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Aboveground 'subway' is comin' our way on East Side


Harry

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A new, faster travel option for bus riders - a "surface subway" - will be launched along First and Second Aves. in October as part of a major city traffic overhaul, Mayor Bloomberg will announce Monday.

 

The plan is the city's biggest-ever push to revolutionize bus travel in New York, which has the most bus riders in North America - and the slowest bus travel speeds.

 

"We are basically building a surface subway for the 54,000 riders who use this route every day," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said yesterday.

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/06/07/2010-06-07_aboveground_subway_is_comin_our_way_on_e_side.html#ixzz0qAXTayud

 

http://mta.info/news/stories/?story=73

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This aboveground subway is SBS!

"We are basically building a surface subway for the 54,000 riders who use this route every day," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said yesterday.

 

First and Second Aves. from 125th to Houston Sts. will be marked with specially painted bus-only lanes - encompassing more than 12 miles of roadway.

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This aboveground subway is SBS!

Such Bull Sh*t? lol jk

 

Drivers would be fuming because there would be less road space. The DOT is going to add not only a bus lane, but bulbs and other stuff. Less driving and parking space. For transit folks, it looks great.. new buses, faster service... local drivers are going to be fuming. I'm not sure how the 2nd Avenue thing is going to coordinated. But drivers won't be too happy concerning the loss of a full lane during weekdays and also the ongoing subway project several storeys below the surface.

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A new, faster travel option for bus riders - a "surface subway" - will be launched along First and Second Aves. in October as part of a major city traffic overhaul, Mayor Bloomberg will announce Monday.

 

I'm not convinced, for two reasons...

 

- The very concept of a Second Avenue Select Bus undermines the idea of a Second Avenue Subway;

 

- The construction of the Second Avenue Subway will undermine the operation of the Second Avenue Select Bus.

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I'm not convinced, for two reasons...

 

- The very concept of a Second Avenue Select Bus undermines the idea of a Second Avenue Subway;

 

- The construction of the Second Avenue Subway will undermine the operation of the Second Avenue Select Bus.

Once the entire SAS goes up, there's no need for the SBS. Construction crews will coordinate to provide the best environment for SBS.

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If it doesn't have rails, then it isn't a subway/rapid transit line. If it is what I think it is, then it's just a waste of time and money. How typical of Mayor Doombubba to support such a thing (as dumb as it is) on his home turf.

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Sounds like a plan.:tup:But how would fare beater control work in such a densely populated route?

 

That has been my little tiff with the plan as well, especially when it comes to the area from 14th Street & below. I guess we'll see what happens when it comes.

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SBS is no good unless there is proper enforcement of the fare being paid at ALL the bus stops. As long as the (MTA) has it set up the way that they do now, it'll be a mess no matter where you put it. And this comes from someone who supports SBS service.

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Sounds like a plan.:tup:But how would fare beater control work in such a densely populated route?

 

As it is now, there is a lot of "farebeating" going on on these specific lines, because during rush hour, there are such ridiculously long lines with angry people going to work that if someone has insufficient fare or no money at all, the B/O will almost always tell them to keep moving so the bus can finish loading and pull out. The buses then get so crowded that no one ever comes back up to the front to pay later. So, SBS probably won't be as bad in terms of losing money as it first appears.

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Plus, the decreased travel times as a result of the fact that nobody has to stop and put in their MetroCard will decrease boarding time, and therefore the travel time, meaning that the MTA can avoid paying the driver for the extra travel time or have them do another run.

Also, the SBS generally increases ridership, offsetting any lost fares from farebeating. The Bx12 ridership is up 20% weekdays and 16% weekends from 5 years ago, and I'm sure part of that can be attributed to the SBS.

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I gotta agree, the SAS is years away from opening just the first 3 stations. And it can be decades more [longer] till it reaches just Houston.

Exactly. What the SBS is here is an interim solution. It's not meant for long term. Critics may say its a waste of money, but I think not. If they continue to run it AFTER the SAS goes up from Hanover to Harlem, then yes, that is a waste.

