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Ways to improve the M15 SBS


Via Garibaldi 8

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So, I finally got to use the M15 SBS today. I had to pick up a bid down by Water St by the South Street Seaport and figured I'd try the M15 over to the M42 to get up to the office rather than getting a taxi or using the subway after having used the X14 to get in.

 

After picking up my bid packet, I walked over to the Wall St. stop, and quickly figured out how to use the machine to get my receipt. That process was very quick. However, one of the Metrocard machines was "Out of Service". :P

 

The time stamped on my receipt was 09:37. A bus was scheduled to come in about 5 minutes (not sure what time exactly because they don't have the times listed, but rather "Every five minutes") but it did come eventually. I found the seats to be a bit odd, but somehow a bit better on the Novas than the older accordion buses.

 

While the ride was quick, I still think it could be faster. I arrived at the U.N. (1st and 42nd) at around 10:10 or so. IMO, I think there are too many stops. For example, why does there have to be a stop on 29th street when there is a stop on 24th st?? I would remove some stops and make it say 23rd to 34th st the way they have it on the M2 and M5 on 5th Avenue. I realize that they're trying to duplicate local stops on the subway and they have the hospitals there and such, but it makes the bus a tad slower and certainly a lot slower than the (4) or (5) train. All and all it took me almost an hour to get from Wall & Water St to 5th and 42nd st. Not exactly that quick and I didn't wait for either bus very long either, maybe 5 - 6 minutes a piece if that.

 

It seems like folks are getting the hang of paying before boarding on the M15, as I didn't see anyone complaining, which is good. IMO, I think this is just a glorified Limited Stop Bus. If it were really Select Bus Service it would make fewer stops.

 

Another thing that I didn't get was why do they only give you an hour on your ticket stub? If say you get on at South Ferry and want to ride to 125th street that could certainly take more than a hour. Rather weird set up.

 

I'm also curious about what happens if both of the Metrocard machines are broken/Out of Service at a particular stop?? Finally, I think SBS should get real time schedules. Much better than that "every 5 minutes crappola" set up on the schedules.

 

I know I know, I have high standards, but hey I'm an express bus rider and aside from that, other cities that I've been to in Europe have had this service for years now. :P In Bologna, they have bus tracking in place, along with real time schedules and use the same set up with the 3 door low floor type of buses. The difference is that you pay on the bus and you can pay with coins or in Euros. You can also use bus tickets if you buy them in advance and just go to one of the ticket machines on the bus and have your ticket stamped as proof of having paid. :cool:

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1) Agreed with extending the time limit. I think a trip from Harlem to South Ferry would take about 80-90 minutes and, while I doubt many people do it you should at least have the option of doing it (If you think about it, they have transfers valid for 2 hours, so they might as well have the +SBS+ recepts valid for 2 hours)

 

2) Agreed with trying to get rid of the unnecessary stops. It might only save a minute or two, but that could mean the difference between somebody making a transfer and missing it.

 

3) A time-stamp would probably work better than the current system (that's what they do on the HBLR). You can buy a bunch of tickets and then just stamp each one before you use them (that way, if a bus arrives at the stop, you just have to pull out the ticket and stamp it, rather than having to fumble for a MetroCard)

 

4) The "every 5 minutes" thing is probably because, considering the fact that it is a long route, and considering the fact that this is Manhattan, they can't pinpoint a time when the bus will arrive. When a route is that frequent, people generally don't look at a schedule: They just show up and hope a bus will arrive soon.

 

5) They should try keeping the +SBS+ and local stops together, so that people riding for short distances have the option of either bus.

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Get all the cars, trucks & tour buses out of 1st & 2nd Avenue /sarcasm

 

No but seriously, there really isn't much to do when it comes to improving service because some of the factors can't be blamed on the service itself like traffic and construction.

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Get all the cars, trucks & tour buses out of 1st & 2nd Avenue /sarcasm

 

No but seriously, there really isn't much to do when it comes to improving service because some of the factors can't be blamed on the service itself like traffic and construction.

 

To be honest, there were no traffic issues. Everything went really smooth, but I was still surprised that it took me a good 30 minutes from Wall St. to 42nd and 1st.

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Other than strickly enforcing the bus only lanes on 1/2nd Aves. and a foamer dream of a full SAS subway right now, i think the current bus rapid format on the (M15) will not get any better.

 

And on Garbaldi idea to extend the time limit for subway/bus transfers to 3 hours i agree 100%. However it should be for local/limited/sbs nyc bus routes.

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To be honest, there were no traffic issues. Everything went really smooth, but I was still surprised that it took me a good 30 minutes from Wall St. to 42nd and 1st.

