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JubaionBx12+SBS

The sad story of Staten Island bus service. How would you cheer the borough up?

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My look through the 2010 bus ridership totals continues with Staten Island. What I found out about Staten Island bus usage is sad. While the majority of routes in the four other boroughs gather over 10,000 riders on an average weekday, NONE in Staten Island reach that mark. The S53 comes the closest with 9,579 riders per weekday. It would be wrong to cut a bunch of service in Staten Island because of low ridership numbers but something has to be done about these numbers. I would restructure and/or consolidate some routes to make sure that at least a few can gain that 10,000 riders per weekday total which is easily achieved in the other boroughs. How would you start improving Staten Island bus service?

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A few things: if the buses showed up when they are actually supposed to show, them people would actually rely on the buses more. The issue is that a lot of bus stops hardly get attention depending on the area they are in. The south shore is a prime example as west of Richmond Avenue, those people in the Huguenot, Woodrow, Charleston, Tottenville areas (to name a few) use cars more than buses to get around as they only have about 20-30 minute service on average outside of rush hour.

 

The buses out in SI are often fast, pushing it on a local road higher than 40 mph sometimes, then they show up 15 minutes early at their terminal. Then buses leave their terminals early and the entire schedule is thrown off.

 

If more dispatchers monitored the buses in areas where needed to catch drivers who like to run hot and think they can get away with it then buses can start gaining decent ridership and service can be added where necessary.

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Strictly speaking, the MTA service plan isn't really built for Staten Island, it's built for urban environments: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, much of Queens. But SI is SUBurban. Vastly more people use cars than in the other boroughs, and distances are much greater between areas.

 

I don't like express buses in the first place and if it were up to me, there wouldn't be any. But if it were my decision, I would limit the MTA's SI service to multiple borough express buses only, and leave the local service to another operator who runs a suburban network. It'd leave the MTA to do what they do best: urban and express service, while another specialized operator could deal with the local service. Because really, if people have cars and use them to commute, it's hard to make them use the bus.

 

You need to read LRG's post because he took the words out of my mouth. He lives in Brooklyn and commutes to Staten Island daily. The way that the (MTA) runs service on Staten Island is why people stay away from the local bus. They are unreliable and run on their own schedule instead of the schedule that is shown. You use the Madison/5th Ave lines, which are generally prompt and somewhat clean. I don't care if you live on the planet, if you provide shabby service that is unreliable, slow, and at times seems to be non-existent when there is supposed to be service then people will look for other alternatives. Believe me, I know because I have basically given up on local bus service on Staten Island, but DO use it in Manhattan without a blink of an eye, as do many Staten Islanders, so that right there should tell you something.

 

For the most part, I don't have issues with the frequencies because on most of the local lines they are in line with the ridership, but they are just simply unreliable and slow unless you can catch one at the right time with good and I mean GOOD luck. A 5-10 minute ride should not take 45-50 minutes, as can be the case on Staten Island, so generally only those who really need local bus service use it, which tends to be more poorer folks and those who can't drive yet (i.e. teenagers, if they haven't been spoiled enough yet to be driven around by their parents or friends yet). Many lines also aren't set up so that one can make a simple transfer to another bus. If you have buses running every 20 - 30 minutes that's not terrible, provided that they show up as scheduled, but the lack of coordination between buses can make a 30 minute commute easily turn into a 1 1/2 hr commute.

 

I have called on the (MTA) to provide better supervision, but I have only done this by complaining on the (MTA) website on numerous occasions, which seems to work for a little bit anyway on the express buses. I plan on becoming much more vocal about this at the next Board meeting because they need to address this. It is almost as if there is no one monitoring the buses on Staten Island, but esp. the local buses.

 

To add injury to insult, the Staten Island politicians don't really give a sh*t because they know that their votes are coming from those who are more affluent, and those folks generally either drive or take the express bus, so while many of them may talk about "bus service", they are usually referring to the express bus, as was shown by Vito Fossella and other representatives who have actually looked to improve "bus service". Fossella lives on the South Shore in Great Kills, an area that uses its express buses heavily, and most of his constituents wrote to him about the express bus, so knowing that, he focused on that accordingly.

