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EE Broadway Local

BUS - Random Thoughts Thread

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9 minutes ago, Brillant93 said:

Cause wouldn’t it be smarter to train on a route that is? 

Every operator has to learn how to operate all models in a depot and can train anywhere they choose.

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7 minutes ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

Every operator has to learn how to operate all models in a depot and can train anywhere they choose.

That's correct. You'll also see a lot of training going on in Manhattan because of all of the stop and go traffic.  I'm guessing they like to put the drivers in difficult situations and see how they handle them since you may be placed anywhere and will need to adjust accordingly.

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Buses from QV love to train in Canarsie, I see FLA buses over here from time to time as well.

 

I once seen a CS Orion testing in Hempstead Long Island.

 

Also SC buses training down Rockaway Parkway even though they don't operate the B42.

Edited by trainfan22
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Random thought of the day: A good amount of XD40’s (Cuomo wrap) operating on the B52 and Grand Avenue now starting to rear ads on their newer XD40’s. 

The weekend random thought goes to (SEPTA). Seen a good assortment of buses with passenger side wraps, driver side wraps, and driver side roof ads on artics over the weekend while in Philadelphia. 

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I'm on the fence about this, but with the complications of running the service, cases of improper use (irrespective of documentation), and how the routes may be the only ones (or close to the only ones) available in certain areas, we may need to rethink our express buses.

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33 minutes ago, Lex said:

I'm on the fence about this, but with the complications of running the service, cases of improper use (irrespective of documentation), and how the routes may be the only ones (or close to the only ones) available in certain areas, we may need to rethink our express buses.

When you say "rethink", what do you mean by that?

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48 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

When you say "rethink", what do you mean by that?

Basically, what I'm wondering is if the current policy of mutual closed-door service and bus platforms with little to nothing in common with the local fleet's platforms is actually sustainable. Based on the fact that people have been talking about the MTA trying to cut it, I can't help but suspect it actually isn't. (I really don't want to believe that, but even with better ridership numbers, it would still be rather expensive to operate.)

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7 minutes ago, Lex said:

Basically, what I'm wondering is if the current policy of mutual closed-door service and bus platforms with little to nothing in common with the local fleet's platforms is actually sustainable. Based on the fact that people have been talking about the MTA trying to cut it, I can't help but suspect it actually isn't. (I really don't want to believe that, but even with better ridership numbers, it would still be rather expensive to operate.)

Anything with having open-door service on the express buses is a definite no. It may work for some areas with lower ridership, but it would be incredibly hard to enforce two separate fare structure. The main issue is the poor service on part of the MTA and the (deliberate) attempts to throw bus reliability into the garbage, on top of the MTA not doing absolutely anything to increase ridership. Go on Trip Planner and you see that every box is checked off for mode of travel, except the express bus option (you have to manually do it yourself). Missing and late bus on high headways will not sustain ridership. If buses are missing on 30 minute headways, that's a bigger problem. Closed-door operations is a non-issue. So when Mr. Irick can claim "demographic changes" all he wants for the decline in express bus ridership, but either he is clueless or is letting this happen to appease someone. 

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1 hour ago, Lex said:

Basically, what I'm wondering is if the current policy of mutual closed-door service and bus platforms with little to nothing in common with the local fleet's platforms is actually sustainable. Based on the fact that people have been talking about the MTA trying to cut it, I can't help but suspect it actually isn't. (I really don't want to believe that, but even with better ridership numbers, it would still be rather expensive to operate.)

This post reminds me of NJ Transit, where MCI's run on "local" bus routes with no closed door portion (Like the 156). 

 

 

The ridership is too high on most local routes for coach buses to run open door the entire route, the lack of a back door would be an disaster. Also it would SLOW down the running time on an EXPRESS Bus.

 

 

While were on this topic, I wish the TA Promoted the X28 to Coney Island during the summer time. Maybe even an seasonal extension of the QM16 to Rilis Beach with off peak and weekend service. Maybe promote such runs as weekend gateway packages like they do on LIRR and MN. Just throwing that out there like shooting an basketball after the ref blows the whistle.

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9 minutes ago, trainfan22 said:

This post reminds me of NJ Transit, where MCI's run on "local" bus routes with no closed door portion (Like the 156). 

 

 

The ridership is too high on most local routes for coach buses to run open door the entire route, the lack of a back door would be an disaster. Also it would SLOW down the running time on an EXPRESS Bus.

 

 

While were on this topic, I wish the TA Promoted the X28 to Coney Island during the summer time. Maybe even an seasonal extension of the QM16 to Rilis Beach with off peak and weekend service. Maybe promote such runs as weekend gateway packages like they do on LIRR and MN. Just throwing that out there like shooting an basketball after the ref blows the whistle.

If the (MTA) really put a lot of thought into it, there are so many creative ways to increase EXP ridership through seasonal routes, special cross-promotions with events like you mentioned with weekend getaways on the railroads, etc. It's a real shame they don't do it. All it does is reinforce the stereotype of express buses being for regular commuters who dislike non-regulars from ever riding. 

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Not this open door express bus bit again....

