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engineerboy6561

What do people think of articulated buses on certain express routes.

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From what I've seen in lower Manhattan during rush hour certain of the express bus lines (the X1, X10, and X17 are the worst as far as I'm aware of but there are probably others) have serious capacity issues. I've taken these buses a few times during different times of the day on weekdays and usually during rush there will be people standing all the way from the back of the aisle up to (and once or twice beyond) the yellow line behind the driver even though Hylan Blvd has 3-5 minute headways max during rush. At that point there's really only so many more buses you can; you're probably better off trying to maximize the number of people you can fit on each bus, and our OTR coaches top out at 57 seats and maybe 10-12 people in the aisle.

 

Articulated buses, on the other hand, can easily handle upwards of 80-90 people per bus (with 60-65 of those passengers seated; the LFSA and the DE60LFR list maximum seating capacity at 62 and 64, respectively, which is an improvement of around 9-12% over the MCIs and the Prevosts) and don't really start getting full until you hit the 100-passenger mark. What I'd like to suggest is that when we place our next artic order (which is most likely going to be the DE60LFRs) we order a two-door suburban demonstrator and try it out on a few of the busier Staten Island lines.

 

If the trial works out, then we should get a batch of 50-100 buses to Sound Transit specifications (there are pictures at the bottom of the post) and use them at current headways for service on the most crowded Staten Island express routes during rush hours and possibly on typically crowded trips on the weekends. At times when they aren't really needed on express routes they could take over a few trips on the S53/93 or S79 in Staten Island (or possibly the M15SBS in Manhattan), and they would have near-complete parts commonality with the LFR transit order (avoiding orphan fleet syndrome). What do you guys think?

 

PS-Here's the photo gallery (not mine) of the Sound Transit LFRs I mentioned earlier:

 

Sound Transit 2010 New Flyer DE60LFR interior (9645K)

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From what I've seen in lower Manhattan during rush hour certain of the express bus lines (the X1, X10, and X17 are the worst as far as I'm aware of but there are probably others) have serious capacity issues. I've taken these buses a few times during different times of the day on weekdays and usually during rush there will be people standing all the way from the back of the aisle up to (and once or twice beyond) the yellow line behind the driver even though Hylan Blvd has 3-5 minute headways max during rush. At that point there's really only so many more buses you can; you're probably better off trying to maximize the number of people you can fit on each bus, and our OTR coaches top out at 57 seats and maybe 10-12 people in the aisle.

 

Articulated buses, on the other hand, can easily handle upwards of 80-90 people per bus (with 60-65 of those passengers seated; the LFSA and the DE60LFR list maximum seating capacity at 62 and 64, respectively, which is an improvement of around 9-12% over the MCIs and the Prevosts) and don't really start getting full until you hit the 100-passenger mark. What I'd like to suggest is that when we place our next artic order (which is most likely going to be the DE60LFRs) we order a two-door suburban demonstrator and try it out on a few of the busier Staten Island lines.

 

If the trial works out, then we should get a batch of 50-100 buses to Sound Transit specifications (there are pictures at the bottom of the post) and use them at current headways for service on the most crowded Staten Island express routes during rush hours and possibly on typically crowded trips on the weekends. At times when they aren't really needed on express routes they could take over a few trips on the S53/93 or S79 in Staten Island (or possibly the M15SBS in Manhattan), and they would have near-complete parts commonality with the LFR transit order (avoiding orphan fleet syndrome). What do you guys think?

 

PS-Here's the photo gallery (not mine) of the Sound Transit LFRs I mentioned earlier:

 

Sound Transit 2010 New Flyer DE60LFR interior (9645K) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

 

It could possibly work on the x1 and possibly the x10, as these routes travel on long stretches of a few roadways (Richmond Ave, Hylan Blvd, SIE Service Road).

 

As for seating, I think this would be the major issue, especially on express buses that traverse such a long distance in Manhattan (and return). Filling up the bus, no problems, but exiting would have problems.