 

In sum, you have a number of reasons why local bus service stinks and to some degree I think there are a lot of folks that would like to keep it that way. Poor local bus service means that you have less riff raff moving to certain areas and it also keeps things more "suburban" despite the fact that the borough is growing the quickest out of all of the boroughs in terms of population. I could be wrong about it, but that is my observation. Whenever we get big changes in bus service on Staten Island that have politicians in the mix, most of them have been express bus related. The S89 is a "local" bus, but it serves commuters going to take light rail service for the most part, which isn't exactly "cheap".

 

I would like you to however address your "quarrels" with express buses though. I find that rather "interesting", but not surprising... You have such issues with express buses, but people like you wouldn't want their tax dollars spent on light rails or subways either. Typical.

 

Oh and it isn't just Staten Island that so suburban to have you tell it. There are parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx as well that are indeed suburban.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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All of you already hit the major points but the main one is definitely having the buses show up when their supposed to. Being the fact that most SI local routes serve the ferry, the MTA should in turn make sure that service is actually tied to the ferry service, even if it means providing some more limited service to boost ridership and a guaranteed connection to the ferry like the SIR.

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Honestly I think it's pretty naive to say that a) better supervision would fix the SI bus network and mainly ;) people would ride the bus if the service were better.

 

I know everybody gets aggy when we start talking personal bus service, but the issue that's much bigger than quality of service is that SI is much different than most of NY -- everybody knows that, that's why you keep trying to secede. So running transit with the same model as the rest of the city, even when vastly more people have cars, is a flawed plan. To get people to use the local bus in Staten Island will take a whole lot more than reducing lateness.

 

I'll get back to you on the express buses later, I have to run out now.

 

Yeah, but the thing is the (MTA) already runs some SI routes differently than it does other routes in the city. For example, it has a different criteria for limited stop service than other routes in the city. As for more people using the local bus if the service were better, that is certainly not naïtivity, but the truth. We're not saying that HOARDS of people are going to say Oh wow, look, local bus service is GREAT now, so I'll ditch my car. I'm well aware that Staten Island is car centric. It always has been and that won't change over night, but my point is that you have a lot of folks who don't mind using public transportation that stay away from the local buses because they are unreliable, so yes, if service was more reliable more people would indeed use the local buses. On Staten Island, the thing is that without subways, if the buses f*ck up the only thing you have to fall back on are CARS, so yeah, of course more people will drive here.

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My look through the 2010 bus ridership totals continues with Staten Island. What I found out about Staten Island bus usage is sad. While the majority of routes in the four other boroughs gather over 10,000 riders on an average weekday, NONE in Staten Island reach that mark. The S53 comes the closest with 9,579 riders per weekday. It would be wrong to cut a bunch of service in Staten Island because of low ridership numbers but something has to be done about these numbers. I would restructure and/or consolidate some routes to make sure that at least a few can gain that 10,000 riders per weekday total which is easily achieved in the other boroughs. How would you start improving Staten Island bus service?

 

Well, I know two things that will push 2 routes over 10,000 riders per day:

 

1) Implement the S83 limited

 

2) Make the S79 a limited-only route

 

I think they're already over 10,000 riders though. IIRC, according to the service reductions booklet, the S53 and S79 both get around 11,000 riders, so I don't think they count students (I know the S55/S56 get a lot of student riders, and the site you used said the total ridership was around 1,200, whereas the service reductions booklet said it was around 1,800)

 

A few things: if the buses showed up when they are actually supposed to show, them people would actually rely on the buses more. The issue is that a lot of bus stops hardly get attention depending on the area they are in. The south shore is a prime example as west of Richmond Avenue, those people in the Huguenot, Woodrow, Charleston, Tottenville areas (to name a few) use cars more than buses to get around as they only have about 20-30 minute service on average outside of rush hour.

 

The buses out in SI are often fast, pushing it on a local road higher than 40 mph sometimes, then they show up 15 minutes early at their terminal. Then buses leave their terminals early and the entire schedule is thrown off.

