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BrooklynBus

Better Coordination of Modes is a Key to a Well Balanced System

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[float=left]post-5097-0-38365800-1355237789_thumb.jpg[/float]About a week before Hurricane Sandy, I got a delightful surprise in the form of an email from a senior (MTA) executive who worked at the Chicago Transit Authority earlier in his career complimenting me on my series, “A Tale of Two Cities: Chicago and New York.” [Part 1, Part 2]. He also corrected my erroneous hypothesis that, at one time, the Loop had more than two tracks. It appears that there were provisions for additional tracks, but they were never constructed.

 

Sometimes when you criticize, complain, or try to make suggestions, you get the impression that no one is listening, especially when facing a large bureaucracy. It is easy to forget that these bureaucracies are not objects, but human beings.

 

Read more: The Commute

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lol... I find it funny that yet again you bring up the suggestion of cutting Queens express bus service without offering any specifics because the main ones that run are NOT near the LIRR. You also don't seem to take into consideration that those Queens express buses go to places the LIRR does not, nor do you consider how those folks have to get to the LIRR in Queens. If someone has to change two or three times when they could take one express bus and be done then how is that better for that person in terms of time and money?? I speak from experience when I state this because the thinking is that the LIRR will be faster off peak because it's a train when in reality the express bus can be far quicker. If anything maybe you force more people to drive out of the way to LIRR stations, putting more traffic on the road and causing more congestion or they just say screw it and abandon the trip altogether with public transit and drive. Just food for thought, but I would like to you to clarify which routes in particular you keep talking about because this is second article that you have written suggesting cutting Queens express bus service on off hours which is already been slashed beyond proportions as it is, making commutes for many that rely on those buses much more difficult.

 

Also the LIRR already offeres reduced fares on weekends for trips within the city.

 

In short punishing Queens residents that rely on express bus service for long commutes is NOT the answer. We in suburban areas already face long commutes and we don't need other folks like yourself trying to elongate our commutes any further. It's also rather hypocritical of you talk about better coordination between buses and trains and then talk about cutting bus service don't you think??

 

Do you even use any of the express buses in Queens to fully understand their importance??

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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lol... I find it funny that yet again you bring up the suggestion of cutting Queens express bus service without offering any specifics because the main ones that run are NOT near the LIRR. You also don't seem to take into consideration that those Queens express buses go to places the LIRR does not, nor do you consider how those folks have to get to the LIRR in Queens. If someone has to change two or three times when they could take one express bus and be done then how is that better for that person in terms of time and money?? I speak from experience when I state this because the thinking is that the LIRR will be faster off peak because it's a train when in reality the express bus can be far quicker. If anything maybe you force more people to drive out of the way to LIRR stations, putting more traffic on the road and causing more congestion. Just food for thought, but I would like to you to clarify which routes in particular you keep talking about??

 

Also the LIRR already offeres reduced fares on weekends for trips within the city.

 

 

I talk about the express bus later, but 1 thing Alan aka Brooklyn Bus which i agree with 100% is why not the use of more park and ride at major subway terminals and hubs particuarly in outerboros. For starters you got the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark just a couple of blocks from Stillwell-Coney Island Terminal. It has parking lots that lies empty off season such as now in late fall and winter. Why not use that?

 

Ditto for Citfield (7) and LIRR at Willets Point station which lays off the Grand Central (GCP) and Van Wyck. Since Main St parking basically has a long waiting list, why not use the Citifield lots year round for those driving from say Northern Queens or parts of Nassau County? Even Yankee Stadium has a few lots that could be used in off season like now. No matter what ppl. will use their cars sadly no matter what. At least by making these ballparks parking lots avaialble year round, it would help take off traffic off such as the GCP, Belt Parkway, Van Wyck and more.

 

There other in the city near major highways that also should be developed for park and ride. I mention it my ideas after you guys reply to this thread.

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lol... I find it funny that yet again you bring up the suggestion of cutting Queens express bus service without offering any specifics because the main ones that run are NOT near the LIRR. You also don't seem to take into consideration that those Queens express buses go to places the LIRR does not, nor do you consider how those folks have to get to the LIRR in Queens. If someone has to change two or three times when they could take one express bus and be done then how is that better for that person in terms of time and money?? I speak from experience when I state this because the thinking is that the LIRR will be faster off peak because it's a train when in reality the express bus can be far quicker. If anything maybe you force more people to drive out of the way to LIRR stations, putting more traffic on the road and causing more congestion or they just say screw it and abandon the trip altogether with public transit and drive. Just food for thought, but I would like to you to clarify which routes in particular you keep talking about because this is second article that you have written suggesting cutting Queens express bus service on off hours which is already been slashed beyond proportions as it is, making commutes for many that rely on those buses much more difficult.