 

For example:

 

NJ Transit has articulated buses on the 126 line and that bus travels a comparatively short distance (4 miles including 1 mile in Lincoln Tunnel ) between Hoboken and New York. All passengers must exit at the PABT. This works well.

 

The x1 picks up passengers over a distance of about 9 miles on Staten Island and discharges them over 5 miles in Manhattan for a total distance of 24 miles. Based on personal observation, passenger discharge is relatively evenly spread out between the first stop and last. I think you would add a lot more time when discharging folks as you have to wait for people to exit the bus to navigate through the standees.

 

It could work on rush hours for the x1 if you had a super express with limited stops (Eltingville Transit Center, Eltingville SIR Station, Hylan & Richmond Ave and a handful until the stop before the VZ bridge) and a few in Manhattan (Battery Park, Rector Street, Cortlandt or Chambers, W4 14, 23).

 

The x17c wouldn't work too well, too many turns, long distance.

 

The (S79) would be a good choice as well to try out.

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I was actually thinking that the MTA should purchase Suburban Orion VII 3Gs for the staten island express routes because if they're going to continue to allow standees on the MCIs & prevosts then you might as well have the aisle space that the 3Gs would provide. It would also be cheaper for the MTA to run frequent service with suburban 3Gs over motor coaches.

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It could possibly work on the x1 and possibly the x10, as these routes travel on long stretches of a few roadways (Richmond Ave, Hylan Blvd, SIE Service Road).

 

As for seating, I think this would be the major issue, especially on express buses that traverse such a long distance in Manhattan (and return). Filling up the bus, no problems, but exiting would have problems.

 

For example:

 

NJ Transit has articulated buses on the 126 line and that bus travels a comparatively short distance (4 miles including 1 mile in Lincoln Tunnel ) between Hoboken and New York. All passengers must exit at the PABT. This works well.

 

The x1 picks up passengers over a distance of about 9 miles on Staten Island and discharges them over 5 miles in Manhattan for a total distance of 24 miles. Based on personal observation, passenger discharge is relatively evenly spread out between the first stop and last. I think you would add a lot more time when discharging folks as you have to wait for people to exit the bus to navigate through the standees.

 

It could work on rush hours for the x1 if you had a super express with limited stops (Eltingville Transit Center, Eltingville SIR Station, Hylan & Richmond Ave and a handful until the stop before the VZ bridge) and a few in Manhattan (Battery Park, Rector Street, Cortlandt or Chambers, W4 14, 23).

 

The x17c wouldn't work too well, too many turns, long distance.

 

The (S79) would be a good choice as well to try out.

I understand your concerns about seating, and I feel like given the situation you described it would probably be a good idea to have both a super express and a partially articulated fleet to try to have people standing for as few miles as possible. That said, I figure a packed artic would actually be slightly easier to get people on and off than a packed motor coach. Even with suburban seating and luggage racks the artics would still have two doors and fairly passable aisles, making it possible for people to exit in a reasonable amount of time; on the MCIs if someone near the back wants to get off near the first stop then pretty much everyone in the aisle has to get off the bus to let people out and then reboard afterward.

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Articulated buses should not be allow on express bus. A friend of mine who had a lot of experiences with all kind of buses. He said articulated bus are for slower speed. If the speed get to high as 50 mph, the bus part in the back will tend to sway a lot and cause accident. Even tho, you are concern with numerous riders at one time load, it better to do what Mega Bus double decker. But since they did the double decker back then and it failed in some ways. The reason was because of the tree near the street are either blocking it or scratching it. So you are stuck with coach style buses because it stronger and reliable. The only way to get more crowd to Manhattan is get those tunnel built somehow.

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Yeah I have to agree. After reading the arguments against artics on express routes, it is not worth it. Putting more D4500s on the road is the answer. Now why the MTA allows some routes to be super crowded and others to be half filled is just poor management of resources. They should have buses filling the needs of the majority. On the highways, ideally people shouldn't be standing or a bus that's beyond crush load.