 

If more dispatchers monitored the buses in areas where needed to catch drivers who like to run hot and think they can get away with it then buses can start gaining decent ridership and service can be added where necessary.

 

That too, but I think overall, they need to take a good look at the schedules to see if they're giving too much time to the drivers. Some drivers use up all of their time, whereas some floor it and arrive early. If the latter occurs, you've just started a cycle of late and early buses.

 

Strictly speaking, the MTA service plan isn't really built for Staten Island, it's built for urban environments: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, much of Queens. But SI is SUBurban. Vastly more people use cars than in the other boroughs, and distances are much greater between areas.

 

I don't like express buses in the first place and if it were up to me, there wouldn't be any. But if it were my decision, I would limit the MTA's SI service to multiple borough express buses only, and leave the local service to another operator who runs a suburban network. It'd leave the MTA to do what they do best: urban and express service, while another specialized operator could deal with the local service. Because really, if people have cars and use them to commute, it's hard to make them use the bus.

 

Staten Island is urban by many standards in this country. If you go to Miami, you'll see that once you go a couple of miles away from Downtown, it's just as suburban (if not moreso) than Staten Island.

 

They do have it right in the sense that SI is a hub-and-spoke system, but I think they need to reroute a few more lines to those hubs to get additional ridership.

 

For the most part, I don't have issues with the frequencies because on most of the local lines they are in line with the ridership, but they are just simply unreliable and slow unless you can catch one at the right time with good and I mean GOOD luck. A 5-10 minute ride should not take 45-50 minutes, as can be the case on Staten Island, so generally only those who really need local bus service use it, which tends to be more poorer folks and those who can't drive yet (i.e. teenagers, if they haven't been spoiled enough yet to be driven around by their parents or friends yet). Many lines also aren't set up so that one can make a simple transfer to another bus. If you have buses running every 20 - 30 minutes that's not terrible, provided that they show up as scheduled, but the lack of coordination between buses can make a 30 minute commute easily turn into a 1 1/2 hr commute.

 

In sum, you have a number of reasons why local bus service stinks and to some degree I think there are a lot of folks that would like to keep it that way. Poor local bus service means that you have less riff raff moving to certain areas and it also keeps things more "suburban" despite the fact that the borough is growing the quickest out of all of the boroughs in terms of population. I could be wrong about it, but that is my observation. Whenever we get big changes in bus service on Staten Island that have politicians in the mix, most of them have been express bus related. The S89 is a "local" bus, but it serves commuters going to take light rail service for the most part, which isn't exactly "cheap".

 

 

Yeah, but the low headways are definitely a deterrant. With the exception of a few areas, you can't just make a trip on a whim, because you could easily end up waiting 15-20 minutes for the bus. Even if the buses do adhere to the schedule, there's still the issue of low frequencies (and part of it is because a lot of routes are tied into the infrequent ferry schedule)

 

And we've already discussed the cost issue of light rails and subways. Think of it as buying a membership to Costco or something (on a larger scale): Yeah, you have to layout a lot of money up front, but in the long term, you save a lot of money.

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Honestly I think it's pretty naive to say that a) better supervision would fix the SI bus network and mainly ;) people would ride the bus if the service were better.

 

I know everybody gets aggy when we start talking personal bus service, but the issue that's much bigger than quality of service is that SI is much different than most of NY -- everybody knows that, that's why you keep trying to secede. So running transit with the same model as the rest of the city, even when vastly more people have cars, is a flawed plan. To get people to use the local bus in Staten Island will take a whole lot more than reducing lateness.

 

I'll get back to you on the express buses later, I have to run out now.

 

Its not naive. Yes, people who are die hard drivers are going to drive even if you put a Prevost on every route. But for people who aren't as die-hard, improving service can go a long way in terms of ridership. This may mean route alterations, reduced number of stops, hell even a change in depot management. But it can be done. What the (MTA) can do is to have a SI open-house and talk to the people so they can get some idea on whats needed. And part of the reason that SI ridership is low (asides from the obvious heavier car usage) is due to the crappy service.