If it doesn't have rails, then it isn't a subway/rapid transit line. If it is what I think it is, then it's just a waste of time and money. How typical of Mayor Doombubba to support such a thing (as dumb as it is) on his home turf.

Be pragmatic. First of all, no matter how imprudently it is going to be implemented, it is still a BRT system. BRT differs from traditional rapid transit in that it uses surface vehicles with tyres rather than wheels on steel. I think you are OBVIOUSLY missing the point when you dismiss the SBS from being a rapid transit line. Rapid transit basically means transporting X amount of people in as little time as possible from A to B in an urban environment. Nowhere does it mean that all RAPID TRANSIT systems have to be rail. Bus rapid transit was created because traditional RT systems take too long and too much money to build, and that some BRT lines are built interimly to await a long-term LRT or HRT line. The M15 SBS is an interim rapid transit line to await a long-term heavy rapid transit line, which is the SAS.

 

Secondly, I think fantasising about rail-only projects is selfish if you want to be an urban planner. Look, there's NOT enough money to go around. And there are communities that desperately need a better transport option. Sure, rail is great. But you have limited resources. SBS may not be the most perfect plan, but it is a good enough interim project that can still provide a better transport option to those who live on the East Side.

 

And look, the first stage of the SAS would only directly benefit the people living in the UES. It would be years until the entire SAS gets completed. Are you going to allow them to wait? If I were any city-planner, I would use whatever resources are available and give them something that can satisfy the greater whole.

 

Also, if you want to bring politics in... you have to understand more. It's not just the Hizzoner who is backing this up. You have entire communities nodding away. Sure, it's not perfect and that some people would have to walk a couple of blocks to the SBS station. The people at the MTA hearings were most likely content with the plan. Just because YOU and some other people say it's STUPID, doesn't mean that it is stupid. If it is really stupid, there would be lawsuits filed against the NYCDOT and uproars in community hearings. I believe I have not heard that at all.

 

Many people want the SAS done pronto. But the first stage won't be done in what, 6 years? Are people going to be THAT patient to wait 6 years for better service? If you would them, what would you say? Oh, you want your choo-choo train going under Second Avenue, now. Who the hell doesn't? This isn't 1910 when full length subway lines could be turned up in 6 years. This is 2010 when so many factors would make subway construction expensive and time-consuming. Wake up to the world.

 

Let me tell you this. I want my choo-choo train under Second Avenue as well. Hell, if I was given an option between the two, I would pick the subway anyday. But guess what, this is the reality. Besides, are you one of those residents that could be otherwise benefit from this?

 

Let's talk about being practical and not go off into fantasy.

Sounds like a plan.:tup:But how would fare beater control work in such a densely populated route?
SBS is no good unless there is proper enforcement of the fare being paid at ALL the bus stops. As long as the (MTA) has it set up the way that they do now, it'll be a mess no matter where you put it. And this comes from someone who supports SBS service.

I do agree that the fare-beating issue is going to plague the line. But to be quite honest, what else can you do? You can't place Curitiba-style shelters armed with faregates and have people go through them because it takes up space. Remember you have very little resources to work with. Nothing's perfect in this world. Live what you have.

 

However, I do have to say though, that the new South Ferry bus loop should be a base for more advanced fare collection for the SBS. Because of its wide area and populace of passengers, it could be used as a testing ground for stuff like faregates and have receipts come out so that they could be shown to an officer, until all stations adapt similar technologies. But such technology is expensive and time-consuming. Like I said before, "nothing is perfect in this world. Live what you have." I don't ask too much. As long as the ride is faster and no cars block up the bus lane, I'm happy with the ride.

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The only thing I see wrong about the M15 SBS is that it's not stopping at St. Mark's Place for those heading to East Village. But that can be justified since most of those that head to the Village come from the (6)(N) or (R) trains.