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Yeah I have to agree. After reading the arguments against artics on express routes, it is not worth it. Putting more D4500s on the road is the answer. Now why the MTA allows some routes to be super crowded and others to be half filled is just poor management of resources. They should have buses filling the needs of the majority. On the highways, ideally people shouldn't be standing or a bus that's beyond crush load.

 

Fair enough; if we were discussing this back in the days before we had the D4500s and 102DL3s then it would be different, but given the size of the current motorcoach fleet I can see why it makes more sense to augment that fleet rather than start a new one. I brought this up because I was blown away by the crowding on Staten Island express buses. I grew up in the west Bronx where the express buses would often carry half- to three-quarter loads at most and I don't think I ever saw an SRO bus on those lines since before (MTA) took them over.

 

Then I hopped an X12 down by Park Place during Thursday afternoon rush, and I got one of the maybe four or five seats left open. By the time we got into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel there were people standing in the aisle from the very back where I was out to the farebox, and the two X1s that passed us looked just as full. I got off a few stops in, and each time the bus stopped all the people in the aisle had to get off and get back on so that seated passengers could get off. Considering that D4500s and 102DL3s are not designed to have people standing on them for any appreciable distance (and that Hylan Blvd has sub-5 minute headways during rush) the whole thing struck me as somewhat ridiculous.

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The answer is NOT artics. This discussion has been had over and over and over again. The problem is not the MCIs. The problem is proper spacing of the buses AND lack of service and it's been this way for years on Staten Island. The (MTA) is aware of the problem but they refuse to add the service that we need on our express buses. Meanwhile we have people constantly b*tching and moaning about how expensive express bus service is to run and yada yada. These are supposed to be for commuter routes and thus commuters should expect more comfort as we are paying damn there triple what the average ride would cost, hence the use of MCIs. My commute on the express bus to Staten Island is usually anywhere from 1 to almost 2 hours and I think it's ridiculous to suggest articulated buses with those hard seats.

 

I also disagree with using buses between local and express. The seats get torn apart and the buses are just a mess. The way things are now works best and if they just added more buses where needed the problem would be solved.

 

I never hear this ridiculous discussion about commuter trains vs subways. Folks understand that for what commuters pay to ride MetroNorth and the LIRR that they should have a more comfortable ride, so why shouldn't commuters on express buses? I'd like to add that commuter trains aren't exactly cheap either so please stop harping on the costs. The sad part is that for what MetroNorth & LIRR riders pay the comfort level is pathetic. Those chairs are God awful, especially on the LIRR.

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^^ beat me by a minute... had I saw your post, you would have saved me a post....

 

((edit))

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Engineerboy, the concern with express buses isn't capacity, it's with (amount of) service...

 

Artics are ideally/generally placed on local routes w/ high(er) amt's of ridership....

They address capacity issues, not service issues....

 

Nothin much would be solved by throwing artics on express routes.....

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The concern with express buses isn't capacity, it's with (amount of) service...

 

Artics are ideally/generally placed on local routes w/ high(er) amt's of ridership....

They address capacity issues, not service issues....

 

Nothin much would be solved by throwing artics on express routes.....

 

The question is how many times does this have to be repeated and what is this obsession with reducing costs on express buses? Okay so folks want to complain about the cost of deadheading? Guess what, local buses have to deadhead sometimes for long distances also. That's a part of the service and people just need to live with it and stop going on and on about it. Most of the neighborhoods that have express bus service don't need subways and even if subways were built there folks would complain that the cost is too high, so what in the hell do they want?? People who live in suburban areas or areas with lack of subways pay taxes just like the rest of the folks and I get sick of the complaining about express buses.

 

If it's not the express bus then it's folks complaining about providing services for the disabled people. :tdown: The general message is the only people that should be served is folks that use the subway (not disabled people (of course they shouldn't be served either)) or the local bus and everybody else should screw off and we can take their taxes and not give them any service. I don't know what the feeling is about the LIRR or MetroNorth, but even though those services are expensive I guess they're okay.

