, but from what I recall the S93 runs a reduced schedule). This morning I saw some posts about the SIM4X being cancelled (which makes sense because if there's missing buses, it's better to have them missing from the SIM4X than the regular SIM4, because everyone along the route can use the regular SIM4, but only people at Marsh Avenue & Westport Street can use the SIM4X)
  6. checkmatechamp13

    MTA Snowmaggadon!

    It took me over 4 hours to get home, and from what I've read on social media that was the norm lol The one major thing that could've been done was reroute the "via NJ" buses through Brooklyn because (from what I heard), that was about an hour faster because there were accidents on both the Gowanus and NJ Turnpike. Personally, I took the SIM25 and had a relative pick me up in Travis (my normal route is the SIM4/8). Normally I wouldn't care about standing, but with traffic being the way it was, I was expecting the SIM buses to take longer than the ferry and I figured being on the bus that long I could actually get a good nap lol (so I let a SIM25 pass and waited for one that was a block away but spent 15 minutes sitting at the traffic light at 42nd & 8th). Insane that a few inches of snow can cause such a delay, but at that exact moment you have to make the best of the situation.
  7. checkmatechamp13

    BUS - Random Thoughts Thread

    Where was that taken?
  8. checkmatechamp13

    Express Bus Advocacy Group

    The standard procedure would be to wait until the middle of next year when they release the 2018 ridership statistics (and then you'd have to account for the fact that the SIM routes only operated for a little over 4 months, so they'd probably make you do the calculations yourself). But like VG8 said, I'm pushing hard for them to release all of the statistics that they used to justify each individual decision (both before the changes and after the changes). As riders, we deserve to know the logic behind all of their decisions, whether we benefit from them or not. (A good example was when they moved the SIM23/24 to 34th Street. All of the people who were asking for it to be brought to 34th Street were happy, but all of the people who liked the quicker approach via 42nd Street were angry. Without statistics, you're just moving stuff around and have no idea if it's the right decision or not) One of the planners actually told me that ridership was up overall, which I have a hard time believing. (If I had to guess, ridership on the South Shore went up because the routes were more direct, ridership on the North Shore remained stable or maybe had a slight increase, and ridership along Hylan Blvd dropped....but again those are just my guesses). The only way I can see ridership being up is if they're counting all of the people who were transferring as two riders (e.g. If they transfer from the SIM10 to the SIM6 along 23rd Street, they count twice).
  9. I'd say 42nd Street is the less congested approach into Midtown compared to 34th Street, so if I had to guess, those people are driving from Academy route territory to the SIM25 because they don't want to transfer from the Academy routes at "Checkpoint" and risk having to stand on the SIM22/25. One of the things I suggested (I'm not sure if I mentioned it on here, but one of my ideas was to extend the SIM4X/8X to the South Shore, and have the regular SIM4/8 cut back to the SI Mall when the SIM4X/8X operate (and of course, adjust the schedules accordingly so that loads are balanced). The SIM8X saves about 8-10 minutes compared to the regular SIM8, so even if it takes a little longer than the SIM23/24 (or 22/25), it might speed the trip up enough to get some Woodrow Road riders who find it more convenient than walking or driving to another route. I say "South Shore" because I believe the SIM4 should be extended to Arden & Drumgoole at a minimum (to make up for the loss of Downtown service in Annadale). At that point, maybe it could be extended to end with the SIM23 (which I believe should end at Pollion rather than Barclay) and provide even more Downtown-South Shore connectivity (It might even pull a few riders off the SIM1 if they live west of Richmond Avenue and find it quicker than going through Hylan) I agree, Hylan Blvd was their biggest screwup overall. Well, one of the things that I've been begging them to do is release the statistics, both those that they used to justify the initial changes and all of the subsequent ones after August 19th. There were a lot of people who benefitted (myself being one of them....at least for my rush hour commute....off-peak is a different story but that will be fixed in January). The thing is, it's always going to be people who lost service who you're going to hear from (and there were a lot of them as well, not sure if I'd say they're the majority, but with Hylan being the major corridor that it is, that definitely affected a lot of people).
  10. checkmatechamp13