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Its not naive. Yes, people who are die hard drivers are going to drive even if you put a Prevost on every route. But for people who aren't as die-hard, improving service can go a long way in terms of ridership. This may mean route alterations, reduced number of stops, hell even a change in depot management. But it can be done. What the (MTA) can do is to have a SI open-house and talk to the people so they can get some idea on whats needed. And part of the reason that SI ridership is low (asides from the obvious heavier car usage) is due to the crappy service.

 

The issue I would have with a reduced number of stops is that seniors are probably disproportionately represented on some routes, and that would cause them to have to walk further. In fact, on Friday, my grandmother missed the S61 because she couldn't make it to the stop in time, so she decided to walk directly to Richmond Avenue (big mistake, since another S61 came a few minutes later)

 

On the low-ridership routes that isn't a problem. On the high-ridership routes, that problem can often be fixed by adding a limited (S48, S53, and S79).

 

And of course, TSP would help tremendously as well. You wouldn't have to worry about the bus stopping for 1 person and missing the light as a result.

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Yeah, but the low headways are definitely a deterrant. With the exception of a few areas, you can't just make a trip on a whim, because you could easily end up waiting 15-20 minutes for the bus. Even if the buses do adhere to the schedule, there's still the issue of low frequencies (and part of it is because a lot of routes are tied into the infrequent ferry schedule)

 

And we've already discussed the cost issue of light rails and subways. Think of it as buying a membership to Costco or something (on a larger scale): Yeah, you have to layout a lot of money up front, but in the long term, you save a lot of money.

 

Yeah, but I think people can live with that. It works just fine on NJ routes. I don't hesitate to go to the Garden State Plaza because the frequencies are every hour, because I know that the 163 is very reliable. In fact I can set my Blackberry to it, so while that is true, it is only true to a degree and once you have the countdown clocks or the ability to know when the bus is coming that will certainly help a lot. They really need to get that process up and going and stop stalling. :mad:

 

As for light rail, while you make a good point, I still don't think folks would want to put out that much money up front. Folks talk a good game about wanting it, but when it comes time for paying for it, that's a different story and like I said, they already b*tch about express bus service, which is a fraction of what a light rail or a subway would cost, so I find it hard to believe that they would support it for areas of the city that lack subways or light rails. As far as I'm concerned, they could really give a rats @ss because they see Staten Island as backwards and not a part of NYC anyway, so why would they want to give us anything? You may disagree, but coming from Southern Brooklyn as I did, you yourself have admitted it to a degree. LOL

 

As Bridgeton 553 said, we already have the ferry, so what more do we want? LOL

 

What amazes me though is how ignorant people are about transportation on Staten Island. I tell folks that I take the express bus and they say, "Oh, you take it to the ferry?" ;)

 

The issue I would have with a reduced number of stops is that seniors are probably disproportionately represented on some routes, and that would cause them to have to walk further. In fact, on Friday, my grandmother missed the S61 because she couldn't make it to the stop in time, so she decided to walk directly to Richmond Avenue (big mistake, since another S61 came a few minutes later).

 

Yeah yeah yeah... The S54 is a route like that and they out and out cut weekend service so, so much for that argument. :P

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Yeah, but I think people can live with that. It works just fine on NJ routes. I don't hesitate to go to the Garden State Plaza because the frequencies are every hour, because I know that the 163 is very reliable. In fact I can set my Blackberry to it, so while that is true, it is only true to a degree and once you have the countdown clocks or the ability to know when the bus is coming that will certainly help a lot. They really need to get that process up and going and stop stalling. :mad:

 

As for light rail, while you make a good point, I still don't think folks would want to put out that much money up front. Folks talk a good game about wanting it, but when it comes time for paying for it, that's a different story and like I said, they already b*tch about express bus service, which is a fraction of what a light rail or a subway would cost, so I find it hard to believe that they would support it for areas of the city that lack subways or light rails. As far as I'm concerned, they could really give a rats @ss because they see Staten Island as backwards and not a part of NYC anyway, so why would they want to give us anything? You may disagree, but coming from Southern Brooklyn as I did, you yourself have admitted it to a degree. LOL

 

As Bridgeton 553 said, we already have the ferry, so what more do we want? LOL

 

Yeah yeah yeah... The S54 is a route like that and they out and out cut weekend service so, so much for that argument. ;)

 

But the thing about the 163 is that it is pretty much an express route, which is a different story. You have people that wouldn't think twice about driving if the trip was within NJ or Staten Island, but once you start talking about Manhattan, it's a different story.