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The question is how many times does this have to be repeated and what is this obsession with reducing costs on express buses? Okay so folks want to complain about the cost of deadheading? Guess what, local buses have to deadhead sometimes for long distances also. That's a part of the service and people just need to live with it and stop going on and on about it. Most of the neighborhoods that have express bus service don't need subways and even if subways were built there folks would complain that the cost is too high, so what in the hell do they want?? People who live in suburban areas or areas with lack of subways pay taxes just like the rest of the folks and I get sick of the complaining about express buses.

lol... preaching to the choir man.....

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^^ beat me by a minute... had I saw your post, you would have saved me a post....

----------

 

 

 

Engineerboy, the concern with express buses isn't capacity, it's with (amount of) service...

 

Artics are ideally/generally placed on local routes w/ high(er) amt's of ridership....

They address capacity issues, not service issues....

 

Nothin much would be solved by throwing artics on express routes.....

 

Fair enough; the reason I mentioned the X1 is because Hylan Blvd (especially the portion between Narrows Rd and Tysens Ln) has no less than nine express bus routes covering it with staggered headways of 8-15 minutes per route during peak times and yet still the X1s I've seen (and at one point fanned) were as bad as the X12 I mentioned above. I was wondering whether we were just starting to hit a natural limit on the carrying capacity of an express bus system, and if that was the case whether higher-capacity buses would help somewhat.

 

As far as routes running sardine cans at headways above 15 minutes, that's just poor scheduling. When things are that bad the smart thing to do is to cut headways and improve on-time performance where possible until you can reliably get buses running at 75-85% of capacity during peak hours (enough so you're not wasting buses but with enough spare capacity that day-to-day fluctuations in service don't leave you with passengers standing by the farebox), and you could probably do that with a moderately augmented OTR coach fleet.

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Fair enough; the reason I mentioned the X1 is because Hylan Blvd (especially the portion between Narrows Rd and Tysens Ln) has no less than nine express bus routes covering it with staggered headways of 8-15 minutes per route during peak times and yet still the X1s I've seen (and at one point fanned) were as bad as the X12 I mentioned above. I was wondering whether we were just starting to hit a natural limit on the carrying capacity of an express bus system, and if that was the case whether higher-capacity buses would help somewhat.

 

We haven't hit anything. They're overcrowded because the (MTA) slashed service significantly on the X1 as a way of saving money and tried to push folks to its other variants which are supposed to be cheaper. Of course they didn't add enough capacity to the variants of the X1, so the end result is overcrowding. The (MTA) has admitted that Staten Island needs more service but claims that they don't have the money for it, so the end result is SRO express buses and SRO local buses bypassing folks with the next local buses coming some 20 minutes later in some cases. Someone should explain to me how you have all of these SRO express buses yet the costs are so high... Sounds like to me the (MTA)'s cost figures are a bit inflated.

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We haven't hit anything. They're overcrowded because the (MTA) slashed service significantly on the X1 as a way of saving money and tried to push folks to its other variants which are supposed to be cheaper. Of course they didn't add enough capacity to the variants of the X1, so the end result is overcrowding. The (MTA) has admitted that Staten Island needs more service but claims that they don't have the money for it, so the end result is SRO express buses and SRO local buses bypassing folks with the next local buses coming some 20 minutes later in some cases.

 

Ohhh, OK. :) I didn't realize that (MTA) had cut back X1 service that way; I thought they were still running buses every five minutes or so during most of rush and that the Hylan Blvd corridor was just that damn overcrowded. If they've decided to cut back service from comfortable levels until people are standing next to the farebox then that's just poor management and poor service.

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Ohhh, OK. :) I didn't realize that (MTA) had cut back X1 service that way; I thought they were still running buses every five minutes or so during most of rush. Sorry about that.

 

Only at times when the other variants aren't running does the X1 get service about every 5 minutes, but it's usually every 8 minutes. Also you no longer have the X6 which was axed completely. When the variants do run and it runs every 5 minutes, it does short runs, usually in the morning and only goes to 23rd street.

