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Via Garibaldi 8

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Everything posted by Via Garibaldi 8

  1. What lines do you ride on because I can tell which lines this does happen on... It's usually the X10, the S54 and occasionally the X30 in the morning because the X30 is usually late at night. The X1s are very good and rarely come early but of course it has the highest ridership out of all of the express buses in the city. The S54s just come whenever they want or not at all... Mind you this is a line that usually runs every 30 minutes and is not really crowded once school lets out, so it has happened to me on several occasions where I've waited for an hour after coming off of the X10 or X12 around 09:00pm or so and just gave up and took car service for the short 5 minute ride home. I know it's hard to believe, but it does happen on certain lines. Ridership isn't that great on the S54 so it's easier for drivers to run hot 10 - 15 minutes and get away with it and there's also rarely dispatchers are the X30, X10 and S54 lines. I occasionally see a dispatcher for the X30 and X12/42 at South Ave and Forest and one by 23rd Street for the X10and X12, but that's a rarity. I have never seen a dispatcher for the S54 line anywhere along the line. Until you actually live on Staten Island and commute daily on some of the trouble lines, you really don't know what some of us Staten Island commuters experience. I've been commuting on Staten Island for some years now so I doubt it's in my head. The X12 is also another flaky bus that runs in bunches even when it's spaced 20 - 25 minutes apart. As far as the South Shore buses go aside from the X1 and X17, I've never taken of the other lines, but I have hear horror stories about the X5 about how several buses go missing during the early morning rush and how they run bunched in packs of 3 even because they're being held back at Yukon for some reason.
  2. I agree with you, but countdown clocks are long overdue here and necessary. When I was living back in Florence [italy], in 2004, I went up to Bologna for the day and they already had countdown clocks showing you where the bus was and when it was arriving. It's amazing how far behind we are on so many things transportation wise and how little we're investing in transportation on all levels when the population growth continues here in New York City especially. I took a subway today that I probably would not have taken had the countdown clock not been around because I wouldn't have known that the next train would be a good 10 minute wait, so yes they do make a difference.
  3. Another one of my pet peeves... Express Bus Drivers that don't know the route. This is a huge problem on Staten Island, and this also leads to passengers being stranded. I took an X10 home tonight and the driver didn't know that he was supposed to turn on 32nd and 5th and take Park Ave down. When I realized that he had continued down 5th in error and I went up to him and asked if he was detouring and he goes "Oh!! They told me to turn on 23rd [street and Broadway] and I don't do the X10". Meanwhile he missed two stops and he was already almost 20 mins late with an empty bus when he arrived at 45th and 5th where he almost passed all of us by, which leads me to think he probably missed other people before us. I understand that drivers get thrown out on different routes at the last minute, but what is up with so many guys not knowing the routes? I have never seen this problem in any of the other boroughs except Staten Island. Can someone shed some light on this?
  4. They make it seem as if you could only pay with a credit card... Makes sense now what you're saying, but I really don't see the big hype with these things... I mean sure you can pay a little quicker, but what other advantages would these cards have? I assume that you wouldn't need to have a vending machine around since theoretically if you need to pay for a fare you could tap your credit card and be done which would be a big plus on Staten Island, but what about weekly passes and such? Will you still have to use MVM's for those as well as for refilling etc. or can that be done online or with your cell phone?
  5. Well I've rode the LIRR on several occassions and I think the service is pretty decent overall, but then again for what they pay it should be. Yeah I did notice the countdown clocks too but didn't think much of them perhaps because I don't use the LIRR on a regular basis, but it's definitely great to have.
  6. Well aren't they looking to phase out the Metrocard vending machines? If not then what would be the real advantage of using this system aside from paying quicker? I would say it may be easier too, but that may not be the case for all.
  7. That's interesting because I've been out on Long Island on several occasions and their bus service in many respects is like the local bus service on Staten Island... One bus every half for most parts of the day. Do you think these countdown clocks have had any impact on what time drivers arrive (be it late, early or on time)?
  8. You make good points and I'm sure supervision at times does do that. As far as complaining goes, believe me, I write the MTA a lot, as well as my elected officials, including the mayor, since he is always pushing public transportation. Before I used to just get annoyed, but now I've become motivated actually to see changes made in how the MTA does things. I think the riding public deserves far better service and accountability and in order for that to happen, we need to be far more vocal and demand that changes are made, otherwise nothing will ever change.
  9. For once I've got to give the MTA some credit... The countdown clocks are a blessing to have. I've had the benefit of relying on them on the 4 5 6 line in the city and it seems like the train comes just that much faster with them around. I have not however been able to see how they work on 34th street, which the M16 and M34 use. I am just wondering how soon will these countdown clocks be rolled out systemwide, including the outerboroughs on both buses and trains? I know that they've had a lot of problems rolling the system out on bus lines due to interference from the tall buildings here in the city. Also, how do B/Os feel about this new feature?
  10. I've got news for you... My uncle is a bus driver and we don't always see eye to eye on these sorts of things to say the least. During the transit strike in 2005, I didn't speak to him for a few weeks. To say I was pissed is an understatement. I don't fault the drivers for how things currently are, as much as I fault the MTA because it's their responsibility to see that things are better streamlined. There are tons of things that they can do to make our commutes better, such as seeing that buses connect better, cutting out useless stops on local buses to speed up the commute and so on. As far as I'm concerned, over the last few years, bus and subway service as a whole has become worse and it's not so much because of the service as it is these sorts of things. I will give them credit though... They have done a great job with the website. I use it a ton to check on service delays and so on. What I am really looking forward to is countdown clocks system wide. That would make a huge difference in the outer boroughs where the schedule comes more into play. I love the countdown clocks in the subway.
  11. I believe it may state somewhere that the schedule times are approximate and I totally understand that, so even if the driver comes 5 minutes early, okay fine, but why should a driver be allowed to arrive 10 - 15 minutes early on lines with 20 - 30 minute waits? I mean that just doesn't seem rational at all and since there's no consistency with it, it leads to really shabby service on many lines. I know I'm bitching about it but it irritates me because it just means that drivers can show up whenever, in essence there is no accountability and no sense of customer service. Why is that we shouldn't be irritated for expecting a bus to arrive somewhere near it's scheduled time when we paying for a service? If you go to a restaurant and it's busy and your food arrives an hour later, you would be pissed, so I don't see how this is any different. I mean shit, yeah it's public transportation, but we subsidize this damn system with taxes, taxes and more taxes so even if we say that the system sucks and let's not use it we still pay out of our pockets for it. I think we should expect to get some sort of decent service in return for it with some level of accountability. Not asking much at all.
  12. To answer your question about how I'd improve service on Staten Island, I'd start with better adherence to the schedule. There was a time when service was actually not that bad in terms of buses showing up when they were scheduled, but service has really gone downhill, especially with the local buses. Second I'd make every effort to make as much buses connect in sink with each other as possible. Currently too many bus lines just run with no regard to making connections and considering the long waits on most lines this would help speed up commutes considerably and increase reliability without adding any service at all. How would you improve service on Staten Island?

