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Around the Horn

Governor Cuomo Announces Significant Upgrade of MTA Bus Fleet, With More Than 2,000 New State-of-the

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Those tend to be funded out of the discretionary budgets that Council members get.

 

That would explain the placement on UES

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5364 is parked up inside the old ramada hotel parking lot at Jfk airport. It's parked there with a few others. I've seen up to 5379 all parked at Jfk airport.

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5364 is parked up inside the old ramada hotel parking lot at Jfk airport. It's parked there with a few others. I've seen up to 5379 all parked at Jfk airport.

Did you get a view of that 5364 looks like?

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I don't mind the new scheme and look forward to the variety.  I personally would have preferred a scheme that used the blue and white in a new design, since the current scheme is iconic and well-known from many movies and TV shows. 

 

One concern I have is from a maintenance and painting standpoint.  DOB does a good job in refreshing the bus fleet periodically.  This new scheme is almost certainly going to be more expensive to apply with the wavy stripes than the simplified blue and white scheme of recent years - I hope this does not result in fewer repaints in the future due to time involved and/or money.

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New livery looks sharp, but I'm with those questioning how the paintshop would be at handling it.  As to it getting people excited about using the bus system again?  I don't see that being a big thing -- people, for the most part, are just hoping for the bus to show up.

 

Also wondering how MTA will adapt to Outfront's ad placements with the new scheme.  When some brainiac got the idea to change our SMART livery, those buses were excluded from ad placements.  And now, they're going whole hog with the "new" livery scheme, so don't know what's going to come about.  The new SMART scheme, if it would allow some side ads, would be completely idiotic looking purely because the ad would cover their big "S-M-A-R-T", leaving it looking like "ART" or "RT".  So the only choice would really be full wraps -- and their pricing must be such that Outfront clients opt not to do those.

 

Outfront ads are a good business for the MTA, even with the general decline of ad placements on TAs overall, so if they somehow screw that up, it'll be pretty tragic.

 

The A/V stuff -- annunciators should have been a priority (and should have been rolled out already, as keen on moving toward more ADA compliance the MTA is), the LED screen with upcoming stops and weather, not so much.  WiFi is pretty pointless, when everyone currently already uses their own data plans.  How long is the average trip anyways?  My area, I could see something like that since the average trip is 7 miles.  Under 2 miles -- unnecessary.  Charging ports:  On a Greyhound or charter, yes; on local or even Express buses, no.  MNRR and LIRR, yes.  It's interesting that those LED screens haven't made their way stateside: Trams in the Netherlands have had them onboard for years.

 

Now, here's an interesting thought:  What about all the standees with these charging ports and fancy LED stop screens?  How effective is that going to be when sardine cans are tooling down the road?  There gonna be charging ports on the ceiling?

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If you don't think that new, vibrant paint scheme won't have some effect on people's thinking, you need a lesson in sociology and psychology.

 

I do hope this eventually leads to some sort of decals being added to trains,

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Did you get a view of that 5364 looks like?

 

More than likely it has the old scheme.

Edited by Cait Sith

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New livery looks sharp, but I'm with those questioning how the paintshop would be at handling it.  As to it getting people excited about using the bus system again?  I don't see that being a big thing -- people, for the most part, are just hoping for the bus to show up.

It depends. If they do it the good old fashioned way (take a look at the pinstripes on a Pennsy GG1) it can look really good, IMO. Of course they could try something else and it looks like a mess.

PRR_GG1.gif

As for a paint scheme changing public opinion, that's basic Psychology (thanks AP Psych!) and I'd rather not hijack the thread with a lengthy explanation.

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The buses will NOT be painted. The new livery is gonna be a wrap, a lot cheaper than even the basic ass paint scheme we got now lol.

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The buses will NOT be painted. The new livery is gonna be a wrap, a lot cheaper than even the basic ass paint scheme we got now lol.

That's just lame. These buses are gonna look UGLY after they remove an add from one of them. If they can't even keep the blue stripe on, imagine this!

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It depends. If they do it the good old fashioned way (take a look at the pinstripes on a Pennsy GG1) it can look really good, IMO. Of course they could try something else and it looks like a mess.

PRR_GG1.gif

As for a paint scheme changing public opinion, that's basic Psychology (thanks AP Psych!) and I'd rather not hijack the thread with a lengthy explanation.

For the record, I wouldn't mind lol.

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The buses will NOT be painted. The new livery is gonna be a wrap, a lot cheaper than even the basic ass paint scheme we got now lol.


ROFL. So they'll still basically shift costs around, and I wouldn't be surprised if they actually go up. What did that MTA video say with SBS wraps, something like 5 hours per artic? I understand you're not going to have full covers done all the time, but you could have to redo a whole side to make the panels match because of color fade. Plus I don't think if the mechanics cause damage that the "Wrap Coordinator" is going to get it repaired pronto -- it'll be the usual "when we can get around to it."