 

Also the LIRR already offeres reduced fares on weekends for trips within the city.

 

In short punishing Queens residents that rely on express bus service for long commutes is NOT the answer. We in suburban areas already face long commutes and we don't need other folks like yourself trying to elongate our commutes any further. It's also rather hypocritical of you talk about better coordination between buses and trains and then talk about cutting bus service don't you think??

 

Do you even use any of the express buses in Queens to fully understand their importance??

 

 

First of all, please understand that I have nothing against Express Buses as a mode or have any bias against any other mode. Each has its place. Second, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes service cuts are necessary on local as well as express buses. Only adding service is never the answer. I don't agree with the MTA, however that for every increase, there also must be a cut. That philosophy is just ridiculous but I won't get into that now.

 

That said, there is a hierarchy that should be followed. First, we should try to get people on the rails. When not possible, then the subways. If there are no subways, then express buses, SBS, Limited buses, then local buses. Improving coordination which is what this article is about plays a part in this. When the B41 limited was started, one of the first limiteds, NYCT was measuring its success by increased patronage on the route. My question was where are those new passengers coming from? If they are leaving their cars at home, that's fine. But what if they previously were using the local B41 to change for the 2 or 5 to get to downtown Brooklyn and now just decided to stay on the bus all the way although it would still take longer than changing to the train? In my opinion that would not be so good because you never want to take people out of the train and put them on a bus instead if it is slower. I had this exact discussion with the chief bus planner many years ago during a job interview and he looked puzzled because it never occurred to him that some new riders may have previously been subway riders which is a more efficient mode to operate.

 

Similarly, you wouldn't want to take people out of the subway or rail system to use express bus which is why these lines mainly operate where there are no subways. No one is talking about "punishing" express bus riders. At the same time, you shouldn't be operating an express bus route for less than six passengers which is sometimes the case. I was not speaking specifically about which express bus routes should have a cut in service and I do not use express buses, to answer your question. I was basing my comments on what I heard at a transportation conference from a resident in Rochdale trying to keep her express bus route when the MTA was trying to cut it. She stated that there was an LIRR stop close to the express bus which could be used by the express bus passengers but isn't because the trains are too crowded to board and if someone can get on, the train is usually too crowded for the conductor to punch tickets and collect fares. So it seemed to me that if additional cars or trains could be provided during rush hours, (and more trains stopped there during non-rush hours) that might be a more efficient means of providing service than express buses since the higher railroad charge might also be a factor in someone choosing an express bus. I am not proposing eliminating express buses or service, just that it be looked into to determine if there were any cases where the LIRR could provide service instead at a cheaper operating cost than the express bus. I was not proposing that someone take two or three buses to the LIRR instead of a direct express bus. Are we clear now?

Edited by BrooklynBus
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First of all, please understand that I have nothing against Express Buses as a mode or have any bias against any other mode. Each has its place. Second, as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes service cuts are necessary on local as well as express buses. Only adding service is never the answer. I don't agree with the MTA, however that for every increase, there also must be a cut. That philosophy is just ridiculous but I won't get into that now.

 

That said, there is a hierarchy that should be followed. First, we should try to get people on the rails. When not possible, then the subways. If there are no subways, then express buses, SBS, Limited buses, then local buses. Improving coordination which is what this article is about plays a part in this. When the B41 limited was started, one of the first limiteds, NYCT was measuring its success by increased patronage on the route. My question was where are those new passengers coming from? If they are leaving their cars at home, that's fine. But what if they previously were using the local B41 to change for the 2 or 5 to get to downtown Brooklyn and now just decided to stay on the bus all the way although it would still take longer than changing to the train? In my opinion that would not be so good because you never want to take people out of the train and put them on a bus instead if it is slower. I had this exact discussion with the chief bus planner many years ago during a job interview and he looked puzzled because it never occurred to him that some new riders may have previously been subway riders which is a more efficient mode to operate.

 

Similarly, you wouldn't want to take people out of the subway or rail system to use express bus which is why these lines mainly operate where there are no subways. No one is talking about "punishing" express bus riders. At the same time, you shouldn't be operating an express bus route for less than six passengers which is sometimes the case. I was not speaking specifically about which express bus routes should have a cut in service and I do not use express buses, to answer your question. I was basing my comments on what I heard at a transportation conference from a resident in Rochdale trying to keep her express bus route when the MTA was trying to cut it. She stated that there was an LIRR stop close to the express bus which could be used by the express bus passengers but isn't because the trains are too crowded to board and if someone can get on, the train is usually too crowded for the conductor to punch tickets and collect fares. So it seemed to me that if additional cars or trains could be provided during rush hours, (and more trains stopped there during non-rush hours) that might be a more efficient means of providing service than express buses since the higher railroad charge might also be a factor in someone choosing an express bus. I am not proposing eliminating express buses or service, just that it be looked into to determine if there were any cases where the LIRR could provide service instead at a cheaper operating cost than the express bus. I was not proposing that someone take two or three buses to the LIRR instead of a direct express bus. Are we clear now?