Nobody ever looks at this nonsense from the perspective of the current express bus commuter... The assumption is always that current riders will willingly put up with intra-outerborough usage & the fact is, is that they wont..... Local bus riders wont flock to this type of service either...

What you essentially end up with, is a service that would be even less patronized than current express bus service.... There is much of nothing to be gained by having some sort of cohesion with express bus service & local bus service.....

 

 

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What causes that roaring sound on buses with Caterpillar engines? I thought it was the engine fan but I been on an MCI and a Neoplan artic recently, both with CAT engines and they made that roaring sound the entire time the bus was in motion. At first I thought it was the engine fans but do the engine fans really need to be on every time the bus moves in cold weather?

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9 minutes ago, trainfan22 said:

What causes that roaring sound on buses with Caterpillar engines? I thought it was the engine fan but I been on an MCI and a Neoplan artic recently, both with CAT engines and they made that roaring sound the entire time the bus was in motion. At first I thought it was the engine fans but do the engine fans really need to be on every time the bus moves in cold weather?

It's the engine fans. The fans are driven by belts connected to the engine. So as the engine revs up, so do the fans. Sometimes the fans are stuck on and even in cold weather, they should be operating in normal conditions to keep the engine from overheating. 

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On March 19, 2019 at 10:59 PM, QM1to6Ave said:

If the (MTA) really put a lot of thought into it, there are so many creative ways to increase EXP ridership through seasonal routes, special cross-promotions with events like you mentioned with weekend getaways on the railroads, etc. It's a real shame they don't do it. All it does is reinforce the stereotype of express buses being for regular commuters who dislike non-regulars from ever riding. 

Speaking of this, why not extend the QM18 to JFK Terminal 5 and add off peak and weekend service? 

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55 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

Speaking of this, why not extend the QM18 to JFK Terminal 5 and add off peak and weekend service? 

It may potentially work, but I think the setup we have is fine. Everyone nowadays just taxis/ubers it or uses the JFK airtrain->LIRR if they have money like that.

I would support an LIRR extension before extending the QM18.

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1 hour ago, Around the Horn said:

Speaking of this, why not extend the QM18 to JFK Terminal 5 and add off peak and weekend service? 

The QM18 as it is gets most of its ridership up in Forest Hills. It was cut back a bit from South Ozone Park because at the end of the line there wasn't any real ridership to justify the delays with the traffic etc.  Additionally, the trips are already an hour and twenty minutes as it is, and a good 45 minutes of that is spent doing pick-ups.  You would have to bank on that line getting enough ridership south of Forest Hills to make it somewhat profitable.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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10 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The QM18 as it is gets most of its ridership up in Forest Hills. It was cut back a bit from South Ozone Park because at the end of the line there wasn't any real ridership to justify the delays with the traffic etc.  Additionally, the trips are already an hour and twenty minutes as it is, and a good 45 minutes of that is spent doing pick-ups.  You would have to bank on that line getting enough ridership south of Forest Hills to make it somewhat profitable.  

Perhaps more could be attracted with a fare closer to the local bus and subway fare. Of course, given the expense of operating the service (getting the buses moving will help, but that alone is insufficient) and the possibility of some feeling like they may stick out too much (they may perceive the express routes as being for elites, even though that's not actually the case)...

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2 minutes ago, Lex said:

Perhaps more could be attracted with a fare closer to the local bus and subway fare. Of course, given the expense of operating the service (getting the buses moving will help, but that alone is insufficient) and the possibility of some feeling like they may stick out too much (they may perceive the express routes as being for elites, even though that's not actually the case)...

There's already airport express bus service in Midtown to JFK and LGA.  The fares are almost three times the price of the express bus though for obvious reasons.

https://www.nycairporter.com/

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2 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

There's already airport express bus service in Midtown to JFK and LGA.  The fares are almost three times the price of the express bus though for obvious reasons.

https://www.nycairporter.com/

I was actually talking about attracting more ridership south/east of Forest Hills. Derp.

I actually want to shift gears and talk about some of the maintenance and dispatching issues (since I'm obviously not an express bus rider, I'd rather not go to the thread you started). Since both tenets seem to suffer especially badly at certain depots with both local and express routes (Yukon, College Point, Ulmer Park), do you think it would be worth looking into getting depots dedicated to express service (with substantial storage space and maintenance facilities, unlike present-day Meredith) built so those depots with local routes can focus on supporting just those routes?

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13 minutes ago, Lex said:

I was actually talking about attracting more ridership south/east of Forest Hills. Derp.

I actually want to shift gears and talk about some of the maintenance and dispatching issues (since I'm obviously not an express bus rider, I'd rather not go to the thread you started). Since both tenets seem to suffer especially badly at certain depots with both local and express routes (Yukon, College Point, Ulmer Park), do you think it would be worth looking into getting depots dedicated to express service (with substantial storage space and maintenance facilities, unlike present-day Meredith) built so those depots with local routes can focus on supporting just those routes?