 

 

It depends. If they do it the good old fashioned way (take a look at the pinstripes on a Pennsy GG1) it can look really good, IMO. Of course they could try something else and it looks like a mess.
PRR_GG1.gif
As for a paint scheme changing public opinion, that's basic Psychology (thanks AP Psych!) and I'd rather not hijack the thread with a lengthy explanation.


Yeah, but without a good thought of a product, Marketing 101 doesn't support that idea. Not trying to veer this, but for all of the sugar-coating the MTA does, I'd still wager most non-bus enthusiasts in NYC could really care less about a new paintjob, when their bus is late or they have to climb over people just to get on. If they look at taking the bus as a drudgery/necessary evil, flashy colors aren't going to hold much sway with them.

 

It's interesting how the Guv, Mayor and MTA brass don't say anything about improving service, but just push out the peripheral stuff. Folks here might be excited about this stuff, but in general the riding public would probably care more about a better operating transit system over a paintjob, charging ports or WiFi, given a choice.

 

Just remember this when the next scheduled fare increase comes around. Same operations but you pay more with funkier buses. Good trade-off?

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Yeah, but without a good thought of a product, Marketing 101 doesn't support that idea.  Not trying to veer this, but for all of the sugar-coating the MTA does, I'd still wager most non-bus enthusiasts in NYC could really care less about a new paintjob, when their bus is late or they have to climb over people just to get on.  If they look at taking the bus as a drudgery/necessary evil, flashy colors aren't going to hold much sway with them.

 

It's interesting how the Guv, Mayor and MTA brass don't say anything about improving service, but just push out the peripheral stuff.  Folks here might be excited about this stuff, but in general the riding public would probably care more about a better operating transit system over a paintjob, charging ports or WiFi, given a choice.

 

Just remember this when the next scheduled fare increase comes around.  Same operations but you pay more with funkier buses.  Good trade-off?

Swap those two.

 

The reason why they are doing this and making such a big deal about it, is the fact that the general public will eat this up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My friend was loving the "new bus" and wondering why I was so dour about this until I did a simple google search and showed him that the bus was already operating...

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Exactly. I've shown a lot of people what the new buses would look like and what they'd feature. Not a one had a thing to say about service, but was pleasantly surprised at the change and nothing but positive feedback was received.

 

People are EXTREMELY predictable. If you know how they think, then whether or not service improves doesn't matter as much. This, at least, will distract the public until the real improvements can happen.

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Swap those two.

 

The reason why they are doing this and making such a big deal about it, is the fact that the general public will eat this up for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My friend was loving the "new bus" and wondering why I was so dour about this until I did a simple google search and showed him that the bus was already operating...

 

 

Exactly. I've shown a lot of people what the new buses would look like and what they'd feature. Not a one had a thing to say about service, but was pleasantly surprised at the change and nothing but positive feedback was received.

 

People are EXTREMELY predictable. If you know how they think, then whether or not service improves doesn't matter as much. This, at least, will distract the public until the real improvements can happen.

Just a basic Google News search leads to some that aren't so glowing.  Here's one that should be of particular interest to a significant segment of this forum's crowd:

New York Is Getting Fancy New Buses, Because Millennials. But the city’s bid for new, young riders might miss the mark.

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Just a basic Google News search leads to some that aren't so glowing.  Here's one that should be of particular interest to a significant segment of this forum's crowd:

New York Is Getting Fancy New Buses, Because Millennials. But the city’s bid for new, young riders might miss the mark.

 

One thing you have to remember: Only a certain niche reads CityLab, Gothamist or secondaveneuesagas on a regular basis. I showed my friend the SAS article, but I highly doubt he would have read it other wise.

 

The general public (who doesn't read these sites) is loving it.

(Just ask the kids in my school who think one of these buses is gonna pull up on the B16 in front of our school next month)

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Besides, the (MTA) didn't need to rebrand the buses for more of us "Millennials" to ride them. We were doing that already because it's cheaper, easier, and healthier overall.

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Look, I'm not trying to be a downer and pour cold water on all of this, but at the end of the day, this will be a different shade of lipstick on the same, tired old pig.  And that CityLab article has some key points based on surveys that you should pay attention to.  The primary ones being that most people don't view things like this as important when it comes to the real "basics" of public transportation, and what the public expectations are.

 

Sure, it's exciting NOW because it's something new, and it diverts attention away from the problems the MTA has in delivering service.  Those new paintjobs and gizmos aren't going to matter once 10, 20, 40 of the buses start running on the streets and look just the same to the commuting public in terms of performance in relation to the "old" blue stripe on white buses running alongside.  People aren't going to see an oldie coming and say, "I think I'll wait another 10 minutes to see if a new bus comes along, because I have to charge my phone."  But let's take it to the ultimate goal of the program, when all of the buses are retrofitted.  People will still be pushing onto a stuffed bus, still have to wait in long lines at stops, and pay more year after year for the same service.  That ride will be the same as today, even if the average person can hook into WiFi or find a seat to briefly charge their phone -- those things won't be winning people over any more.

