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BUS - Random Thoughts Thread


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When the government implements a vaccine mandate that indicates that it is unsafe to be around unvaccinated people (when that is not true), you are going to get depressed transit ridership forever. No one wants anyone sitting next to them and no one wants to see other people on the bus that wear their masks until it is dirty on the blue side. How much is that worth to you, especially if you are a city worker that was forced to return to the office? Mixed signals lead people to choose what is best for them and that means driving as long as you can get parking on both ends.

The mayor has no real interest in bus lanes or anything bus-related. Look at the level of investment in bike lanes versus bus lanes. You do not need a study to put in a bus lane.  Did they do a full environmental study on the first Fifth Avenue bus lane? No, they put it in and it filled up, so they did a small study and put in the second lane. However, the cyclists represent a class that does not include the folks on Merrick Boulevard. We got four busways in the same time we got how many ferries? We've had tons of discussions about how the rail system is Manhattan centric, so faster non-Manhattan regional services are needed.

We won't get that and new bus lanes until we hold up the CBD Tolling District over it. They will put in all of those facilities to get that new toll revenue passed. This is how the city plans to pull themselves out of funding the MTA entirely. Once the tolling district exists, expect them to give the MTA the city owned bridges in exchange for washing their hands of MTA subsidies. They learned from the last time (in 2008) to break up what they want into smaller pieces.

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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What de Blasio has been promising is to ramp up the installation of more bus lanes with camera enforcement to stop the abuse of them, as people in their personal cars constantly drive in them, park in them, etc. 

I see it in other areas too. For example, there are so many people that abuse the bus lane around Mount Sinai now that have stopped taking transit and drive in. The bus lane is supposed to be in effect from 7am - 10am along 5th Avenue north of 60th St. What happens is they all come and park in the bus lane and sit there to "preserve a parking spot".  Despite all of the traffic agents out writing dozens of tickets, there are too many people abusing the bus lanes to keep up. I've seen traffic cops writing a ticket on one block and a few blocks down, someone else is in the bus lane. It's endless, and the people that complain about the tickets keep abusing the situation, so they obviously have the money to pay them. All of this significantly slows down buses, as they have to fight through vehicular traffic.  I have been pressing the DOT to address such issues, as the people sacrificing and using public transit and leaving their cars at home are the ones stuck in traffic, with some commutes now two hours one way.

In the case of Merrick Blvd., those bus lanes would've been 24/7, but elected officials came out in opposition of it. Why? Because they drive. Nevertheless, 6am - 7pm is a decent compromise.  It certainly shouldn't be anything less. 

The excuse of living in a transit desert does not mean that everyone stops using transit, because those areas don't have the infrastructure to handle such high volumes of vehicular traffic. Some of them are fairly dense. Saw the same thing on Staten Island. You had two or three cars per residence.  It doesn't work. If it were the suburbs with amble parking and less dense areas, sure, but not in NYC. The balance of people using transit vs those driving has shifted in the wrong direction to where too many are now driving.

I know what you're talking about. In fact, I often see bus lanes blocked on my home line the B46. The worst offender is near the northern end of route every morning I pass by there (at around 7:30 AM), and guess who parks there? The NYPD (considering the district is nearby). Constantly parking on the curbside bus lanes (where a bus stop is right there no less) with zero regard for bus lane hours or bus riders in general

I do appreciate the expansion of camera enforcement of the bus lanes, though some improvements can be realized if we get these vehicles out of the way: THE NYPD.

Also, my question was geared towards SBS installation but I do appreciate the response.

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1 minute ago, JeremiahC99 said:

I know what you're talking about. In fact, I often see bus lanes blocked on my home line the B46. The worst offender is near the northern end of route every morning I pass by there (at around 7:30 AM), and guess who parks there? The NYPD (considering the district is nearby). Constantly parking on the curbside bus lanes (where a bus stop is right there no less) with zero regard for bus lane hours or bus riders in general

I do appreciate the expansion of camera enforcement of the bus lanes, though some improvements can be realized if we get these vehicles out of the way: THE NYPD.

