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BUS - Random Thoughts Thread


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43 minutes ago, Mtatransit said:

No other borough is fare beating this systemic and "normal". It almost seems like the whole borough is not paying, ranging from people in Tottenville, to people in New Dorp or the North Shore. Granted its worse on some routes than others (S46 looking at you).

The strangest thing is on some routes almost everyone pays despite it being near others! On Forest Ave, "most" people pay, yet on Castleton, no one does.

Let me guess for the express buses on SI weekends, everyone under 25 just doesn't pay?

In the Bronx, from my experience, there is VERY high level of fare beating. I was on the Bx15 once from The Hub and almost 60% of the passengers entered through the back door. The Bronx is also the only borough I seen people running for the back door before it closes and holding it for other people. The articulated buses are the worst when it comes to fare beating in the Bronx.

 

Can't wait for backdoor boarding to be in effect, so I wouldn't have to see entitled people thinking their dollar is worth more than mines.

It is not strange at all. My old local bus line was the S48. Forest Avenue is sort of the borderline for the more better, monied neighborhoods on the North Shore.  For example, West Brighton & Westerleigh (I lived on the border of those two neighborhoods) are generally more upper middle class to upper class neighborhoods (my old neighborhood, West Brighton was actually the neighborhood with the wealthiest Census tract not too long ago on the entire island), but you walk 10 minutes from there towards Castleton Av and you're in one of the poorest census tracts on Staten Island, which is still technically part of West Brighton. Crazy I know... lol This is true for most of Forest Avenue, but the further west you go on Forest, that changes. Arlington, Mariners Harbor, Port Richmond... You'll see more farebeating.

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Staten Island's poorest enclave is located only a half-mile from its wealthiest.

The residents of the West Brighton Houses, who had median household earnings of $15,285 in 2014, made less than one-seventh of their neighbors who live just a seven-minute walk south on Broadway, according to 2014 Census data.

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Residents of this area, located south of Forest Avenue between Broadway and Bard Avenue, made $107,869 per household on average in 2014.

The area isn't home to as many of the ultra-wealthy -- households earning $200,000 or more -- as some of the other well-off neighborhoods in the borough, but makes up for it with a higher proportion of households earning in the $100,000 to $199,999 range than anywhere else.

You see where I lived you had far more white collar types (lawyers, doctors, etc.). I used to ride the express bus with a lady who lived in Westerleigh who was a client of mine. She was a General Counsel for an international company.  Now a line like the S46 goes through poorer areas generally speaking, though you do have some monied pockets like Randall Manor.

Source: https://www.silive.com/news/2020/08/staten-islands-household-income-higher-than-nyc-report-says.html

Source: https://www.silive.com/news/2016/01/the_poorest_enclaves_on_staten.html

To answer your question though, yes, farebeating on the local Staten Island buses is pretty much everywhere, no matter how monied the neighborhood, from Tottenville on up, but that's more of an attitude thing than it is about people being able to pay.  Some people just feel entitled.

On the Staten Island express buses, on weekends, yes I would say most of the farebeaters were usually younger types. On the Bronx local bus lines, I would also agree about the farebeating on the articulated lines.  I don't ride the local buses very often in the Bronx, but I remember years ago, I took the Bx9 I think from Fordham to Broadway and transferred to the Bx7 to get home. I couldn't believe how many people boarded and didn't pay, as if it was an everyday occurrence. Meanwhile on the Bx7 and Bx10, I don't see that, and when I do it tends to be kids from other areas outside of Riverdale.  I've seen some drivers refuse to let them ride.  They certainly understand that some areas are more known for farebeating than others.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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4 hours ago, Future ENY OP said:

Question regarding Bronx operations.  Bx8, Bx31 and Bx39. Are those 3 routes better off at West Farms or Gun Hill.  Only reason i say  this is the proximity of Gun Hill is a lot closer for the 3 routes than West Farms.  
 

Hopefully, something like this gets addressed during the BX bus re-design. 

I can’t speak from a Bus Operator POV, but from a transit rider POV. The Bx8, Bx31, and Bx39 operates good from both Gun Hill and West Farms, but keep in mind that those three routes are at West Farms for a reason.