Yes, I know, but my point is that the (MTA) would have to market the hell out of such a service, and if it tanked they would cut it in a heartbeat.  As it stands, too many express buses in Queens look to Forest Hills to give it ridership - QM4, QM10, QM11, QM12, QM18, and on and on because the areas south of it don't have the $$$ to survive without Forest Hills.  Additionally, the (MTA) is not known to advertise their express buses, nor do they have a large staff for such a thing (as far as I know), so good luck with that.  Historically, the agency's attitude has been to run just about anything as long as it is subsidized, but they have never really wanted to run express bus service.  Express buses started because of the two fare zone and it was something that various neighborhoods came up with to try to bridge the gap between subway rich areas and areas without subways because obviously the areas without subways weren't as attractive to live in, so in short the (MTA) runs express bus service but begrudgingly.  Therefore I don't foresee any new services like the ones you're describing.  They barely want to provide the current express bus service they run.  Their attitude is just to get people into the Central Business District (CBD) and let them take the subway if need be from there, and to them the CBD is still in Manhattan.

Regarding your other question, in an ideal world we would have such an arrangement with express bus only depots and local bus only depots, but given the scarcity of land and how expensive land has become here, that likely won't happen. The focus will be on rehabbing or completely rebuilding depots where possible.  Staten Island was supposed to have another depot after Meredith and Charleston opened years ago. As you can see that hasn't happened. 

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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On 3/19/2019 at 10:48 PM, trainfan22 said:

While were on this topic, I wish the TA Promoted the X28 to Coney Island during the summer time. Maybe even an seasonal extension of the QM16 to Rilis Beach with off peak and weekend service. 

I’ve thought about that too. Seasonal BxM8 off peak service to City Island would also be a hit.

On 3/19/2019 at 9:32 PM, Lex said:

Basically, what I'm wondering is if the current policy of mutual closed-door service and bus platforms with little to nothing in common with the local fleet's platforms is actually sustainable.

In the past, Command allowed travel between Midtown and Downtown at a reduced fare in order to fill seats. That practice ended with the MTA takeover.

Problems with express service have nothing to do with closed-door service or different equipment. Other cities with express service have similar setups. The issue is that the buses may not be useful outside rush hours which make them empty, unproductive and expensive to run. They might be good for going to work, but what about weekend shopping? Museum visits? Dining? Bars? Nightlife? Beaches? The Bronx expresses get it right in this department and they carry because of this. They’re popular because you can take them to work, but also to a museum, the park, bars, the zoo and almost everything else mentioned above.

The opposite end of this are the BMs. I love taking them, but even I can admit it can be better. Peak ridership is strong, but apart from some Fifth Avenue shopping, there isn’t much of a reason to take them off peak. There’s a small but dedicated core ridership who take them because they do not want to or cannot take the subway. Maybe running off-peak service through the East Village along First and Second Avenues instead of the FDR Drive would entice people to use the service for non work trips. Plus, it would be a new market for express bus service. Heck, follow the X27/28 via Sixth Avenue and you’d still hit NYU, Union Square and nightlife activity. Case in point, whenever the (Q) is suspended, everyone and their mother in Flatbush and Midwood mobs the express bus. The hoards of young professionals moving in are up for paying more to get around. They’re willing to take the bus if it goes where they want it to conveniently.

Solve that and ridership will go up.

Edited by Kriston Lewis
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With the continuing LFSAs in-service on SBS MJQ routes,some of the XD-60s in the SBS wrap tend to be used on 14 St Crosstown. 

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48 minutes ago, Kriston Lewis said:

I’ve thought about that too. Seasonal BxM8 off peak service to City Island would also be a hit.

In the past, Command allowed travel between Midtown and Downtown at a reduced fare in order to fill seats. That practice ended with the MTA takeover.

Problems with express service have nothing to do with closed-door service or different equipment. Other cities with express service have similar setups. The issue is that the buses may not be useful outside rush hours which make them empty, unproductive and expensive to run. They might be good for going to work, but what about weekend shopping? Museum visits? Dining? Bars? Nightlife? Beaches? The Bronx expresses get it right in this department and they carry because of this. They’re popular because you can take them to work, but also to a museum, the park, bars, the zoo and almost everything else mentioned above.

The opposite end of this are the BMs. I love taking them, but even I can admit it can be better. Peak ridership is strong, but apart from some Fifth Avenue shopping, there isn’t much of a reason to take them off peak. There’s a small but dedicated core ridership who take them because they do not want to or cannot take the subway. Maybe running off-peak service through the East Village along First and Second Avenues instead of the FDR Drive would entice people to use the service for non work trips. Plus, it would be a new market for express bus service. Heck, follow the X27/28 via Sixth Avenue and you’d still hit NYU, Union Square and nightlife activity. Case in point, whenever the (Q) is suspended, everyone and their mother in Flatbush and Midwood mobs the express bus. The hoards of young professionals moving in are up for paying more to get around. They’re willing to take the bus if it goes where they want it to conveniently.

Solve that and ridership will go up.

A while back I suggested on here that the BM's should follow the routing of the Ulmer Park and SI off peak express routes in Manhattan, the current off peak BM setup is every outdated. 

 

 

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