  13. But I'm just wondering who in the world is actually using it for them to know if it will work or not? To be honest most people still can't even use a Metrocard, so how in the world are they going to implement a technology that few people even know how to use? And for those who don't like using a credit card and prefer cash, what is their option? I'm assuming they'd do away with the Metrocard machines too correct?
  14. If people are leaving at 6am to get to a place at 8am and giving themselves an extra hour to make sure they get there on time, what does that say about transportation here in NYC? Why would people want to leave their cars home for a system that in many aspects is broken and not efficient??
  15. So I've been hearing that the Metrocard is supposed to be no more in the next few years. The MTA is supposed to be running pilot programs with these scanners using Mastercard where you basically "tap" your credit or debit card and go. My question is how are they supposed to see if it's working if they've done so little to advertise it and if and when the Metrocard is replaced, what payment options would we have??
  16. Listen man, you don't need to tell me to leave myself ample time. I'm not that incompetent. I give myself 1:40 minutes or more to get to Midtown every day via the express bus and my commute is usually one hour or so, which is more than enough time so that if something goes wrong, I still have backups that can get me to work on time. The point of this thread was to understand why drivers arrive so early, particularly on Staten Island where so many lines have 20 - 30 minute waiting gaps between buses. If you have buses with frequent service like the X1, if a guy is running hot, no biggie, but guys should not be allowed to run 10 - 15 minutes hot with 20 - 30 gaps in the schedule or if he's the last express of the morning, period. If this is such a problem for drivers to arrive within a reasonable amount of time according to the schedule and they have such ridiculous headways (which they do in some cases) then why isn't the Union making more a stink about it? I would think it would be in their best interest to have more people using the system or am I wrong?
  17. I just hope the MTA is screwing with these lines to kill them like they did on the X16. The areas you're talking about really do need express bus service because there isn't much else that can get them around quickly.
  18. Our jobs don't matter... They'd just tell us to come there even earlier. But I wonder what would happen is there were no passengers riding the buses and subways... How quickly we forget.
  19. That's exactly my point checkmate... I find it odd that they're so strict about having buses show up on time in Manhattan when the waiting times are shorter, but yet on Staten Island they'll let a guy run hot (even when he's the last express bus of the morning) just to sit at a "major stop" for 5 minutes and pick up nobody while he just blew by several stops early missing people. Does that make any sense to you? And then drivers wonder why passengers are so pissed off. I still remember seeing TA workers on the news crying about how they were going to be laid off and some drivers on the X16 said they would be laid off too, but yet when they're running 10 - 15 minutes early they don't think about this stuff. It really amazes me. I'm also puzzled as to why the TA would cause problems with the drivers if they're late or on time? From my understanding, when I rode with my uncle back in the day on lines like the M101/M102/M103 lines, they'd write you up if were early, but NOT if you were on time or late because from their point of view, if you're early, you're missing passengers, whereas if you're late, you're more than likely picking up everyone unless the bus is filled to capacity.
  20. I'm not trying to prove anything. I just wanted an explanation because I'm not so clueless about the situation, but rather wanted to hear what a B/O would say about the situation. I will say that drivers like you help to kill off lines though because if several drivers are doing this, which is the case on Staten Island, then the MTA can use this as an excuse to cut service, because if you're running that hot then chances are you're not picking up as many people, which shows up in the reports. Just remember this though... When your fellow co-workers are laid off because of these bus cuts, don't come crying to the transit riders for help, because it works both ways.
  21. Perhaps, but why would it be needed? I assume there would be a rail link in Elizabeth to the city?