 

As far as the subway/light rail goes, people support the SAS don't they? Sure, the SI trains would serve fewer people, but the cost is a fraction of the SAS cost.

 

Cost estimates say that an HBLR extension and a reactivated North Shore Line would cost about $1.4 billion. Let's double that to $3 billion (because we all know there's going to be overruns, not to mention inflation). The SAS costs something like $20 billion, so while it will serve 10 times more people (500,000 vs. 50,000), it still costs much more (plus, that $20 billion is probably going to become $30 billion by the time it's finished)

 

And I'm not saying that the MTA shouldn't cut a route if it happens to carry a lot of seniors (I mean, all routes carry seniors to an extent), but they should try to be a bit more creative in finding ways to save the routes (like I said, an extension to St. George might boost ridership to the point where it can still be run)

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But the thing about the 163 is that it is pretty much an express route, which is a different story. You have people that wouldn't think twice about driving if the trip was within NJ or Staten Island, but once you start talking about Manhattan, it's a different story.

 

As far as the subway/light rail goes, people support the SAS don't they? Sure, the SI trains would serve fewer people, but the cost is a fraction of the SAS cost.

 

Cost estimates say that an HBLR extension and a reactivated North Shore Line would cost about $1.4 billion. Let's double that to $3 billion (because we all know there's going to be overruns, not to mention inflation). The SAS costs something like $20 billion, so while it will serve 10 times more people (500,000 vs. 50,000), it still costs much more (plus, that $20 billion is probably going to become $30 billion by the time it's finished)

 

 

I don't know about that. Folks support it because it's Manhattan. If it were Staten Island it would be another story. The attitude is they don't need it. They've got the ferry and the express bus and that's good enough and hell if some folks had their way we wouldn't even have express buses, but for the other boroughs, its okay for them to have express buses because they need them, but we don't. LOL It is nothing more than BS. Or they'll say well if you want a faster mode of transportation, just move to Manhattan, as if 500,000 people can just up and move to a borough that is already overcrowded. Idiocy at its finest. These same people don't realize that Staten Island is growing faster than any other borough because people are moving here, so our needs are changing and we're not just some place out in the middle of nowhere.

 

Many people have this perception of Staten Island being a POS simply because our transportation is so pathetic. They find it too much of a hassle to get over here and quite frankly when I first moved here from Brooklyn, I had to do double takes at the local bus schedules. I thought to myself, 30 minutes between buses?? Are they f*cking kidding???

 

As someone from Brooklyn, I can certainly understand why Staten Islanders get so pissed and feel like the forgotten borough because in many aspects they are indeed forgotten and that's one reason why I've become so outspoken about the need for service improvements here because I came from Brooklyn where service wasn't grand, but it was better than on Staten Island and I just find it appauling that the (MTA) does so poorly here when there is so much more potential to do better. Could I move back to Brooklyn?? Of course I could, but I like it here and quite frankly it is a good place to raise a family and such. It's just that the (MTA) does sh*tty with service.

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I don't know about that. Folks support it because it's Manhattan. If it were Staten Island it would be another story. The attitude is they don't need it. They've got the ferry and the express bus and that's good enough and hell if some folks had their way we wouldn't even have express buses, but for the other boroughs, its okay for them to have express buses because they need them, but we don't. LOL It is nothing more than BS. Or they'll say well if you want a faster mode of transportation, just move to Manhattan, as if 500,000 people can just up and move to a borough that is already overcrowded. Idiocy at its finest. These same people don't realize that Staten Island is growing faster than any other borough because people are moving here, so our needs are changing and we're not just some place out in the middle of nowhere.