    Express Bus Advocacy Group

    The problem with all of this is that they're not releasing whatever analysis was done (if any) that supported any changes made (in either direction, both the initial change to 42nd Street and the change back to 34th). Of course the major complaint is going to be the lack of 34th Street service since the South Shore portion is more direct, so there's not much to complain about there....the change to 34th Street was the only controversial change (and maybe removing some of the stops) but you have to consider that the people along 42nd Street aren't going to complain if the bus is doing what they want, they're only going to complain when it goes back to the slower route (which may also be further from their jobs). Was the split 50/50, 70/30 in favor of 34th Street? (I know some people don't care either way) The thing to consider is that there's also increased ridership that justifies a higher frequency...I'm sure the direct Tottenville-Downtown service attracted some riders to the transit system, and the same with the new stop at Bloomingdale & Veterans. I don't have any statistics (and as I've said, I would love to see them), but I suspect ridership is still up on the South Shore overall (meaning, west of Richmond Avenue and south of Arthur Kill Road, inclusive). I think the fact that the SIM25/26 run less frequently (individually) than the X22 has more to do with the fact that they split up the X22 ridership base than with the SIM2 taking the Tottenville riders who used to take the X22/22A to Midtown and backtrack (so in other words, I think Tottenville/Princes Bay riders filled up those buses to warrant the extra bus per hour....if like you said, there's about 8-10 riders on each bus who get on along Hylan, then for 6 buses per hour that's 48-60 riders....basically an extra busload per hour, which makes sense because the X19 basically ran every 12 minutes at the height of rush hour, not every 10) The other thing to consider is that, if necessary, somebody can take the first bus that comes and transfer at Checkpoint (except on the SIM26). That's why it's important that we have universal 3-legged transfers as originally promised. I mean, say you pull 1 bus per hour off the SIM2, SIM25, and SIM26, now those routes run every 12 minutes instead of 10 and you have a 3 bus per hour option (20 minute headways) to Downtown.....doesn't seem too bad....especially since the X19 ran every 12 minutes under the pre-August schedule.
  11. Yes, we're still waiting on confirmation for that Manhattan routing (West Street vs. Church/Broadway). The span & frequency would be similar to that of the X10.
  12. Like I said, inherently, extending the route from Downtown to Midtown (especially up local streets) adds to the inefficiency of the express system because it's drop off-only in one direction and pickup only in the other direction. With the limited money we have, we need to question whether coverage on the Manhattan side or Staten Island side is more important during off-peak hours. Objectively, the January 2019 will lose coverage on the Staten Island end and cost an extra $1 million per year because they traded a Downtown-only off-peak route (SIM2) for a Downtown/Midtown off-peak route (SIM33C). In the meantime that Midtown coverage is wasted on many people because their first instinct is to get off Downtown and take the subway anyway. To me, I have a problem with encouraging people to drive to the express bus but sadly the Borough President being so pro-car doesn't help matters. At least covering more areas on Staten Island would ensure a reasonable option exists for more people and more areas (and if they want to drive to one of the remaining Midtown routes so be it, but at least people who don't have cars have a better shot at having an express bus near them)
  13. I take whatever is faster in the given circumstances. Point blank, period. Like I said.... I switch off depending on how the traffic situation is. Sometimes it's quicker to take the SIM8 through Midtown, and sometimes it's quicker to take the SIM4 through Downtown. I just check the traffic and make my decision accordingly (and of course, if there's an issue with my regular bus once I reach the transfer point, I'll take another express bus and then a local bus on the Staten Island end). To me, the sole reason I use the express bus is for speed and travel time. You of all people should know how much the ferry sucks and the lengths many people (myself included) will go to avoid it. But again, travel time is the key here....on heavy traffic days (e.g. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving) I'll either take the ferry home or find something to do so I can leave later and avoid the traffic. Sure, I'd love to take a train, but one isn't available near me (and definitely no train to Manhattan anywhere near me. No point in driving to Elizabeth to pay more money and take even longer on the NJT Northeast Corridor Line) so the express bus is the next best thing. Like it or not, there's a lot of "fake express bus riders" and "phonies" (as you like to call us) or "subway people" (as she likes to say) living out here. We have no problem taking the subway, but we need frequent, reliable bus service to and from it. For our personal reasons we chose to live here and use the express bus as our extension of the subway system and like it or not, we're not going anywhere anytime soon. Like I said, all of the people who switch off between the SIM4/8 should tell you that I'm not the only one who feels that way. It's off-peak where I suggested running most of the service Downtown, a couple of routes to Midtown, and calling it a day. As I said, there is a very real tradeoff between Staten Island coverage and Manhattan coverage during off-peak hours where there's limited demand. I've said it before and I'll say it again, why give Midtown service to people who are just going to run into the subway anyway? There are certain neighborhoods where the majority of express bus riders think the same way I do, so give them what they need, and then with the savings, give service to another area of Staten Island that needs it, instead of this all-or-nothing approach. I've said this from the beginning....the off-peak plan was rushed and continues to be rushed because we never had that conversation about whether off-peak coverage is more important on the Staten Island side or the Manhattan side.
  14. Since you love misquoting me, I will repeat myself..... ....and if that's not enough..... ...and if that's still not enough....
  15. Who said anything about super-express trips? You could skip all the stops you want and the primary factor in determining the trip length will be the amount of traffic you have to deal with. High spirits? If I traveled at the height of rush hour, sure, the subway might be a little more crowded, but you know what else would be more crowded? The roads that the buses travel on, and I'd still do anything I can (which may or may not include making extra transfers) to avoid the magic word......traffic! And again, during what time period are you referring to me forcing riders onto the subway? This is half the reason we're in this mess to begin with....everybody starts twisting words around and missing whatever valid point might've been made....I'm talking about off-peak service patterns, and you're talking about my travel patterns and super-express buses which both apply to rush hour service.....

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