  22. Good point and that's why the X10 should run 24/7 with the X1.
  23. LOL... And how many passengers actually know this "unspoken rule"? Not many and I sure as heck didn't. I generally arrive 5 -10 minutes at the most before the bus is scheduled to arrive because I would expect a driver to show up at the most 5 minutes early based on the schedule, but 10-15 is a bit ridiculous and the problem seems to be that each depot appears to have different headways. On Staten Island the waiting times are long enough at 20 - 30 minutes in most cases, so no one wants to wait 35 - 40 minutes for a bus. My problem with that is that you show up 10 - 15 minutes early and the next guy comes later than what is posted on the schedule, so there's no consistency and that's exactly how lines become overcrowded and buses become bunched, and that is real problem with service on Staten Island more than the actual service. The MTA needs to do a better job in spacing buses and the amount of time they give the drivers to get from point A to point B and the dispatchers need to be posted more on certain lines. I rode the X1 in yesterday and today and both days I noticed that they had a dispatcher right on Hylan and Clove Rd and those drivers adhere to the schedule to the minute. It's especially important on that line because they know if one bus shows up early and misses people it can screw up all of the other X1s behind it. I'm glad you explained this. These are the things that the riding public should know and not just in Staten Island but in all boroughs and should be pressing our elected officials to have changed with the MTA. Accountability on all levels, not just fiscally, but also in terms of service.
  24. SIR North Shore, I totally agree with you. The ridership IS there on many lines in Staten Island, but the service isn't. While the South Shore may use their local buses a bit less than the North Shore, they make up for it with their use of the express bus. The X1, which I took in this morning runs better than many local buses around the city. Part of the reason that the South Shore doesn't use its local bus service like the North Shore does is the commute. No one aking public transportation would take a bus from Tottenville to the SI Ferry unless they couldn't afford the express bus because it takes far too long. What boggles my mind is why checkmate13 thinks that ridership on Staten Island is so low??B)
  25. This thread is NOT about drivers arriving late, but EARLY...

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