 

 

Very clear now... However, that Rochdale example is a very poor one because the QM21 only runs during rush hours and while it may stop in the vicinity of the LIRR it provides access to areas in Midtown that the LIRR does not #1 and #2 the LIRR station is a schlepp to get to from the parts of Rochdale that it serves. I know because I had to tutor in that area one weekend and getting there was a real pain. I actually wished the QM21 was running because with that I would've had just one transfer. Instead I had to make several transfers to reach my destination.

 

I should also have you know that the (MTA) has slashed express bus service in Queens significantly, and basically the only ones running now during off hours are those that are not near the LIRR. I have no problem with your stance but the one problem I do have is making these sorts of suggestions with limited information. I think that other Queens residents here can vouch for my statements that the (MTA) has been cutting express bus service in Queens down to the bone, so there isn't much left to cut unless you start cutting service from folks that actually live nowhere near the LIRR and use the express bus as their primary means of getting to the city.

 

If anything I would argue that Queens residents, particularly those in the eastern parts of the borough need more rapid transit options because the commute from there can take FOREVER.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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It's about as easy to come from central and northern Westchester then it is to come from eastern Queens, and that's a fact. I remember some years ago when they were trying to cut that 4a bus that comes from Yonkers and they had a cow up there, as that bus alone upheld property values along Central Av in areas not that close to the Harlem Line (they still advertise the presence of that bus in real estate listings).

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That said, there is a hierarchy that should be followed. First, we should try to get people on the rails. When not possible, then the subways. If there are no subways, then express buses, SBS, Limited buses, then local buses. Improving coordination which is what this article is about plays a part in this.

 

 

Why are the rails more efficient than the subway? They're faster (because they have to make fewer stops within the city limits), but they also have higher costs due to increased staffing (the cost of the conductors and everything)

 

I was basing my comments on what I heard at a transportation conference from a resident in Rochdale trying to keep her express bus route when the MTA was trying to cut it. She stated that there was an LIRR stop close to the express bus which could be used by the express bus passengers but isn't because the trains are too crowded to board and if someone can get on, the train is usually too crowded for the conductor to punch tickets and collect fares. So it seemed to me that if additional cars or trains could be provided during rush hours, (and more trains stopped there during non-rush hours) that might be a more efficient means of providing service than express buses since the higher railroad charge might also be a factor in someone choosing an express bus.

 

 

I don't think the MTA ever tried to fully eliminate the QM21. I actually heard that there was a politician who kept saying the M98 was going to be eliminated, so he could act like he "saved" it, even though it wasn't going to be eliminated in the first place, so maybe it was the same case here.

 

In any case, the QM21 only runs rush hours only. I remember somebody mentioning something about reverse-peak service being eliminated, but I think that only had to do with outbound AM runs (because the schedule still lists inbound PM runs). In any case, there's no other Queens route where you could eliminate off-peak service on the basis of it duplicating a commuter rail service (and even with the QM21, it serves East Midtown rather than West Midtown). Now, as far as subway service goes, you could eliminate the QM4 off-peak, but that's about it. All the other routes either run rush hour only (though some may have a 10AM departure from their Queens terminal), or they run far from the LIRR.

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Why are the rails more efficient than the subway? They're faster (because they have to make fewer stops within the city limits), but they also have higher costs due to increased staffing (the cost of the conductors and everything)

 

 

 

I was thinking like in the case of the Lexington Avenue line, since it is at capacity, you would prefer someone from Westchester to park at a Metro-North station and take the train, than say to drive to Woodlawn and take a slower subway. If Metro-North fares were raised too high, it is conceivable that some would do that to save money although the trip would be longer.

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It's about as easy to come from central and northern Westchester then it is to come from eastern Queens, and that's a fact. I remember some years ago when they were trying to cut that 4a bus that comes from Yonkers and they had a cow up there, as that bus alone upheld property values along Central Av in areas not that close to the Harlem Line (they still advertise the presence of that bus in real estate listings).

 

What people either don't want to accept or just refuse to accept is rail service is NOT possible everywhere NOR feasible. In some cases express buses just work better. I personally would advocate for more express bus service for Queens, especially Northern Queens.