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Only at times when the other variants aren't running does the X1 get service about every 5 minutes, but it's usually every 8 minutes. Also you no longer have the X6 which was axed completely. When the variants do run and it runs every 5 minutes, it does short runs, usually in the morning and only goes to 23rd street.

 

The MTA is probably not going to replace service anytime soon. Artics may not be the best solution, but they could be a temporary one.

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The MTA is probably not going to replace service anytime soon. Artics may not be the best solution, but they could be a temporary one.

 

Yeah well let's consider that the (MTA) was running RTSs and CNGs on the express lines for a while and they switched to MCIs. That wasn't done just because and now suddenly they're going to go to artics...?? They did it because of the level of comfort offered by MCIs and also space issues. They understand that folks expect a more comfortable ride seeing that they are paying almost triple what local bus riders pay. They also wanted a more uniform fleet to avoid what is happening in NJ with the 553 where they're using RTSs because they are short on MCIs, leaving buses to be packed like sardine cans. The issue here is simply the (MTA) not providing enough service, nothing more. It was an issue even before the recession hit with folks being on SRO X1s and such. I think it's pathetic that folks have to stand on express buses when they have commutes of up to 2 hours or more in some cases, but that's how it is on some lines.

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Yeah well let's consider that the (MTA) was running RTSs and CNGs on the express lines for a while and they switched to MCIs. That wasn't done just because and now suddenly they're going to go to artics...?? They did it because of the level of comfort offered by MCIs and also space issues. They understand that folks expect a more comfortable ride seeing that they are paying almost triple what local bus riders pay. They also wanted a more uniform fleet to avoid what is happening in NJ with the 553 where they're using RTSs because they are short on MCIs, leaving buses to be packed like sardine cans. The issue here is simply the (MTA) not providing enough service, nothing more. It was an issue even before the recession hit with folks being on SRO X1s and such. I think it's pathetic that folks have to stand on express buses when they have commutes of up to 2 hours or more in some cases, but that's how it is on some lines.

 

The D60LFR's have not arrived yet. They can be fitted with coach seats. The idea is something that can be explored. The problem in NJ is because of no oversight. Plus, last time I checked, when RTS's were used on X routes here in NYC, they used coach seats.

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The D60LFR's have not arrived yet. They can be fitted with coach seats. The idea is something that can be explored. The problem in NJ is because of no oversight. Plus, last time I checked, when RTS's were used on X routes here in NYC, they used coach seats.

 

That's correct and when those buses were used for local service those seats were torn to shreds and they had to be taken out and replaced with regular seats, so I don't see how much money they would save if they had to keep replacing the seats constantly. Then there's the issue of mileage and breakdowns. The way I understand it, coach buses are made to eat up miles and run better on expressways and such.

 

Why don't we explore using subway style cars for MetroNorth and the LIRR since everybody is so concerned with cutting costs?? Or better yet we could build light rails, but folks would b*tch about the cost for that too.

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That's correct and when those buses were used for local service those seats were torn to shreds and they had to be taken out and replaced with regular seats, so I don't see how much money they would save if they had to keep replacing the seats constantly. Then there's the issue of mileage and breakdowns. The way I understand it, coach buses are made to eat up miles and run better on expressways and such.

 

Why don't we explore using subway style cars for MetroNorth and the LIRR since everybody is so concerned with cutting costs?? Or better yet we could build light rails, but folks would b*tch about the cost for that too.

 

The buses would only be used for exp. service.

STILL, why is everyone so damn opposed to light rail?

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The buses would only be used for exp. service.

STILL, why is everyone so damn opposed to light rail?

 

Uh yeah well some folks would use them for local bus service too...

 

As for light rail it's simple... #1 some folks don't want to pay for it & #2 in some places it is not needed, so express bus service works better, but yet folks still complain about the cost. Can't win either way. What they want is no service period.