 

Many people have this perception of Staten Island being a POS simply because our transportation is so pathetic. They find it too much of a hassle to get over here and quite frankly when I first moved here from Brooklyn, I had to do double takes at the local bus schedules. I thought to myself, 30 minutes between buses?? Are they f*cking kidding???

 

As someone from Brooklyn, I can certainly understand why Staten Islanders get so pissed and feel like the forgotten borough because in many aspects they are indeed forgotten and that's one reason why I've become so outspoken about the need for service improvements here because I came from Brooklyn where service wasn't grand, but it was better than on Staten Island and I just find it appauling that the (MTA) does so poorly here when there is so much more potential to do better. Could I move back to Brooklyn?? Of course I could, but I like it here and quite frankly it is a good place to raise a family and such. It's just that the (MTA) does sh*tty with service.

 

Well, I don't think they would give the other boroughs express buses and leave us with nothing. That would be stupid considering our routes have the highest ridership and are some of the cheapest in the express bus system.

 

Unfortunately, the transit service depends on density in order to perform well. Brooklyn with it's 30,000 people per square mile is much more transit-dependant and therefore receives better service (overall) than Staten Island, with 8,500 people per square mile.

 

I mean, on the routes with buses 30 minutes apart, there isn't much that can be done other than trying to run them more reliably. Chances are that ridership isn't going to increase that much if service were doubled to say, every 15 minutes.

 

Staten Island's buses aren't really more or less reliable than buses in the other boroughs. It's just that we feel the impact more because of the low frequencies. If a bus comes early, you're waiting the full 30 minutes for the next one, whereas in the other boroughs, you'll wait 10-15 minutes tops (in general) if there is a problem.

 

Hopefully, as people look to further-out places like Staten Island in hopes of getting more value for their money, demand will increase and so will service.

 

It looks like everybody glossed over my main point though: I think we should keep all service on Staten Island, and I DO think service should be improved. I just don't think the MTA should be in charge, just because SI needs and deserves a different transit approach, and it may be that the hub and spoke doesn't work on SI. The MTA should stick to what it's good at run the express service, and a third party should run the local service under a DOT fund. (Of course, this idea and improving service on SI are all fantasies because we have no MONEY!)

 

We're not in Miami are we? If you can take one look at the SI Mall and says it's the same kind of environment as Flushing, you're on something pretty potent. It's all relative.

 

Like I mentioned early, neither my idea of a third party operator for local service nor improving service will happen, since the MTA is out of money. We could cut more express buses, which are fiscally ludicrous, but some people wouldn't like that much...

 

Hub-and-spoke generally works better in more suburban areas, whereas grid systems generally work better in urban areas.

 

And no, we're not in Miami, but Staten Island is still relatively urban. It's not like Long Island or a true suburb with cul-de-sacs all over the place.

 

I mean, there are areas in Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx that are comparable to a lot of parts of SI.

 

And yeah, I think there are some express routes that should be cut, but I think you're going overboard in how much should be cut.

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Honestly I think you speak for yourself when you say people would use the bus, as honestly, we on the transit forums are nowhere near equivalent to the general public in transit use. That's true in every borough. Like everybody would suddenly get out of their cabs in Manhattan if the service were better? Please. Just cause I don't take cabs doesn't mean others don't, and at the same time, just cause you would ride the bus, doesn't mean others will. You can never underestimate how irrational the general public is.

 

It looks like everybody glossed over my main point though: I think we should keep all service on Staten Island, and I DO think service should be improved. I just don't think the MTA should be in charge, just because SI needs and deserves a different transit approach, and it may be that the hub and spoke doesn't work on SI. The MTA should stick to what it's good at run the express service, and a third party should run the local service under a DOT fund. (Of course, this idea and improving service on SI are all fantasies because we have no MONEY!)

 

Yeah well you clearly glossed over my point. ;) I was pretty specific about what type of folks would be more inclined to use the local bus more on Staten Island if it were more reliable...