Also, my question was geared towards SBS installation but I do appreciate the response.

As far as I know, SBS expansion was put on hold for now.  Not sure when or if it will be expanded.

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For those keeping score, the express buses are actually running a Saturday schedule for Columbus Day, with some exceptions involving limited service for the downtown routes (eg. BxM18)

They buried the timetables really deep in the website too, and didn't bother updating TripPlanner or the GTFS feeds for anything. If it wasn't for Derrick Richards tweeting all the info out, I woulda never known...

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26 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

For those keeping score, the express buses are actually running a Saturday schedule for Columbus Day, with some exceptions involving limited service for the downtown routes (eg. BxM18)

They buried the timetables really deep in the website too, and didn't bother updating TripPlanner or the GTFS feeds for anything. If it wasn't for Derrick Richards tweeting all the info out, I woulda never known...

You mean MTA Bus express routes. NYCT is reduced weekday aside from Staten Island.

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12 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

And for Southeast Queens, could that mean implementing Select Bus Service on the Q5 to speed things up? If I recall correctly, the Q5 Merrick Blvd corridor was flagged for a potential bus rapid transit corridor in Queens in 2004, but this was scrapped. How about giving the SBS run on the Q4 and Q5 a go?

That alone will not help, especially with how SBS implementation has a tendency to cut local service in some ways.

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8 hours ago, paulrivera said:

For those keeping score, the express buses are actually running a Saturday schedule for Columbus Day, with some exceptions involving limited service for the downtown routes (eg. BxM18)

They buried the timetables really deep in the website too, and didn't bother updating TripPlanner or the GTFS feeds for anything. If it wasn't for Derrick Richards tweeting all the info out, I woulda never known...

Wow, seriously? It's been weekday service in past years. Good thing I didn't need to go into the city today, or I'd be screwed! It's not even listed on the website! If they do the same for Veteran's Day, etc, they better do a better job advertising this! I took the QM5 on Friday and Saturday, and there were no signs or anything about this

Edited by QM1to6Ave
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1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Wow, seriously? It's been weekday service in past years. Good thing I didn't need to go into the city today, or I'd be screwed! It's not even listed on the website! If they do the same for Veteran's Day, etc, they better do a better job advertising this! I took the QM5 on Friday and Saturday, and there were no signs or anything about this

Imagine if you're a 5am rider and you're waiting for a bus that now isn't going to show up until 6:30 or 7am.

lol, they just put the changes front and center on the schedules page this morning:

unknown.png

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1 hour ago, paulrivera said:

Imagine if you're a 5am rider and you're waiting for a bus that now isn't going to show up until 6:30 or 7am.

lol, they just put the changes front and center on the schedules page this morning:

unknown.png

I don't understand how they make these decisions... its been a weekday schedule as long as i can remember. Ridership is way up, its not like we are in the midst of low pandemic ridership

 

@Via Garibaldi 8 guess I'll be writing in another complaint, sigh. This gets so tiring

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16 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

There should be an adjusted weekday schedule for working holidays as well as the last week of December as part of the actual schedule.

Add in an adjusted Friday afternoon schedule with more service shifted to 2-5 pm from 5-7 pm

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1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I don't understand how they make these decisions... its been a weekday schedule as long as i can remember. Ridership is way up, its not like we are in the midst of low pandemic ridership

 

@Via Garibaldi 8 guess I'll be writing in another complaint, sigh. This gets so tiring

update: The reduced express bus schedules for (MTA) Bus were "posted in error". Regular weekday service for MTA Bus.

translation: They were probably going to do the reduced schedule, but I'm guessing the bean counters didn't tell the front line personnel until after today's runs were all bidded up and accounted for.

I'm assuming someone didn't realize that once runs are picked and the B/O shows up to work it and the run gets cut, the B/O gets paid anyway (and at time and a half to boot lmao)

If there's a better explanation, someone feel free to correct me.