For the Bx8 & Bx31 it had to do with the reopening of West Farms Depot. It was supposed to take back Walnut Depot’s former routes but a few of those routes stayed at the depot they were transferred to. (Bx13 at KB, Bx33 at MCH, Bx4 & Bx5 at GH). It also had to do with a couple of routes converted to artics (Bx4 & Bx5) and West Farms was not able to handle artic buses at that time. Gun Hill had to send the Bx8, Bx14, and Bx31 to make up for the routes that could not go there. Artic buses were accepted at WF a couple of months later when the Bx19 went fully artic by January 2004.

For the Bx39 it was Select Bus Service. When the MTA (or whoever) decided to have all the SBS service at one depot for each borough, they decided to send the Bx41 to GH and send the Bx39 to KB. The  swap happened in January 2017, sending some of the 2010 LFSA’s from GH to replace the SBS wrapped LFSA’s from KB. The Bx39 was at KB for three years until January 2020 when it was swapped for the Bx15 full route at WF (They wanted the full route and the short turn route all together at KB).

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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They are still struggling to cover the trips they have, including on weekends, even though all lines run no more than once or hour or less.

How is that possible?!

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2 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

How is that possible?!

Don't ask me.  I think it's nuts. Some of the drivers out of Spring Creek are part-timers, but still ridiculous. There's no Spring Creek Sunday express bus service at all, so they just need to cover for six days. 

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19 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

How is that possible?!

 

16 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Don't ask me.  I think it's nuts. Some of the drivers out of Spring Creek are part-timers, but still ridiculous. There's no Spring Creek Sunday express bus service at all, so they just need to cover for six days. 

 

what ever became of that union decertification effort at Spring Creek

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30 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Disabled express bus in the HOV lane on the Gowanus.  Tow truck still hasn't arrived yet... 

Great... extensive delays on the HOV lane to Staten Isl from the Battery Tunnel...  That Gowanus I tell you..

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1 hour ago, Future ENY OP said:

Great... extensive delays on the HOV lane to Staten Isl from the Battery Tunnel...  That Gowanus I tell you..

For some reason, it has taken over two hours to get a tow truck there and there are still express buses stuck there. Unreal.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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4 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

24hr bus lanes are unnecessary, if buses run on 60 min headway late night, then what benefit do the lanes provide at that time?

It makes it very clear that they are bus lanes and it just keeps traffic separate. I've seen it on 5th Av. Very effective. The cars generally stay in their lanes and the buses use the bus lanes. Drivers along Merrick Blvd better be ready because the grace period will only last a few months before tickets are issued if they are in that lane during the hours of operation (6am-7pm).

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It makes it very clear that they are bus lanes and it just keeps traffic separate. I've seen it on 5th Av. Very effective. The cars generally stay in their lanes and the buses use the bus lanes. Drivers along Merrick Blvd better be ready because the grace period will only last a few months before tickets are issued if they are in that lane during the hours of operation (6am-7pm).

The grace period is still in effect? Good to know ;)

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Just now, N6 Limited said:

The grace period is still in effect? Good to know ;)

I believe so. However, I've been speaking with the DOT over the last few years about things like no right turns on 5th Av so that buses can move unimpeded, etc. They've been warming up to such ideas lately to try to really get buses out of vehicular traffic and moving as they should be, unimpeded.

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24 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

24hr bus lanes are unnecessary, if buses run on 60 min headway late night, then what benefit do the lanes provide at that time?

Pennsylvania Avenue and Kings Highway are two examples that 24 hour bus lanes don't make sense at all. 

The B7 does not run all night and the B82 is on a 60 min headway late night.

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43 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

24hr bus lanes are unnecessary, if buses run on 60 min headway late night, then what benefit do the lanes provide at that time?

I would flip this question, and ask what detriment do the lanes provide at that time? On most, if not all of those corridors where there's a 24 hour bus lane, it's not like traffic is that high during overnight hours to begin with. Even places like Woodhaven Boulevard, while not exactly empty at night, vehicles are still zooming up and down the corridor at night with lots of space, even with a 24 hour bus lane. There's no traffic congestion at that hour and all that. Kings Highway tends to be lightly used overnight, and doesn't suffer from any traffic congestion issues (to my knowledge). 