 

On another note, it's funny that you raised the point about how folks up in Westchester had a cow and rightfully so. Communities should fight to keep their transportation options, especially express bus service because it's a service that people will continue to harp on about how expensive it is to run, yet they never talk about how expensive MetroNorth or the LIRR is despite all of the riders it gets... Let's just keep packing them on the rails when they're charging almost double in some cases of what the express bus costs.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Love how Queens is always cheated out of express bus service

 

The QM1 and 5 IMO can be merged off peak, making the Fresh Meadows short turns on rush hours the QM5 as well.

The QM4 and QM6 can possibly get combined in some form with the combined routing losing the 164 street portion during off peak hours

 

The resources from the buses can be used to make revampments like

Extend hours OF OPERATION/ Days of Operation on the QM15, QM17, and QM24

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My question is, do you guys have park-and-rides, not necessarily at the commuter rail stations, but amongst the subways (or locales for express buses)? A centralized area might be helpful for collection of passengers into Midtown, et. al. plus in the event that getting a subway or rail might be a pain to get, at least you could rely on those lots a lot more for express buses (then again, depends on where you're at and if you don't want to deal with excessive transferring).

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The lot idea at Corona was a great one... a great many people already park and ride at stations with no alternate side nearby (Woodlawn, Pelham Bay)

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That said, there is a hierarchy that should be followed. First, we should try to get people on the rails. When not possible, then the subways. If there are no subways, then express buses, SBS, Limited buses, then local buses. Improving coordination which is what this article is about plays a part in this.

 

I think I get what you're trying to say, but worded as is, I strongly disagree w/ this notion......

Why exactly does there have to be a hierarchy to improve coordination between modes?

 

People are gonna ride what works best for them, period....

Basically what you're saying is that we should try to get people to take rail transportation over surface transportation whenever possible....

 

Not for one second do, or have I ever believed that one mode of transportation holds any more importance over the other....

 

 

I don't think the MTA ever tried to fully eliminate the QM21.

 

Can't recall of any occurrence of that either.....

 

 

My question is, do you guys have park-and-rides, not necessarily at the commuter rail stations, but amongst the subways (or locales for express buses)?

 

A centralized area might be helpful for collection of passengers into Midtown, et. al. plus in the event that getting a subway or rail might be a pain to get, at least you could rely on those lots a lot more for express buses (then again, depends on where you're at and if you don't want to deal with excessive transferring).

 

Not really, no.... We don't have all that much land for too many park & rides in NYC - even for the commuter rail stations.... Aside from that, I highly doubt you'd get people in this city (on a large enough scale) willing to drive to a subway station.... Definitely not happening for a local bus..... As far express buses go, you do get some people that will drive someone (usually a fellow family member) to the nearest bus stop from their place of residence.... On a cold day or w/e (or if the wait is long enough), the person will wait inside the car until the bus comes, then they'll board the exp. bus from there....

Edited by B35 via Church
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I think I get what you're trying to say, but worded as is, I strongly disagree w/ this notion......

Why exactly does there have to be a hierarchy to improve coordination between modes?

 

People are gonna ride what works best for them, period....

Basically what you're saying is that we should try to get people to take rail transportation over surface transportation whenever possible....

 

Not for one second do, or have I ever believed that one mode of transportation holds any more importance over the other....

 

Not only that but the other thing that not one person has answered here or any other time that I've brought this up is why is MetroNorth and the LIRR so expensive considering how many folks pack on to those trains?? All I keep hearing is that commuter buses are so expensive to run, but apparently those commuter LIRR and MetroNorth trains must be pretty expensive to run too if folks are paying $10.00 + one way and having to stand.... They're both forms of commuter transportation so what gives?? The question isn't necessarily directed at you either, but I would like to see a cost analysis of why MetroNorth and the LIRR cost so much and how much they are subsidized particularly since several folks on here constantly harp on the costs of commuter buses and how much they cost, which is total BS because the thinking must be that if you get more people to ride the rails that the cost will go down. Apparently not, as the fares on the LIRR and MetroNorth are set to increase in 2013 by at least $1.00 each way, which would probably be double what the increase will be for the express bus. Keep in mind that MetroNorth is seeing record numbers in ridership.

 

I also don't want to make this a commuter rail vs commuter bus thread either, but what I would like to see is fair judgments being passed because most of the comments about cutting commuter bus service are being made upon ignorant assumptions and little to no research on the current circumstances.

 

Better coordination is the key in having the bus system compliment the train system as much as possible and vice versa. You can't just harp on cutting bus service and piling folks on the train. Not a good strategy at all because when the train system fails you've got nothing to compliment it with.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Because simply put, there is a general negative bias for buses over trains, that's why..... I'm not just talking about the hobby aspect of it all either.... Trains carry more people & they're faster, hence they're more important than buses.... I call BS on the importance aspect of it.....