 

The (MTA) could certainly run local buses successfully on Staten Island. They just need to be more efficient with the service and it would be fine and they need to implement bus tracking already and change out the do nothing management. The situation isn't nearly as bad as it is on Long Island. There I think Nassau was smart in doing away with the (MTA).

 

As for a grant from the DOT... Please... Even if the money was there people would throw a fit. They're already b*tching because we don't pay for the ferry, but we're the only borough that would have to pay to get off if it.

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Well, I don't think they would give the other boroughs express buses and leave us with nothing. That would be stupid considering our routes have the highest ridership and are some of the cheapest in the express bus system.

 

I certainly could see that. Most folks don't even see Staten Island as part of NYC. The latest slap in the face was Reebok or whoever it was that made a pair of sneakers for every borough EXCEPT... Staten Island. LOL

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I certainly could see that. Most folks don't even see Staten Island as part of NYC. The latest slap in the face was Reebok or whoever it was that made a pair of sneakers for every borough EXCEPT... Staten Island. LOL

 

Wow. They never heard of the 5 boroughs?

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Wow. They never heard of the 5 boroughs?

 

 

Oh, they made 5 pairs of sneakers.... One pair for Brooklyn, one pair for Manhattan, one pair for the Bronx, and one pair for Queens... And another pair, but it wasn't for Staten Island. :(

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something else I'd also add...when the GPS thingie gets to SI then people would be able to find out where their buses are at way ahead of time rather than relying on the schedule that the buses hardly follow..and that goes for buses in the other boroughs that are plagued with being caught in traffic which can slow the buses down.

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Oh, they made 5 pairs of sneakers.... One pair for Brooklyn, one pair for Manhattan, one pair for the Bronx, and one pair for Queens... And another pair, but it wasn't for Staten Island. B)

 

That facepalm smiley would come in handy now. :(

 

So if that pair wasn't for Staten Island, who was it for? :confused:

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That facepalm smiley would come in handy now. :(

 

So if that pair wasn't for Staten Island, who was it for? :confused:

 

They said who, but I forget. It was on NY1 a few days ago and I heard it as I was coming out of the shower or something. In any event, they said some Staten Islanders were pissed off because once again they were "forgotten". LOL Not sure if a Staten Island sneaker will be added or not, but as of now none exists to my knowledge.

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A few things: if the buses showed up when they are actually supposed to show, them people would actually rely on the buses more. The issue is that a lot of bus stops hardly get attention depending on the area they are in. The south shore is a prime example as west of Richmond Avenue, those people in the Huguenot, Woodrow, Charleston, Tottenville areas (to name a few) use cars more than buses to get around as they only have about 20-30 minute service on average outside of rush hour.

 

The buses out in SI are often fast, pushing it on a local road higher than 40 mph sometimes, then they show up 15 minutes early at their terminal. Then buses leave their terminals early and the entire schedule is thrown off.

 

If more dispatchers monitored the buses in areas where needed to catch drivers who like to run hot and think they can get away with it then buses can start gaining decent ridership and service can be added where necessary.

reliability will only do so much you need to fill out the service gaps first. The S55/56 and 54 and 57 need a major point badly unfourtunately the only ones I can think of to boost usage are in NJ.

 

Strictly speaking, the MTA service plan isn't really built for Staten Island, it's built for urban environments: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, much of Queens. But SI is SUBurban. Vastly more people use cars than in the other boroughs, and distances are much greater between areas.

 

I don't like express buses in the first place and if it were up to me, there wouldn't be any. But if it were my decision, I would limit the MTA's SI service to multiple borough express buses only, and leave the local service to another operator who runs a suburban network. It'd leave the MTA to do what they do best: urban and express service, while another specialized operator could deal with the local service. Because really, if people have cars and use them to commute, it's hard to make them use the bus.

SI favors regional travel over short term so of course MTA's service plan won't work here in SI.