It's a different story if there's no overnight bus service (and there's a 24 hour bus lane), but if the lanes physically there already, and traffic is relatively light at that time to begin with, then there isn't much of any issue there, even if the bus operates every hour. If the traffic lanes can handle vehicular traffic at that time, then I don't see the issue with having bus lanes at that time. Simply feeling some type of way of not being able to drive on any lane one wants is not a legitimate issue. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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41 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I believe so. However, I've been speaking with the DOT over the last few years about things like no right turns on 5th Av so that buses can move unimpeded, etc. They've been warming up to such ideas lately to try to really get buses out of vehicular traffic and moving as they should be, unimpeded.

The 5th Avenue lanes (both of them) really do feel like a waste with cars still turning, and so often turning from the second-to-right lane instead of the far right one. Not to mention Ubers and parked cars breaking the rules. As a result you see tons of ops still cruising in the middle lanes, with the righthand lanes empty and traffic backed up as a result. I used to commute on the 5th Ave. bus, so I'm all in favor of bus lanes, but they did it in a really stupid way. I'm not even sure if it's really worth the damage it's done to traffic flow on 5th, especially since so much of the day the lanes are basically empty.

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2 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

I would flip this question, and ask what detriment do the lanes provide at that time? On most, if not all of those corridors where there's a 24 hour bus lane, it's not like traffic is that high during overnight hours to begin with. Even places like Woodhaven Boulevard, while not exactly empty at night, vehicles are still zooming up and down the corridor at night with lots of space, even with a 24 hour bus lane. There's no traffic congestion at that hour and all that. Kings Highway tends to be lightly used overnight, and doesn't suffer from any traffic congestion issues (to my knowledge). 

It's a different story if there's no overnight bus service (and there's a 24 hour bus lane), but if the lanes physically there already, and traffic is relatively light at that time to begin with, then there isn't much of any issue there, even if the bus operates every hour. If the traffic lanes can handle vehicular traffic at that time, then I don't see the issue with having bus lanes at that time. Simply feeling some type of way of not being able to drive on any lane one wants is not a legitimate issue. 

So, because something can be done, means that it should be done? That's what you're implicating by asking how are they detrimental....

By your logic, let's make all the existing bus lanes in this city 24 hours.... Hell, let's make all the ones in the future 24 hrs. also.... It's not like traffic is high during overnight hours to begin with.....

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1 hour ago, B35 via Church said:

 So, because something can be done, means that it should be done? That's what you're implicating by asking how are they detrimental....

By your logic, let's make all the existing bus lanes in this city 24 hours.... Hell, let's make all the ones in the future 24 hrs. also.... It's not like traffic is high during overnight hours to begin with.....

That's oversimplifying and misconstruing my position on this. Especially since in that same post, I alluded that I wouldn't necessarily be in favor of a 24/7 lane if no route there operates overnight.  Theres also other overnight routes without 24/7 bus lanes operating in similar traffic conditions to what I described, and I haven't necessarily clamored for those lanes to be 24/7 either. 

The reason I asked how they are detrimental, is because it comes off as if N6 Limited is saying these lanes are supposedly creating issues for motorists (and not just from that post, but from other previous posts of his). If there's a bus lane during a time period of relatively light traffic on that roadway, and if cars and other vehicles can move smoothly and with virtually no impact, then I don't see what's there to be worked up about. I'm not against having dedicated bus lanes at those hours. You may disagree with that and that's fine, but that is not exactly the same as me saying that we should make every bus lane 24/7 just for the sake of it. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

That's oversimplifying and misconstruing my position on this. Especially since in that same post, I alluded that I wouldn't necessarily be in favor of a 24/7 lane if no route there operates overnight.  Theres also other overnight routes without 24/7 bus lanes operating in similar traffic conditions to what I described, and I haven't necessarily clamored for those lanes to be 24/7 either. 