 

More to your point.... In all my time viewing/posting on these transit forums, I don't think I've ever seen ONE person vehemently express any real negative commentary on how so much inefficient commuter rail is, but you'll most certainly hear (such a level of it) for commuter buses..... Checkmate asks why are RR's more efficient than the subway..... Me, my question would not have been why, but more "How?".... Anyway, have some people tell it, all we should have in this city is commuter rail, the subway, and a bunch of long ass limited's & +SBS'+ running all over the place.... Highly likely that you're not gonna get an (honest) answer to your question......

 

Yeah, fair is fair, that's what I'm getting at.... I don't want to hear that coordination b/w [any other mode to the RR (or vice versa)] is any more important than coordination [b/w 2 local buses].... or [local bus to subway (or vice versa)].... hell, or even [express bus to subway] (which I do see people doing in the morning coming off SI's expresses in lwr. manhattan)....

 

Lemme bottomline this.

I agree that there needs to be a better coordination b/w modes for a better balancement of the system... What I don't agree with is this idea of a pecking order.....

Edited by B35 via Church
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Because simply put, there is a general negative bias for buses over trains, that's why..... I'm not just talking about amongst w/e hobbyists either.... Trains carry more people & they're faster, so they're more important than buses.... I call BS on the importance aspect of it.....

 

More to your point.... In all my time viewing/posting these transit forums, I don't think I've ever seen ONE person vehemently express any real negative commentary on how so much inefficient commuter rail is, but you'll most certainly hear (such a level of it) for commuter buses..... Have some people tell it, all we should have in this city is heavy rail/commuter rail, the subway, and a bunch of long ass limited's & +SBS'+ running all over the place....

 

Yeah, fair is fair, that's what I'm getting at.... I don't want to hear that coordination to [any mode to heavy rail (or vice versa)] is any more important than coordination [b/w 2 local buses].... or [local bus to subway (or vice versa)].... hell, or even [express bus to subway] (which I do see people doing in the morning coming off SI's expresses in lwr. manhattan)....

 

Lemme bottomline this.

I agree that there needs to be a better coordination b/w modes for a better balancement of the system... What I don't agree with is this idea of a pecking order.....

 

 

What's ridiculous is to create a pecking order based on how many people are being moved, as if the folks that don't use those modes of transportation are somehow irrelevant or unimportant. You have millions of riders being moved by buses annually (via local AND commuter buses). Not every commuter bus is going to be packed to rafters nor is every single commuter train and service shouldn't automatically be cut during times in which you don't have loads of people using either service. Someone on here suggested cutting LIRR service during the late nights because the trains aren't that crowded. Totally ignorant of the fact that those people have to get to work or from work just like the 9 - 5 guy does... Smh

 

To me it's shocking that a guy like BrooklynBus would be so ignorant to make the comments he made in his article not once but twice when he constantly posts articles about improving bus service. It's like a total 360... :huh:

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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What's ridiculous is to create a pecking order based on how many people are being moved, as if the folks that don't use those modes of transportation are somehow irrelevant or unimportant. You have millions of riders being moved by buses annually (via local AND commuter buses). Not every commuter bus is going to be packed to rafters nor is every single commuter train and service shouldn't automatically be cut during times in which you don't have loads of people using either service. Someone on here suggested cutting LIRR service during the late nights because the trains aren't that crowded. Totally ignorant of the fact that those people have to get to work or from work just like the 9 - 5 guy does... Smh

 

 

Being fair VG8, taking the LIRR Montauk line from NY-Penn is about 100 Miles (almost as far as say New London, CT. on I-95 just down the block from Rhode Island)or Poughkeepsie which is about 70-plus miles from Grand Central. Even at close to $15.00 off peak is not a bad price. Try driving between those (2) points in a car with gas.

 

FYI. Coach USA/Shortline which runs between Newburgh(across river from Beacon) which has couple of trips extended to Poughkeepsie charges $20-plus for a 1-way trip/from NYC. And MNRR is at least 1 hour faster than CUSA/Shortline.

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Being fair VG8, taking the LIRR Montauk line from NY-Penn is about 100 Miles (almost as far as say New London, CT. on I-95 just down the block from Rhode Island)or Poughkeepsie which is about 70-plus miles from Grand Central. Even at close to $15.00 off peak is not a bad price. Try driving between those (2) points in a car with gas.

 

FYI. Coach USA/Shortline which runs between Newburgh(across river from Beacon) which has couple of trips extended to Poughkeepsie charges $20-plus for a 1-way trip/from NYC. And MNRR is at least 1 hour faster than CUSA/Shortline.