 

That is not too bad, but to increase service on the line even more, you'd be choking both tthe SBS and LCL.

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By the way, if I bought a ticket at South Ferry and wanted to go to Harlem and transfer to another bus, I would still be able to make the transfer for free, even though my receipt would've technically expired, correct?

 

Also, I forgot from the last (and first) time I used the M15 +SBS+, but do the receipts have the place that you bought them stamped on them?

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By the way, if I bought a ticket at South Ferry and wanted to go to Harlem and transfer to another bus, I would still be able to make the transfer for free, even though my receipt would've technically expired, correct?

 

Also, I forgot from the last (and first) time I used the M15 +SBS+, but do the receipts have the place that you bought them stamped on them?

 

You would get the transfer on your Metrocard. As for coins, not sure.

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A bus that is constrained by other traffic can only go so fast. Buses are not meant to be a rapid form of transportation. They're meant for trips that are 1-5 miles or for elderly people who can't or don't want to use the subway. The M15 SBS will never be as fast as a subway line.

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That is not too bad, but to increase service on the line even more, you'd be choking both tthe SBS and LCL.

 

That was another thing that surprised me. Even with 5 minute intervals, once we reached 14st the bus became rather crowded to say the least. I also saw very few local stop buses, so they're really pushing SBS service on M15 riders, which I can certainly understand. Makes more sense for a number of reasons. That had me thinking that perhaps some M15 SBSs should be short turned somewhere to help out where there are heavy crowds. Say have some M15s start at 14th and 1st.

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A bus that is constrained by other traffic can only go so fast. Buses are not meant to be a rapid form of transportation. They're meant for trips that are 1-5 miles or for elderly people who can't or don't want to use the subway. The M15 SBS will never be as fast as a subway line.

 

lol... Hey I thought you were a supporter of express buses... :mad: I know the M15 isn't one, but IMO express buses can certainly be as fast as the subway if not faster. :cool:

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Express buses are faster than the subway. However, the M15 SBS is not a real express bus. Any bus that doesn't use a highway will be slower than the subway.

 

LOL... You've got a point and also, even with the 3 doors, you still don't have the on and off on the express bus like you do on the limited stop buses or select stop buses.

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You would get the transfer on your Metrocard. As for coins, not sure.

 

When you get your slip from the coin machine, ask the bus driver for a transfer.

 

Express buses are faster than the subway. However, the M15 SBS is not a real express bus. Any bus that doesn't use a highway will be slower than the subway.

 

I wouldn't say faster. As fast, depends on the route. Faster, rarely.

 

That is not too bad, but to increase service on the line even more, you'd be choking both tthe SBS and LCL.

 

You'd turn 2nd Avenue into a parking lot.

 

Get all the cars, trucks & tour buses out of 1st & 2nd Avenue /sarcasm

 

No but seriously, there really isn't much to do when it comes to improving service because some of the factors can't be blamed on the service itself like traffic and construction.

 

Theres one very unpopular Bloomberg initiative that would solve the congestion problem.....

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Tour buses has two stops in 1st Av at 8th St and 45th St.

 

Also sometimes M9 blocks bus lane because of new stop at 1st Av & 23rd St SE corner.

 

United Nations need to open the small roadway around 45th St for tour bus layover, so that way, SBS and Local doesn't have to leave bus lane.

 

Also enforce all taxi/liberty cab on left side unless if they were carrying disables.

 

I think this Monday, M15 might properly going to be worst with FDR Drive closure.

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When you pay in coins for the Select Bus Service, you show your receipt that states you paid in coins and the bus operator will give a transfer to you.

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On the time limit, it is that you have to get on the bus at that stop within one hour...not complete the trip within one hour. This is to prevent reuse of tickets.

 

Tour buses has two stops in 1st Av at 8th St and 45th St.

 

Also sometimes M9 blocks bus lane because of new stop at 1st Av & 23rd St SE corner.

 

United Nations need to open the small roadway around 45th St for tour bus layover, so that way, SBS and Local doesn't have to leave bus lane.

 

Also enforce all taxi/liberty cab on left side unless if they were carrying disables.

 

I think this Monday, M15 might properly going to be worst with FDR Drive closure.

 

I would extend that to full-time on all of the avenues, including the M15 SBS, where buses run and it's a one way: Pick up and drop off on the left side, 6 AM to 10 PM.

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So, I finally got to use the M15 SBS today. I had to pick up a bid down by Water St by the South Street Seaport and figured I'd try the M15 over to the M42 to get up to the office rather than getting a taxi or using the subway after having used the X14 to get in.