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Comparing this new planned SBS line to BRT is an overstatement, to be compared to a "Service Subway" is completely ridiculous. This new SBS won't even be true BRT without its dedicated ROW lanes separated from the rest of the traffic physically and not merely by painted lanes. DOT proclaims that the NYPD will strictly enforce keeping the lane clear from other drivers but thats never perfect. Also, signal prioritizing is not going to be rolled out for another year or so after SBS has been implemented along the given avenues.

These obstacles keep it from functioning as a true BRT. Bogota's BRT system is a great example of executing BRT successfully and even achieving near to subway service capacities and frequencies and would be closer to be called a "Service Subway". LA's is even closer to that than what our DOT is implementing. Maybe that is why they brand it SBS. The new M15 SBS would be more of a glorified limited bus service than a replacement for a subway. Riders won't compare it to a subway and rather compare it to its previous Bus service. Though, its better than what is in place now and it sure is to fill in the gap from when the SAS is fully built and operating (past phase I).

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Wirelessly posted via (Mozilla/5.0 (Danger hiptop 4.6; U; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050920)

 

The only thing I see wrong about the M15 SBS is that it's not stopping at St. Mark's Place for those heading to East Village. But that can be justified since most of those that head to the Village come from the (6)(N) or (R) trains.

There is nothing wrong with it that's where the local comes in to pick up the people there in the village.

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The only thing I see wrong about the M15 SBS is that it's not stopping at St. Mark's Place for those heading to East Village. But that can be justified since most of those that head to the Village come from the (6)(N) or (R) trains.

I concur with that point. St Marks is fairly busy in that section. However it is close to the 14th Street Station. The point of SBS is to have the least stations possible to serve the largest market possible. Having too many stops would be akin of that of a conventional bus.

Comparing this new planned SBS line to BRT is an overstatement, to be compared to a "Service Subway" is completely ridiculous. This new SBS won't even be true BRT without its dedicated ROW lanes separated from the rest of the traffic physically and not merely by painted lanes. DOT proclaims that the NYPD will strictly enforce keeping the lane clear from other drivers but thats never perfect. Also, signal prioritizing is not going to be rolled out for another year or so after SBS has been implemented along the given avenues.

These obstacles keep it from functioning as a true BRT. Bogota's BRT system is a great example of executing BRT successfully and even achieving near to subway service capacities and frequencies and would be closer to be called a "Service Subway". LA's is even closer to that than what our DOT is implementing. Maybe that is why they brand it SBS. The new M15 SBS would be more of a glorified limited bus service than a replacement for a subway. Riders won't compare it to a subway and rather compare it to its previous Bus service. Though, its better than what is in place now and it sure is to fill in the gap from when the SAS is fully built and operating (past phase I).

First of all, it's SURFACE subway, not SERVICE.

 

By definition, Select Bus Service is indeed a form of bus rapid transit. However infavourable the design is, or how ineffective it is in terms of fare collection, it meets the criteria to be called a BRT line.

 

By basic definition, BRT is: "...a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling. The goal of these systems is to approach the service quality of rail transit while still enjoying the cost savings and flexibility of bus transit." (Wikipedia) Yes, it is Wikipedia, but the definition is accurate.

Allow us to analyse the definition first:

-The definiton uses the word "variety": This means that there is not ONE uniform method to implement faster bus service. That some BRT lines may be very classy, akin to light rail, and that some BRT lines are primitive, just one step above a conventional bus line. I've seen many BRT systems: some have tunnel/elevated running sections and others have a ROW built.

-The common goal is to achieve a carrying potential of that of a LRT line while using bus technology and that it outperforms conventional buses.

 

Now for the SBS lines:

Improvements to existing infrastructure - yes, new bus shelters fitted with pre-boarding receipt issuing machines.

Vehicles - the new SBS standard will be the LFSA, which has 3 doors with an articulated section. The third door allows for better boarding. Thus, this is an improvement.

Scheduling - the system intends to have more predictable scheduling, even if its 5 minutes or 10 minutes. It tries to avoid bunching.