 

You have a point to some degree but you don't when talking about commutes with say the LIRR or MetroNorth within city limits vs the express bus. The express bus is at least $2.00 cheaper each way than the LIRR or MetroNorth in many cases and the only difference in time is whether or not there is traffic. If there is no traffic then the express bus is far faster because you have to remember that you have to actually get to the station to get the LIRR or MetroNorth which can be a good 20 - 30 minutes right there, so the more connections you have the more time it will take regardless of how fast the rail system is.

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What's ridiculous is to create a pecking order based on how many people are being moved, as if the folks that don't use those modes of transportation are somehow irrelevant or unimportant. You have millions of riders being moved by buses annually (via local AND commuter buses). Not every commuter bus is going to be packed to rafters nor is every single commuter train and service shouldn't automatically be cut during times in which you don't have loads of people using either service. Someone on here suggested cutting LIRR service during the late nights because the trains aren't that crowded. Totally ignorant of the fact that those people have to get to work or from work just like the 9 - 5 guy does... Smh

 

To me it's shocking that a guy like BrooklynBus would be so ignorant to make the comments he made in his article not once but twice when he constantly posts articles about improving bus service. It's like a total 360... :huh:

 

LMAO @ the last part..... I said that very thing to myself when I made my first post in this thread.... You make as many articles that you have about bus service for the KCC kids down there & the restoration of the B4 & what not, then I see this bit about, first we should try to get people on the rails - When he's made cases in the past stating the idea shouldn't be to deter people from taking buses & pile them onto the subways.... I don't get it either, but whatever....

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LMAO @ the last part..... I said that very thing to myself when I made my first post in this thread.... You make as many articles that you have about bus service for the KCC kids down there & the restoration of the B4 & what not, then I see this bit about, first we should try to get people on the rails - When he's made cases in the past stating the idea shouldn't be to deter people from taking buses & pile them onto the subways.... I don't get it either, but whatever....

 

 

I am not being inconsistant. We should try to get people on the rails only if it is more convenient for them. I objected to elimination of the B4 because it took a convenient one bus trip and replaced it with an inconvenient and indirect subway trip requiring two or three vehicles. The MTA did not care if that was e case. i did. I still stand by that.

 

I also stated I would not be in favor of eliminating an express bus if many would be required to take two or three buses to access the LIRR to make the same trip. I believe that also. But I also would not keep an express bus route (or would decrease the service frequency) if it only carried two or three riders per trip. There comes a point when it just makes sense to eliminate service.

 

If a subway line is operating at capacity such as the Lex, I have no problem with also running additional bus service such as currently exists. I never said eliminate buses and pack them into the trains. What I said is that if the trip could be made just as conveniently by subway as by bus, we shouldn't be encouraging bus use by penalizing someone by charging them more for taking the subway like we do by allowing unlimited subway transfers but only one bus transfer.

 

If a trip can best be made by a short bus ride to a subway to another short bus ride, that should not be discouraged by charging a double fare thereby encouraging someone to ride across half a borough by taking two very long bus rides for one fare instead. Yes, that would put more people on the trains which in most cases would not involve having to add service. The threshold for adding bus service is much lower so it is not a good thing to take people out of the subway and into the bus.

 

If we could reduce some bus service by having more people using the train instead, I regard that as a good thing because it's more cost efficient, but only if someone switches from bus to subway voluntarily, not because the alternative of using the bus no longer exists.

Edited by BrooklynBus

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My question is, do you guys have park-and-rides, not necessarily at the commuter rail stations, but amongst the subways (or locales for express buses)? A centralized area might be helpful for collection of passengers into Midtown, et. al. plus in the event that getting a subway or rail might be a pain to get, at least you could rely on those lots a lot more for express buses (then again, depends on where you're at and if you don't want to deal with excessive transferring).

 

 

The only borough with a lot of park-and-rides is Staten Island (and obviously, we're the most car-centric). We have the ETC, I think one by the SI Mall, and then a few park-and-rides that serve both the SIR & express buses (there's one at Dongan Hills that only serves the SIR, but the express buses are a few blocks away)

 

For the most part, areas near the subway stations are pretty built-up, so there isn't much room to build parking lots. (And sometimes if they have a parking lot, they sell it off because the land is valuable, and it would be better to build a building rather than keep it as a big open space)

 

The question isn't necessarily directed at you either, but I would like to see a cost analysis of why MetroNorth and the LIRR cost so much and how much they are subsidized particularly since several folks on here constantly harp on the costs of commuter buses and how much they cost, which is total BS because the thinking must be that if you get more people to ride the rails that the cost will go down. Apparently not, as the fares on the LIRR and MetroNorth are set to increase in 2013 by at least $1.00 each way, which would probably be double what the increase will be for the express bus. Keep in mind that MetroNorth is seeing record numbers in ridership.