Edited by paulrivera
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6 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

update: The reduced express bus schedules for (MTA) Bus were "posted in error". Regular weekday service for MTA Bus.

translation: They were probably going to do the reduced schedule, but I'm guessing the bean counters didn't tell the front line personnel until after today's runs were all bidded up and accounted for.

I'm assuming someone didn't realize that once runs are picked and the B/O shows up to work it and the run gets cut, the B/O gets paid anyway (and at time and a half to boot lmao)

If there's a better explanation, someone feel free to correct me.

Only other explanation I can think of is the execs deliberately don't give a shit about how they're slowly but surely running the organization into the ground, and by actions like this it certainly shows...

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10 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

update: The reduced express bus schedules for (MTA) Bus were "posted in error". Regular weekday service for MTA Bus.

translation: They were probably going to do the reduced schedule, but I'm guessing the bean counters didn't tell the front line personnel until after today's runs were all bidded up and accounted for.

I'm assuming someone didn't realize that once runs are picked and the B/O shows up to work it and the run gets cut, the B/O gets paid anyway (and at time and a half to boot lmao)

If there's a better explanation, someone feel free to correct me.

This is such bullshit, since the timetables clearly said "Columbus Day" on them. Also, on days where there's reduced service, those buses may have completely different arrival times and service spans. 

Like the QM15 for example, off-peak service departs at :00 regularly to Midtown, while on the reduced days, it departs at :38 (and the service span is longer too). Also, midday service normally departs at :00 and evening service departs at :15 back to Queens, while the buses on reduced days departs at :48.

BTW, watch them also use this as an excuse to potentially make the service cut next year, claiming that people weren't riding the bus so much today. When the reality is, people may have decided to avoid the bus because of the original notice and the subsequent inconsistency in information. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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@BreeddekalbL Funny thing is, they keep banning cars from more and more streets, but I don't see them building new subways or improving bus service 🤔

The City politicians are creating comprehensive problems without providing comprehensive solutions.

Edited by R10 2952
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13 minutes ago, R10 2952 said:

Funny thing is, they keep banning cars from more and more streets, but I don't see them building new subways or improving bus service 🤔

The City politicians are creating comprehensive problems without providing comprehensive solutions.

That's how CBD Tolling Districts get killed. You can't restrict auto traffic and not have dynamic updates to mass transit networks as needed. The MTA needs the cash, but it can't be a looting operation (getting new money for doing nothing extra).

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33 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

The MTA needs the cash, but it can't be a looting operation (getting new money for doing nothing extra).

That's exactly what will happen.

5 years later after CBD tolling, the (MTA) will cry broke again, and we have to find a new source of revenue from the people again

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23 minutes ago, Mtatransit said:

That's exactly what will happen.

5 years later after CBD tolling, the (MTA) will cry broke again, and we have to find a new source of revenue from the people again

Lol.... This takes on the premise that the MTA will stop crying broke....

1 hour ago, R10 2952 said:

@BreeddekalbL Funny thing is, they keep banning cars from more and more streets, but I don't see them building new subways or improving bus service 🤔

The City politicians are creating comprehensive problems without providing comprehensive solutions.

While I get the point, a lot of motorists couldn't give a shit about expanding the infrastructure of public transportation... In other words, the intentional exacerbation of car travel is highly unlikely to have said motorists gravitating towards public transit.... Hell, politicians in general aren't about actual solutions to better society anyway - only their pious, self serving interests...

Edited by B35 via Church
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2 hours ago, JAzumah said:

That's how CBD Tolling Districts get killed. You can't restrict auto traffic and not have dynamic updates to mass transit networks as needed. The MTA needs the cash, but it can't be a looting operation (getting new money for doing nothing extra).

2 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

That's exactly what will happen.

5 years later after CBD tolling, the (MTA) will cry broke again, and we have to find a new source of revenue from the people again

1 hour ago, B35 via Church said:

Lol.... This takes on the premise that the MTA will stop crying broke....

While I get the point, a lot of motorists couldn't give a shit about expanding the infrastructure of public transportation... In other words, the intentional exacerbation of car travel is highly unlikely to have said motorists gravitating towards public transit.... Hell, politicians in general aren't about actual solutions to better society anyway - only their pious, self serving interests...