 

Thus, it meets the basic requirements to become a BRT line. Other elements such as elevated guideways, tunnels, turnstiles and medians are deemed as optional. Those are used to enhance the BRT system and make it more effective. That is what you see in Curitaba, Bogota, Jakarta, Istanbul, Boston, Cleveland and LA.

 

What sets the M15 SBS from other BRT lines is that it is meant to be temporary. Basic needs such as traffic light holders and bus lanes would be there, but flyovers and elevated guideways won't be there unlike the Silver Line and the Orange, which are most likely meant to be either permanent or ready for conversion to a LRT line.

 

There won't be any bus lanes for the M15 SBS in Lower Manhattan because of physical constraints. First of all, streets are narrow compared to the ones in the outer boroughs such as Pelham Parkway or Fordham Rd. Even so, Allen Street has lost an entire lane in both directions due to the left hand turning lane and the bike lane. Another lane for buses would great upset the community. You also have to take into account those intercity coaches which screwed up the area.

 

As for 1st and 2nd Avenues, there are bus lanes. I did say myself that "[drivers] are not angels". The buses are not travelling along medians therefore it is harder to regulate the bus lane. Moreover, there is side parking on both sides of both avenues, so you have to consider that. If you bar an entire lane of each avenue with physical separation, that is like creating an iron curtain for businesses - especially those already hurt by the launch box construction. It will be difficult to enforce it, because that is the design. 1st and 2nd are both one way thoroughfares with no median. And constructing medians with footbridges would be costly because it will be replaced by the SAS some day. Remember, the M15 SBS project is merely an interim project that will be replaced with a long term and permanent project and that is currently adopting BRT technology. Nothing is perfect. But regardless, it keeps up to the basic definition of what BRT is.

 

What you are used to is the more extensive and permanent BRT lines. First of all, SBS is a relatively new concept. There are abitious plans to work out dozens of lines in the outer boroughs. But how would more extensive and permanent BRT lines work out if they don't test it out on a few corridors? Remember, you have to regard the limited fiscal resources.

 

Select Bus Service is the brand name of the service. BRT is not usually mentioned by any transit agency or provider except in information documents or in planning studies. BRT is usually replaced by another localised term. Nobody who rides the Silver Line, the Orange Line, the HealthLine or the TransMileno would say "I'm taking the BRT to work". Few would, but the majority would most likely say, "the bus, the fast bus..." or the brand name.

Why they would choose Select Bus Service, I don't know myself. Rumour has it that the MTA so named it because the actual speed was not to par with their expectations. But regardless, that is rumour and the both of us don't work for RBO or planning studies, so we won't know why they called it SBS. But SBS is the brand name.

 

Furthermore, I myself am a rail supporter. I interpreted the "subway" part in two ways:

-metaphor

-an example of contemporary media oversensationalism

 

Metaphor: This is the most obvious one. The line has DESIGNATED stations in lieu of stops. And it supposedly runs faster, therefore allowing for less delays and bunching. Also the fact that you have to pay before you get on is generally a subway thing. Thus, because of all of the above, it is metaphorically proper to call it a "subway". Besides, "subway" is indeed in quotes, so it's not meant to be taken literally.

 

Media Oversensationalism: Can't blame them. They need a story to write, a story that would get attention. If you say bus rapid transit, only a small fraction of the addressed community would understand what they are talking about. Since New York is roughly a subway oriented city, by saying "subway" it clicks into people's heads.

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Plus, the decreased travel times as a result of the fact that nobody has to stop and put in their MetroCard will decrease boarding time, and therefore the travel time, meaning that the MTA can avoid paying the driver for the extra travel time or have them do another run.

 

What do you mean buy this? All runs are usually straight through or split shifts, so I'm not sure why you are saying about paying them extra.

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What do you mean buy this? All runs are usually straight through or split shifts, so I'm not sure why you are saying about paying them extra.

 

Less time boarding=shorter runtime=more runs can be made with less drivers=less money for the (MTA) to shell out.

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