 

 

Here you go: http://www.mta.info/news/pdf/LIRR_Supplemental_Info.pdf

 

There's probably one out there for MNRR as well, but I can't find it.

 

In any case, you have to consider that part of the reason the fares are going up is because they want to "spread the pain", and hit everybody with a similar hike, so people don't complain "the commuter rail riders got off scot-free".

 

In any case, the LIRR performs better than the express buses, regardless of which way you look at it. The farebox recovery ratio in terms of marginal costs is 112% for the LIRR vs. only about 50% for the express buses. In terms of total costs (which includes fixed costs like rail maintainance and things like that), it's 44% for the LIRR vs. about 25% for the express buses.

 

MNRR performs better than the LIRR. It doesn't mention the marginal costs, but for the fixed costs, it's 52%.

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Here you go: http://www.mta.info/...mental_Info.pdf

 

There's probably one out there for MNRR as well, but I can't find it.

 

In any case, you have to consider that part of the reason the fares are going up is because they want to "spread the pain", and hit everybody with a similar hike, so people don't complain "the commuter rail riders got off scot-free".

 

In any case, the LIRR performs better than the express buses, regardless of which way you look at it. The farebox recovery ratio in terms of marginal costs is 112% for the LIRR vs. only about 50% for the express buses. In terms of total costs (which includes fixed costs like rail maintainance and things like that), it's 44% for the LIRR vs. about 25% for the express buses.

 

MNRR performs better than the LIRR. It doesn't mention the marginal costs, but for the fixed costs, it's 52%.

 

That doesn't really answer my question as to why it is so expensive in general though. It goes back to my point that even with trains packed the fares are still high so the notion that putting more folks on the trains will lower costs apparently isn't the case.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I am not being inconsistant. We should try to get people on the rails only if it is more convenient for them. I objected to elimination of the B4 because it took a convenient one bus trip and replaced it with an inconvenient and indirect subway trip requiring two or three vehicles. The MTA did not care if that was e case. i did. I still stand by that.

 

I also stated I would not be in favor of eliminating an express bus if many would be required to take two or three buses to access the LIRR to make the same trip. I believe that also. But I also would not keep an express bus route (or would decrease the service frequency) if it only carried two or three riders per trip. There comes a point when it just makes sense to eliminate service.

 

If a subway line is operating at capacity such as the Lex, I have no problem with also running additional bus service such as currently exists. I never said eliminate buses and pack them into the trains. What I said is that if the trip could be made just as conveniently by subway as by bus, we shouldn't be encouraging bus use by penalizing someone by charging them more for taking the subway like we do by allowing unlimited subway transfers but only one bus transfer.

 

If a trip can best be made by a short bus ride to a subway to another short bus ride, that should not be discouraged by charging a double fare thereby encouraging someone to ride across half a borough by taking two very long bus rides for one fare instead. Yes, that would put more people on the trains which in most cases would not involve having to add service. The threshold for adding bus service is much lower so it is not a good thing to take people out of the subway and into the bus.

 

If we could reduce some bus service by having more people using the train instead, I regard that as a good thing because it's more cost efficient, but only if someone switches from bus to subway voluntarily, not because the alternative of using the bus no longer exists.

 

 

Nobody's talking about penalizing anyone, or flat out encouragement of a longer commute.... Who are you to try to tell people what mode they should embark on first anyway, whether it's on a train or on a bus.... Like I said, people are gonna take what works best for them..... And don't try to make it out like I'm one of these people that advocate for no cuts whatsoever..... Get out of here with that....

 

You are being inconsistent by stating that we should try to get people onto rails moreso than buses; where was all this talk of that years ago when you were more active on the forums saying everything you were saying about there needing to be a betterment of the bus network (esp. in south brooklyn).... There should be an equal importance of getting people on to different modes, period - that is the essence of what BALANCE is, regarding coordination.... smh @ we should try to get people onto every other possible mode over a local bus (including SBS' & LTD's)...

 

Anyway, No, You never implicitly said we should eliminate buses to put people on trains (which would be the worst case scenario to pull on), but telling us that there should be a hierarchy of trying to get people on a particular mode first DOES suggest that you're placing more of an importance over one mode over another as to pertains to better coordination w/i the system..... That is what I am questioning.... You don't have to necessarily advocate for the elimination of a bus route to belittle surface transportation; which is what you're doing with this whole thing, whether you realize it or not....

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I am not being inconsistant. We should try to get people on the rails only if it is more convenient for them. I objected to elimination of the B4 because it took a convenient one bus trip and replaced it with an inconvenient and indirect subway trip requiring two or three vehicles. The MTA did not care if that was e case. i did. I still stand by that.