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Uh yeah well some folks would use them for local bus service too...

 

As for light rail it's simple... #1 some folks don't want to pay for it & #2 in some places it is not needed, so express bus service works better, but yet folks still complain about the cost. Can't win either way. What they want is no service period.

 

Then WTF are they b****ing about anyway?

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Then WTF are they b****ing about anyway?

 

Simple... They don't think those areas warrant service, period, so they'll go on and on about how expensive express bus service is. In fact these express bus threads was exactly why I joined the forum. I read a thread a while back talking about which routes should be cut. I have yet to see any sort of thread talking about reducing train service, but all I see is threads about which express bus or which local bus should be reduced or cut or merged. You would think that all commuter rail trains and subways are running at full capacity, every single one of them, but of course that is not the case.

 

I have certainly been on empty LIRR trains and you don't see me advocating for axing LIRR service or using smaller cars because it would be ridiculous to do so. The folks that need the service would be sh*t out of luck.

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alright, wait a minute here....

 

The MTA is probably not going to replace service anytime soon. Artics may not be the best solution, but they could be a temporary one.

A solution to what, is the question....

 

Service hasn't dwindled on expresses because they're short on MCI's..... I hope that's not what you're alluding to.....

 

The D60LFR's have not arrived yet. They can be fitted with coach seats. The idea is something that can be explored. The problem in NJ is because of no oversight.

 

Plus, last time I checked, when RTS's were used on X routes here in NYC, they used coach seats.

Then you'll really have people complaining on two fronts...

 

One, due to the simple fact that their express route would have artics on 'em... and two, the decrease in service that would come with it.... MTA's formula, the higher the capacity, the less the service; remember, cost neutrality.... lol....

 

Surely you don't think they'll run artics on the exp. routes engineerboy brought up, while keeping service the same (which is as subpar as it is already)... I mean to believe that, is nothin more than wishful thinking.....

 

 

As far as those RTS' that had the plush seating... How well did that go again ?!?!

 

 

The buses would only be used for exp. service.

 

STILL, why is everyone so damn opposed to light rail?

Our landscape/roads don't allow for it... to hell w/ that 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander' ideology.... The supporters ALWAYS bring up how well LRT works in other cities, but fail to realize the downsides (and less effectiveness) of having one built & running in our city.......

 

Hell, there are far too many pedestrians, far too many motorists, far too many intersections in NYC..... and don't bring up erecting elevated LRT's either - we have that along the van wyck b/w LIRR Jamaica & JFK; that is for airport service.... Much different than having LRT's connecting different neighborhoods to CBD's & what not.... it's overkill & not necessary....

 

Let's not wash our hands w/ our buses & subways with bringing up LRT's as a possible solution to getting patrons from point A to B here..... That's doing nothin more than ignoring the problems with our surface & rapid transit system....

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alright, wait a minute here....

 

 

A solution to what, is the question....

 

What annoys me the most is these folks going on and on about express buses being so costly and they don't have a clue as to what the (MTA) has been doing service wise with express buses. They think the (MTA) is running hoards of empty buses and that we have it oh so good. The fact is they've been reducing service on many lines like crazy and not providing enough service on other lines and then you have people wondering why buses are SRO. :) My thing is if you're going to complain about a service at least know what is going on so that you can defend your arguments. What's worse is the ones that come back with a sh*t load of stats provided by no other than the (MTA) who loves providing stats to suit their own agenda, and they fully believe in them too. :(

 

You would think that the (MTA) has no clue about what is going on with express bus service. The fact is (which I've stated a million times now) that the (MTA) reviews ridership on express bus lines every 3 months. Service is monitored far more closely than on local buses simply because they want to ensure that buses aren't being wasted, which I have no problem with, but at the same time, you can't go saying, oh service is low here, so let's cut this this and this because that service isn't likely to be re-instated when there's a boom in ridership as we've seen for years now on several express bus routes. Despite what everyone may think here the (MTA) is much quicker to cut service on express bus lines than to add it.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
Typu

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