Which is why I've been opposed to Vision Zero, congestion pricing, and other social engineering pseudo-measures since the beginning.  The politicians talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.  In years prior, they've either raided dedicated transit revenue sources for other measures, or simply not contributed sufficient funding to transit in the first place.  If they refuse to pony up the money from already-existing public monies, what makes people think it will be different this time around? Does nobody remember how at the same time deBlasio was pushing Vision Zero, he was bitching about being asked by the MTA to contribute more city funds to the subways and buses? And speeding through red lights at 50 mph in his official motorcade (yet still managing to show up late everywhere)? 

We haven't had new subway lines since the '50s.  Our current bus map largely resembles defunct streetcar networks from the '40s.  Several decades have passed and what do we have to show for it? A stubway in Jamaica. A stubway on the Upper East Side. A one-stop extension of the (7) that was originally supposed to be two stops.  Glorified limited-stop pre-paid versions of existing bus lines euphemistically called "bus rapid transit".  Oh, the joy.

If the politicians were acting in good faith, I'd support the car mitigation efforts entirely, but since I know they're just a bunch of demagogic hypocrites, they can eat a sock as far as I'm concerned.  I will believe when I see. 

 

Edited by R10 2952
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57 minutes ago, Q43LTD said:

Should Columbus Avenue be renamed Indigenous Peoples Avenue, since we're no longer honoring Christopher Columbus 😅😅😅🤣😂

I'd say few working citizens honor what's supposed to be honored on a given holiday much anymore (myself included)... Those older than Gen X-ers maybe, those younger than them, much less so.... They're merely days off from work.

29 minutes ago, R10 2952 said:

Which is why I've been opposed to Vision Zero, congestion pricing, and other social engineering pseudo-measures since the beginning.  The politicians talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.  In years prior, they've either raided dedicated transit revenue sources for other measures, or simply not contributed sufficient funding to transit in the first place.  If they refuse to pony up the money from already-existing public monies, what makes people think it will be different this time around? Does nobody remember how at the same time deBlasio was pushing Vision Zero, he was bitching about being asked by the MTA to contribute more city funds to the subways and buses? And speeding through red lights at 50 mph in his official motorcade (yet still managing to show up late everywhere)? 

We haven't had new subway lines since the '50s.  Our current bus map largely resembles defunct streetcar networks from the '40s.  Several decades have passed and what do we have to show for it? A stubway in Jamaica. A stubway on the Upper East Side. A one-stop extension of the (7) that was originally supposed to be two stops.  Glorified limited-stop pre-paid versions of existing bus lines euphemistically called "bus rapid transit".  Oh, the joy.

If the politicians were acting in good faith, I'd support the car mitigation efforts entirely, but since I know they're just a bunch of demagogic hypocrites, they can eat a sock as far as I'm concerned.  I will believe when I see.

You'll get no counterargument from me... I've scoffed at the idea of Vision Zero here in NYC since the first day I've heard it being proposed, let alone implemented (it's convenient for the pol's to hide behind the safety aspect of it, because, well, who doesn't want to be safe, right) & always either smirked at or chuckled whenever congestion pricing is brought up as the smoking gun/answer/solution to anything.... It's great being a free-thinker - you don't have to be moved by mere buzzwords & feel-goodery....

Edited by B35 via Church
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17 hours ago, paulrivera said:

For those keeping score, the express buses are actually running a Saturday schedule for Columbus Day, with some exceptions involving limited service for the downtown routes (eg. BxM18)

They buried the timetables really deep in the website too, and didn't bother updating TripPlanner or the GTFS feeds for anything. If it wasn't for Derrick Richards tweeting all the info out, I woulda never known...