The reason I asked how they are detrimental, is because it comes off as if N6 Limited is saying these lanes are supposedly creating issues for motorists (and not just from that post, but from other previous posts of his). If there's a bus lane during a time period of relatively light traffic on that roadway, and if cars and other vehicles can move smoothly and with virtually no impact, then I don't see what's there to be worked up about. I'm not against having dedicated bus lanes at those hours. You may disagree with that and that's fine, but that is not exactly the same as me saying that we should make every bus lane 24/7 just for the sake of it. 

You question n6's question as to how they're beneficial, by asking how are they detrimental.... But here though, you're professing that you haven't necessarily clamored for 24/7 bus lanes operating in the traffic conditions you brought up.... To that I would question well, why not (clamor for them) - since your premise is that 24/7 bus lanes aren't detrimental, especially considering your supporting arguments....

What I'm ultimately getting at is, if there's no need for a 24/7 bus lane, then why should 24/7 bus lanes be implemented exactly? Because they're not detrimental? Their mere existence isn't really a reason that they should be in effect 24/7.... While IDK whatever n6 has said in other threads regarding this (or a similar) issue that you allude to, but within this thread, I get the sense he's questioning the necessity of 24/7 bus lanes...

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2 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

You question n6's question as to how they're beneficial, by asking how are they detrimental.... But here though, you're professing that you haven't necessarily clamored for 24/7 bus lanes operating in the traffic conditions you brought up.... To that I would question well, why not (clamor for them) - since your premise is that 24/7 bus lanes aren't detrimental, especially considering your supporting arguments....

What I'm ultimately getting at is, if there's no need for a 24/7 bus lane, then why should 24/7 bus lanes be implemented exactly? Because they're not detrimental? Their mere existence isn't really a reason that they should be in effect 24/7.... While IDK whatever n6 has said in other threads regarding this (or a similar) issue that you allude to, but within this thread, I get the sense he's questioning the necessity of 24/7 bus lanes...

The existing 24/7 lanes with overnight routes aren't detrimental for much of anyone. However, you would need to look at other lanes individually to see whether that makes sense or not.

Also, it's not simply about the detriment part. For one, I believe buses should be provided as much dedicated space where possible and feasible (including overnights), granted that the route operates during set periods and that it doesn't negatively impact other motorists during very light traffic periods. Again, you can disagree with that, but that's my stance on it. 

Additionally, the problem I have (even with that interpretation of N6's statement) is when that's put into context. Woodhaven Boulevard (which has such lanes) has three to four regular travel lanes for most of the corridor, which handle overnight volume without much of an issue. Traffic would still be able to move well even if only two lanes existed, so like how much more space do you need? Similar thing with the segments of Kings Highway that has a 24/7 bus lane (with lighter volumes than Woodhaven, and with two regular lanes + one left turn lane). 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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2 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

The existing 24/7 lanes with overnight routes aren't detrimental for much of anyone. However, you would need to look at other lanes individually to see whether that makes sense or not.

Also, it's not simply about the detriment part. For one, I believe buses should be provided as much dedicated space where possible and feasible (including overnights), granted that the route operates during set periods and that it doesn't negatively impact other motorists during very light traffic periods. Again, you can disagree with that, but that's my stance on it. 

Additionally, the problem I have (even with that interpretation of N6's statement) is when that's put into context. Woodhaven Boulevard (which has such lanes) has three to four regular travel lanes for most of the corridor, which handle overnight volume without much of an issue. Traffic would still be able to move well even if only two lanes existed, so like how much more space do you need? Similar thing with the segments of Kings Highway that has a 24/7 bus lane (with lighter volumes than Woodhaven, and with two regular lanes + one left turn lane). 

The thought process of looking at other lanes individually would never come into play, if the core position that's being presented is that buses should be provided as much dedicated space as possible... The former of the two statements exudes a certain seed of doubt...

 

Edited by B35 via Church
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12 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

The thought process of looking at other lanes individually would never come into play, if the core position that's being presented is that buses should be provided as much dedicated space as possible... The former of the two statements exudes a certain seed of doubt...