 

After picking up my bid packet, I walked over to the Wall St. stop, and quickly figured out how to use the machine to get my receipt. That process was very quick. However, one of the Metrocard machines was "Out of Service". :P

 

The time stamped on my receipt was 09:37. A bus was scheduled to come in about 5 minutes (not sure what time exactly because they don't have the times listed, but rather "Every five minutes") but it did come eventually. I found the seats to be a bit odd, but somehow a bit better on the Novas than the older accordion buses.

 

While the ride was quick, I still think it could be faster. I arrived at the U.N. (1st and 42nd) at around 10:10 or so. IMO, I think there are too many stops. For example, why does there have to be a stop on 29th street when there is a stop on 24th st?? I would remove some stops and make it say 23rd to 34th st the way they have it on the M2 and M5 on 5th Avenue. I realize that they're trying to duplicate local stops on the subway and they have the hospitals there and such, but it makes the bus a tad slower and certainly a lot slower than the (4) or (5) train. All and all it took me almost an hour to get from Wall & Water St to 5th and 42nd st. Not exactly that quick and I didn't wait for either bus very long either, maybe 5 - 6 minutes a piece if that.

 

It seems like folks are getting the hang of paying before boarding on the M15, as I didn't see anyone complaining, which is good. IMO, I think this is just a glorified Limited Stop Bus. If it were really Select Bus Service it would make fewer stops.

 

Another thing that I didn't get was why do they only give you an hour on your ticket stub? If say you get on at South Ferry and want to ride to 125th street that could certainly take more than a hour. Rather weird set up.

 

I'm also curious about what happens if both of the Metrocard machines are broken/Out of Service at a particular stop?? Finally, I think SBS should get real time schedules. Much better than that "every 5 minutes crappola" set up on the schedules.

 

I know I know, I have high standards, but hey I'm an express bus rider and aside from that, other cities that I've been to in Europe have had this service for years now. :P In Bologna, they have bus tracking in place, along with real time schedules and use the same set up with the 3 door low floor type of buses. The difference is that you pay on the bus and you can pay with coins or in Euros. You can also use bus tickets if you buy them in advance and just go to one of the ticket machines on the bus and have your ticket stamped as proof of having paid. :cool:

 

29th St stop is Bellere Hospital. Only on weekend, 29th St is mostly low-ridership.

 

43rd-44th Sts SBS stop is way close to 45th St Local/Tour Bus Stop and I kept wondering if 45th St Local folks try to get SBS.

 

If apartment at 22nd St allowed, maybe they could let M9 layover on 1st Av Loop, and on schedule trip, M9 could pickup it's passenger at bus stop, so it wouldn't have to block bus lane too much and both M15/Tour Bus could improv little more.

 

I also think (Q101) should share bus stop with (Q60).

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Another problem on Bus Lane is at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Taxi stand is at 5th Av/82nd St and tour bus is 83rd Street.

When museum is very busy, taxi blocks out tour bus stop, force both CitySight and Grayline tour bus to stay in traffic lane, unload and load passenger, which causes delay, because other taxis waiting behind the bus sometimes do crazy thing.

 

Little off-topic, relatives.

I also think Isham St should be two-way bus lane between Broadway & Sherman Av, since it's very narrow street for Bx12SBS.

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Another problem is M15 SBS, it travels through highly populated tourist attraction such as:

South Ferry for Battery Park, SIF, Miss Liberty, Ellis Island, Gov Island.

Wall St: Frances Tavern, Federal Memorial, East River Ferry

Seaport: Seaport, TKTS, Sightseeing Cruises, Pier #17 Store/Restaurant

Chinatown- Catherine St/Grand St- Chinatown Bus Connection.

Houston St/Allen St & 1st Av/2nd St: East Village, STOMPS at 8th St

14th St: East Village

43rd St: United Nations

79th or 86th Sts or SB 88th St: MET Museum, Guggehim, Jewish Museum, etc.

125th St-126th St Depot Station: Tourist often transfer bet. M60 and M15 SBS sometimes.

 

On guidebook doesn't get updated quickly, and they don't know how SBS works.

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They need to have detailed signs or even a diagram of how to use the machine. I remember the first few times I pressed where it said "Push to Start" rather than the start button and tried jamming my metrocard in. It's very confusing, and so many times when it wouldn't work I just hopped on without paying.

 

(It was a student metrocard btw just so you know, I wasn't cheating the MTA out of any money)

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I think it not going to work, especially people rushing to catch either SBS don't pay attention to detail or pay attention.

How about on SBS bus shelter, put SBS introduction and relocate both machine inside bus shelter similar to Bx12 SBS.

I think Local and SBS needs GPS tracking and have neighborhood stores or hospital to put MTA Bus Time Screen similar to business along B63 route does.

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