 

I also stated I would not be in favor of eliminating an express bus if many would be required to take two or three buses to access the LIRR to make the same trip. I believe that also. But I also would not keep an express bus route (or would decrease the service frequency) if it only carried two or three riders per trip. There comes a point when it just makes sense to eliminate service.

 

If a subway line is operating at capacity such as the Lex, I have no problem with also running additional bus service such as currently exists. I never said eliminate buses and pack them into the trains. What I said is that if the trip could be made just as conveniently by subway as by bus, we shouldn't be encouraging bus use by penalizing someone by charging them more for taking the subway like we do by allowing unlimited subway transfers but only one bus transfer.

 

If a trip can best be made by a short bus ride to a subway to another short bus ride, that should not be discouraged by charging a double fare thereby encouraging someone to ride across half a borough by taking two very long bus rides for one fare instead. Yes, that would put more people on the trains which in most cases would not involve having to add service. The threshold for adding bus service is much lower so it is not a good thing to take people out of the subway and into the bus.

 

If we could reduce some bus service by having more people using the train instead, I regard that as a good thing because it's more cost efficient, but only if someone switches from bus to subway voluntarily, not because the alternative of using the bus no longer exists.

 

There are times when you are only going to get a few riders on the rails as well but that doesn't mean that you cut the service. I just find that to be very self centered and typical of some folks here that think well I'm not affected by the cuts so screw them. Also as much as you talk about using public transit I'm really curious as to how often you actually use public transit these days here in NYC. When I met you at the Town Hall meeting you drove there, even though you were advocating for use of public transit, which is certainly hypocritical to me. <_< I think it's easy to say yeah cut this and cut that when you're driving around in a car and you don't have to depend on a bus or train to get around OR better yet you just don't use the bus or train during say late nights for example.

 

What's more troubling to me is that you could make the statements you made about Queens when the (MTA) has already slashed service to any express bus that is even remotely close to the LIRR with the exception of rush hour service but as was stated before, even then they don't mimic the LIRR. I would like you to explain how exactly you're "complimenting" the train system if you're advocating slashing bus service and trying to get more folks to use the train?? There's nothing complimentary about that at all. Furthermore your argument about rail service being more cost effective doesn't sit well with me either. Who is it supposed to be more cost effective for?? The (MTA) or the passenger because if it's the passenger that is certainly not the case. Rail fares keep going up despite record ridership, so who is it more cost effective for??

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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That doesn't really answer my question as to why it is so expensive in general though. It goes back to my point that even with trains packed the fares are still high so the notion that putting more folks on the trains will lower costs apparently isn't the case.

 

 

It lowers costs for the MTA. It's just that for some reason or another, they don't pass those savings on to the passengers.

 

I agree that the fare structure is stupid. There's no reason why it should cost more to travel within the city on the LIRR/MNRR than the express bus. In fact, it should cost less because those modes are cheaper to operate. The fare from SE Queens to NYP should be about $4.50 or so, not $8.75.

 

As I've always said, the commuter rail passes should be valid on the subway, local bus, and express bus. Obviously, the fare would have to be raised, but it would be better for the commuter if they could pay say, $230 - $240 and get the full use of the system, rather than paying $178 - $193 and only being able to use the LIRR/MNRR. That way, if there's a problem with one mode, there's no issues involved in being able to use another mode. I mean, the subway passes are valid on the local buses, so why aren't commuter rail passes valid on express buses and vice versa? The MTA doesn't get any additional benefit by somebody having to take a longer route to reach their destination.

 

There are times when you are only going to get a few riders on the rails as well but that doesn't mean that you cut the service. I just find that to be very self centered and typical of some folks here that think well I'm not affected by the cuts so screw them. Also as much as you talk about using public transit I'm really curious as to how often you actually use public transit these days here in NYC. When I met you at the Town Hall you drove there. I think it's easy to say yeah cut this and cut that when you're driving around in a car and you don't have to depend on a bus or train to get around OR better yet you just don't use the bus or train during say late nights for example.

 

 

I don't think him driving is relevant. It's not like he's saying to cut service on the B1 & B49.

 

And obviously somebody is going to fight for the service they use, but that doesn't mean it should automatically be restored. Nor does somebody not being affected by a cut automatically invalidate when they say something should be cut. If he drives so much, he shouldn't have been affected by the B4 & B64 truncations, and yet he still fought for them.

 

Furthermore your argument about rail service being more cost effective doesn't sit well with me either. Who is it supposed to be more cost effective for?? The (MTA) or the passenger because if it's the passenger that is certainly not the case. Rail fares keep going up despite record ridership, so who is it more cost effective for??

 

 

I'm pretty sure he's saying it's more cost-effective for the MTA. I don't think he was insinuating anything about the cost for the passenger.

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