 

The two aren't contradictory statements though. You can be for allocating as much space as possible & feasible and making sure said lanes don't create issues during time periods when it absolutely shouldn't. I applied that same thought process (of looking at each case individually) with the Woodhaven Boulevard and Kings Highway examples. The lane is already there (so it is possible by default) and based on how it has virtually no impact on traffic, it's feasible to have late at night, meeting both conditions. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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2 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

The two aren't contradictory statements though. You can be for allocating as much space as possible & feasible and making sure said lanes don't create issues during time periods when it absolutely shouldn't. I applied that same thought process (of looking at each case individually) with the Woodhaven Boulevard and Kings Highway examples. The lane is already there (so it is possible by default) and based on how it has virtually no impact on traffic, it's feasible to have late at night, meeting both conditions. 

Not necessarily contradictory, just not as sound as you're conveying your position to be (which is more what I'm objecting, than your general position itself)....

The 24/7 bus lanes during overnight hours not being detrimental doesn't somehow nullify n6's questioning of their beneficiality, or even justify the necessity of them.... Yes, the lanes have essentially no impact on traffic - because there isn't much traffic during those hours to begin with!

I find this little side discussion interesting though, because I haven't heard or read anywhere (up until this point anyway), where anyone has clamored for, or literally supported bus lanes being in effect, during a timeframe (overnights) when the benefit of doing as such, would loom rather minimal.... Learn something everyday.

Edited by B35 via Church
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20 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

Not necessarily contradictory, just not as sound as you're conveying your position to be (which is more what I'm objecting, than your general position itself)....

The 24/7 bus lanes during overnight hours not being detrimental doesn't somehow nullify n6's questioning of their beneficiality, or even justify the necessity of them.... Yes, the lanes have essentially no impact on traffic - because there isn't much traffic during those hours to begin with!

I find this little side discussion interesting though, because I haven't heard or read anywhere (up until this point anyway), where anyone has clamored for, or literally supported bus lanes being in effect when the benefit of doing as such would loom rather minimal.... Learn something everyday.

The DOT's position in speaking with them about these bus lanes in the meetings I have been in (I've been involved with Hylan Blvd bus lane project and 5th Av busway project) has been to leave them in operation for as long as possible where possible to prioritize getting buses to move faster, so if they don't have to pull into traffic or wait for cars to pass by, then that means they save time, as that tends to be where buses are slowed down the most. Now, yes there is less traffic at night to impede their progress of pulling out of stops, etc., but they are not looking at how frequent the bus runs. They have been looking at a number of ways to sort of isolate buses so that can move unimpeded. That's really the focus. They tried out a few bus bulbs as well with bus lanes so that the buses would not have to even pull in or out of stops. They would stay right in the bus lane the entire time. They've also been trying to demarcate bus lanes better, with the bright red paint, etc.

Something else I will mention... The (MTA) has been pushing hard for more bus lanes, but the DOT does not always agree to what the (MTA) wants. For example, they have been asking for no right turns along 5th Avenue for certain stretches in Midtown, and so far the DOT has resisted this request (this may change though, as I have mentioned it to them in at least one meeting), but doing so would mean the buses having to interact with far fewer cars in the bus lane trying to complete turns.

The plan long-term is to have bus lanes enforced via cameras to stop cars from abusing them entirely, to again allow buses to move unimpeded without cars in the way, unless they have to do something like make a turn. Not too long ago, they had the Clear Curb program to run cars out of bus stops and the like, but they quietly cut that program.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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I heard that somewhere around January 2022 (the start of the winter session), the Bx39 will move to Gun Hill. No route from Gun Hill will head to West Farms. My guess is that MTA is finding the right depot for this route to see which depot is closer when in deadhead. 

Edited by Calvin
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On 10/13/2021 at 5:24 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I believe so. However, I've been speaking with the DOT over the last few years about things like no right turns on 5th Av so that buses can move unimpeded, etc. They've been warming up to such ideas lately to try to really get buses out of vehicular traffic and moving as they should be, unimpeded.

Manhattan is based on a grid system of mostly one way streets, there are already enough 'no turn' intersections in midtown. No right turns on 5th Ave is going to make it even more crazy. Wasn't that part of the reason they have two bus lanes on 5th Ave?

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