 

9 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Wow, seriously? It's been weekday service in past years. Good thing I didn't need to go into the city today, or I'd be screwed! It's not even listed on the website! If they do the same for Veteran's Day, etc, they better do a better job advertising this! I took the QM5 on Friday and Saturday, and there were no signs or anything about this

 

7 hours ago, paulrivera said:

Imagine if you're a 5am rider and you're waiting for a bus that now isn't going to show up until 6:30 or 7am.

lol, they just put the changes front and center on the schedules page this morning:

unknown.png

 

6 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I don't understand how they make these decisions... its been a weekday schedule as long as i can remember. Ridership is way up, its not like we are in the midst of low pandemic ridership

 

@Via Garibaldi 8 guess I'll be writing in another complaint, sigh. This gets so tiring

It was regular service today for express buses. I posted in my group a few days ago as people were asking. The Columbus schedules were posted in error by the (MTA) and they also did not notify anyone of this supposed changed in advance. There are dispatchers in the group who post, so they would've notified me if there was a problem. Unfortunately, Customer Service did not know and was giving out the wrong info to customers that asked. A BxM3 customer asked and was given the schedule which is a modified Saturday schedule and was wrong. Even when Customer Service was asked to confirm, they still insisted that it was a modified schedule. LOL  

Pretty pathetic. A driver even showed me today when I pointed out the error. It was a Weekday School Closed Schedule, but still regular weekday express bus service.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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11 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It was regular service today. I posted in my group a few days ago. The schedules were posted in error. There are dispatchers in the group who post, so they would've notified me if there was a problem. Unfortunately, Customer Service did not know and was giving out the wrong info to Customers that asked. Even when Customer Service was asked to confirm, they still insisted that it was a modified schedule. LOL

Pretty pathetic.

A classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.

My theory: I think whoever's in charge of operations went by "we always do Columbus Day this way" (regular service for MTA Bus/SIM, modified for TA/OA). But then by the time whoever's in charge of the books wanted to do the new schedule, the picks were already done and couldn't be un-done. Even if you could un-do the schedule for today, I think they'd still have to pay the B/O's that were originally scheduled for work, even if they had wound up playing cards and watching football in the depot all day.

Do they even do schedule supplements on the bus side like they do on the subway side?

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29 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

A classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.

My theory: I think whoever's in charge of operations went by "we always do Columbus Day this way" (regular service for MTA Bus/SIM, modified for TA/OA). But then by the time whoever's in charge of the books wanted to do the new schedule, the picks were already done and couldn't be un-done. Even if you could un-do the schedule for today, I think they'd still have to pay the B/O's that were originally scheduled for work, even if they had wound up playing cards and watching football in the depot all day.

Do they even do schedule supplements on the bus side like they do on the subway side?

In the last few years, they have ALWAYS screwed up the holiday express bus schedules, or better yet, just forgot to post them. They did the reverse with Columbus Day.... Posted schedules that were not even in effect. I have to say I was shocked when I saw the Twitter post this morning because it has been regular service on Columbus Day for as long as I can remember, and the person that answered when prompted was totally clueless. The ones that I have met and that are in my group like JP, they know the deal, as they are the more veteran folks, but sometimes even they can't get correct info. We've had to write to contacts to ask them to request actual schedule modifications online because they constantly forget to. One example is the Martin Luther King Jr. schedules. Then when are finally posted, those sometimes have errors that have to be fixed and I have to request that they fix those. Even the newest schedules they've been posting have been riddled with errors. I have lost count of how many times now I've had them fix the errors. Thank God there is a graphic team that can fix these things quickly. BusTime is still a big problem. I am still waiting for them to fix some errors related to some of the (MTA) Bus express bus lines like the BM1. Some trips are no longer trackable.

I have actually started tagging (MTA) personnel in my group to get correct info/answers, which I had previously agreed not to do because sometimes Customer Service is just clueless (in this case though, it wasn't their fault because I'm guessing Scheduling did not communicate this go anyone). The (MTA) usually has a strict policy about personnel posting in such social media groups (it is frowned upon), but I have a dispatcher that posts missing trips in the group, when Customer Service doesn't post the trips via their regular outlets, so of late I have tagged them on certain problems that keep popping up.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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