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Upgrades for crowded subway & buses

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Upgrades for crowded subway & buses

BY DORIAN BLOCK

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

February 19th 2008

 

alg_bus.jpg

Alvarez/News

Bus riders at Fordham Road Plaza hop on. Long waits may soon be a thing of the past.

 

Bronx commuters used to long waits can soon rejoice.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled a $13.7 million set of enhancements to the Bronx’s subway and bus lines, increasing current service and creating new routes to transport the growing borough.

 

Much of the money will be spent extending hours on several bus and subway lines, but the priciest single project is a $3.2 million new limited-stop bus — the Bx50 — that will run between Fordham Plaza and LaGuardia Airport.

 

Currently, residents who want to avoid a pricey cab ride take a bus to Flushing, Queens, and transfer to another bus to get to the airport, or they take the subway to 125th St. and a Manhattan bus to Queens.

 

"Bronx residents who either work at LaGuardia Airport or who want to ride public transportation to or from a flight have a very difficult trip to the airport," said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for NYC Transit. "By establishing a fast bus route from Fordham Plaza down Webster Ave., through the center of the Bronx, people will have a direct, one-seat ride to the airport."

 

There are about 1,000 riders every weekday who enter the subway in the Bronx and then transfer to the M60, which goes to LaGuardia, according to MetroCard data. Seaton estimates the new bus will cut 20 minutes off travel time to the airport.

 

The Bronx enhancements are part of $46 million in improvements across the city that were adopted last year when the MTA approved fare hikes.

 

At the time, officials did not know if there would be enough money to follow through. However, with continued increased ridership, transit officials say they will most likely be able to approve the enhancements in the next month or two.

 

Most of the improvements are scheduled to begin in June, with the LaGuardia bus and few others scheduled for September.

 

"Right now we are waiting to see how the first-quarter revenues shape up, and if they come in as expected, we should be able to do the entire program," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

 

Along with increases in 7 and L train service in 2007, the enhancements — including increased service on the 1, 4, 6 and B trains — will be the first subway service increases meant to relieve overcrowding in four years. While some of the enhancements are new, several restore service that was cut in 1995.

 

Second to the LaGuardia bus, the most expensive item on the list is a new bus — the Q94 — connecting the Fordham Plaza and Flushing business districts.

 

From 1998 to 2007, average weekday ridership on the Q44 and Q20, two existing buses between the Bronx and Queens, increased by 50%, far above the average 18% bus ridership growth citywide.

 

Seaton said bus usage between boroughs has been growing tremendously citywide, and the TA is responding accordingly.

 

The Straphangers Campaign, which often criticizes the city’s transit system through its advocacy for riders, could not help but praise the plan.

 

"The agency usually has to be dragged kicking and screaming, and I have to say this is a little more proactive," said Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the group. "My instinct is that the enhancements are creative and would be popular, particularly the increases in service. They are thinking out of the box."

 

Other big improvements in the program include 24-hour service on the Bx1, Bx3, Bx5 and the Bx13 routes, and an extension of the Bx36 route to Home Depot on Zerega Ave., a change that was requested by elected officials, community boards and Home Depot, on behalf of its employees. The extension will also serve the Castle Hill Houses and several other employers on Zerega.

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all i can say now is that sounds good.. but when that happen ill believe it.... that bx50 is a good idea thou

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Its about time the Bx is getting some service enhancement. And that Bx50 should be a great route and might be fun.

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Wonder which depot gets the Bx50 (toss up between West Farms and Kingsbridge), and who will get the Q94 (most likely Casey Stengel).

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Wonder which depot gets the Bx50 (toss up between West Farms and Kingsbridge), and who will get the Q94 (most likely Casey Stengel).
I'm gonna say a split between West Farms and Casey Stengel.

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Wonder which depot gets the Bx50 (toss up between West Farms and Kingsbridge), and who will get the Q94 (most likely Casey Stengel).

 

I'm gonna say a split between West Farms and Casey Stengel.

 

Why not split both the Bx50, and Q94 between between WF, and CS? It would ease the pressure on both depots. This also leads be to believe that CS may be the first depot to get NG O7's. And I don't think WF and KB will be too far behind either. I think SI may have to wait untill mid '09 to get some. This is only a gyess though.

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Why not split both the Bx50, and Q94 between between WF, and CS? It would ease the pressure on both depots. This also leads be to believe that CS may be the first depot to get NG O7's. And I don't think WF and KB will be too far behind either. I think SI may have to wait untill mid '09 to get some. This is only a gyess though.

 

It's rare they do that (the Q32 runs or ran out of Casey Stengel and MJQ). With two routes they would put one in one and one in the other. LGA and CP are runner ups also. So that gives 4 possible depots.

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Want better bus service. more people ,you need a few more minutes added to the running time,not a minute or 2 added to recovery times.Hammer all double parkers and those that park in bustops.Clearly mark and and enforce the areas where busses turn and pave the roads.

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Want better bus service. more people ,you need a few more minutes added to the running time,not a minute or 2 added to recovery times.Hammer all double parkers and those that park in bustops.Clearly mark and and enforce the areas where busses turn and pave the roads.

 

 

HOW DARE YOU! Telling them to do something that makes sense, and that we have asked for. If you show your mug around here, you will be chased after by a superintendent in a Chevy Surburban with a radio in one hand, and a DAN (Disciplinary Action Notice) in the other. They will steer with their hips, since they got it like that.

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Its about time the Bx is getting some service enhancement. And that Bx50 should be a great route and might be fun.

 

Agreed. I'm excited for when it starts.

 

There's a mistake in that article, though - the Q20 doesn't go to the Bronx. Only the Q44 does.

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