 

You need to read LRG's post because he took the words out of my mouth. He lives in Brooklyn and commutes to Staten Island daily. The way that the (MTA) runs service on Staten Island is why people stay away from the local bus. They are unreliable and run on their own schedule instead of the schedule that is shown. You use the Madison/5th Ave lines, which are generally prompt and somewhat clean. I don't care if you live on the planet, if you provide shabby service that is unreliable, slow, and at times seems to be non-existent when there is supposed to be service then people will look for other alternatives. Believe me, I know because I have basically given up on local bus service on Staten Island, but DO use it in Manhattan without a blink of an eye, as do many Staten Islanders, so that right there should tell you something.

 

For the most part, I don't have issues with the frequencies because on most of the local lines they are in line with the ridership, but they are just simply unreliable and slow unless you can catch one at the right time with good and I mean GOOD luck. A 5-10 minute ride should not take 45-50 minutes, as can be the case on Staten Island, so generally only those who really need local bus service use it, which tends to be more poorer folks and those who can't drive yet (i.e. teenagers, if they haven't been spoiled enough yet to be driven around by their parents or friends yet). Many lines also aren't set up so that one can make a simple transfer to another bus. If you have buses running every 20 - 30 minutes that's not terrible, provided that they show up as scheduled, but the lack of coordination between buses can make a 30 minute commute easily turn into a 1 1/2 hr commute.

 

I have called on the (MTA) to provide better supervision, but I have only done this by complaining on the (MTA) website on numerous occasions, which seems to work for a little bit anyway on the express buses. I plan on becoming much more vocal about this at the next Board meeting because they need to address this. It is almost as if there is no one monitoring the buses on Staten Island, but esp. the local buses.

 

To add injury to insult, the Staten Island politicians don't really give a sh*t because they know that their votes are coming from those who are more affluent, and those folks generally either drive or take the express bus, so while many of them may talk about "bus service", they are usually referring to the express bus, as was shown by Vito Fossella and other representatives who have actually looked to improve "bus service". Fossella lives on the South Shore in Great Kills, an area that uses its express buses heavily, and most of his constituents wrote to him about the express bus, so knowing that, he focused on that accordingly.

 

In sum, you have a number of reasons why local bus service stinks and to some degree I think there are a lot of folks that would like to keep it that way. Poor local bus service means that you have less riff raff moving to certain areas and it also keeps things more "suburban" despite the fact that the borough is growing the quickest out of all of the boroughs in terms of population. I could be wrong about it, but that is my observation. Whenever we get big changes in bus service on Staten Island that have politicians in the mix, most of them have been express bus related. The S89 is a "local" bus, but it serves commuters going to take light rail service for the most part, which isn't exactly "cheap".

 

I would like you to however address your "quarrels" with express buses though. I find that rather "interesting", but not surprising... You have such issues with express buses, but people like you wouldn't want their tax dollars spent on light rails or subways either. Typical.

 

Oh and it isn't just Staten Island that so suburban to have you tell it. There are parts of Brooklyn, the Bronx as well that are indeed suburban.

Agreed my plans won't work without the reliability situation getting fixed. PPL in suburban areas have less tolerance for unreliable service than their urban counterparts!!!!!! Plus since many buses push 40MPH then the buses that continuously arrive early need their schedules changed to reflect their actual operating speeds so the schedules become accurate that is one way to solve it.

 

All of you already hit the major points but the main one is definitely having the buses show up when their supposed to. Being the fact that most SI local routes serve the ferry, the MTA should in turn make sure that service is actually tied to the ferry service, even if it means providing some more limited service to boost ridership and a guaranteed connection to the ferry like the SIR.

 

Limited stop service is one way another is expanded service to different NJ parts NOT deep but enough where one can make NJT connections with buses and such. Increasing travel options the new layout should make up for lack of density

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As far as improving SI bus service goes, here's an idea: When the new LFSAs come in, take some of the 2002-03 Galaxies (say 50 or so) and overhaul them completely, including a repower to a Cummins ISM configuration rated at least 300-330hp. Install suburban seats and overhead luggage racks, and use them on express bus lines during rush (particularly the X1/10/17) at current headways to alleviate the worst of the crowding. During middays and weekends use them as tripper buses on lines like the S79 that are long and prone to crowding.

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