 

DDOT put a bunch of new Xcelsiors into service, and still runs the older New Flyers and Gilligs.  The new buses were touted, and had some excitement attached when they began hitting the streets.  There was even a change to the livery, not as dramatic as the MTA's, but it's there.  However, you could still sense some trepidation amongst the riders because even though one of the real problems was breakdowns, the bigger problems were on-time performance and safety.  Those larger problems are well onto being solved, and people have noticed those improvements.  If the buses were coming whenever they wanted and operators were still being assaulted, those new buses wouldn't mean anything.  And in reality, most of the DDOT customers couldn't tell you a difference between an Xcelsior and an older D40 or the Gillig models when waiting at a stop or at the transit centers.  But they can tell you the buses are running on-time and they are safer.  And those are what really matter at the end of the day.

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New livery looks sharp, but I'm with those questioning how the paintshop would be at handling it.  As to it getting people excited about using the bus system again?  I don't see that being a big thing -- people, for the most part, are just hoping for the bus to show up.

 

Also wondering how MTA will adapt to Outfront's ad placements with the new scheme.  When some brainiac got the idea to change our SMART livery, those buses were excluded from ad placements.  And now, they're going whole hog with the "new" livery scheme, so don't know what's going to come about.  The new SMART scheme, if it would allow some side ads, would be completely idiotic looking purely because the ad would cover their big "S-M-A-R-T", leaving it looking like "ART" or "RT".  So the only choice would really be full wraps -- and their pricing must be such that Outfront clients opt not to do those.

 

Outfront ads are a good business for the MTA, even with the general decline of ad placements on TAs overall, so if they somehow screw that up, it'll be pretty tragic.

 

The A/V stuff -- annunciators should have been a priority (and should have been rolled out already, as keen on moving toward more ADA compliance the MTA is), the LED screen with upcoming stops and weather, not so much.  WiFi is pretty pointless, when everyone currently already uses their own data plans.  How long is the average trip anyways?  My area, I could see something like that since the average trip is 7 miles.  Under 2 miles -- unnecessary.  Charging ports:  On a Greyhound or charter, yes; on local or even Express buses, no.  MNRR and LIRR, yes.  It's interesting that those LED screens haven't made their way stateside: Trams in the Netherlands have had them onboard for years.

 

Now, here's an interesting thought:  What about all the standees with these charging ports and fancy LED stop screens?  How effective is that going to be when sardine cans are tooling down the road?  There gonna be charging ports on the ceiling?

 

 

The thing is 75% of MTA's most recent implementations have come out of ideas from forums such as this one.

 

66% of all public bus users across the United States are using MTA. Our express buses already have outlets at select seats, and wifi will definitely come in handy for those long trips that range from an hour to 2 or more. It's definitely needed, and long overdue. Sometimes a bus commute can take up to 2 hours easy. Especially in Queens, which is why they are getting them first. The citizens of New York are demanding these amenities, not asking for them, and they aren't taking no for an answer either.

 

I am also a marketing major, and owner of my own transit consulting firm and know for a fact that what the MTA is doing is one of the first lessons of Marketing 101. It's also working already because I hear people now who NEVER use the bus saying they may have to take a trip now just to see how far the MTA has come. For example, my best friend has a BMW and lives on Park Place. He has not ben on a bus in 9 years and wants to see what the"hype" is all about. You have people in NYC who at one time would hang themselves before you got them on a bus. This is not the case as time progresses. The introduction of BRT (SBS) has proven this to be fact. By the Governor putting his stamp on this, it's attracted the attention of more people.

 

Now as far as your reason to why the buses don't need wifi, it does not apply here. You are using average trip/time and thinking in terms of miles, which you cannot do in New York City.

 

For example, If I get on a SMART bus 275 at Telegraph and 16 Mile from my mothers house, with a destination being my best friends at the Detroit/Dearborn border on the west side, its a 2 hour trip and about about 26 miles.

 

Now a trip from my house in Brooklyn to the Wal-Mart in Green Acres at the edge of Queens as comparison. It's 11 miles away, however the bus trip is 2hrs and 14 minutes. The average 7 mile trip in NYC takes an hour.

 

You can't use that argument here like you can there. A 2 mile trip in NYC can take you 45 minutes to an hour on the bus easy...... Any borough. Manhattan is only 13 miles at its extremes, and a bus trip up there. For example the M5, and M101 take take about 90 minutes and they go no more than 9-10 miles.

 

The Audio/Visual system has been in the works for more than 2 years and has always been a priority. It is also right on time and budget as it should be. There are also other ADA reasons that they had not been introduced prior to now. When I first posted about the pilot program I noted that I would be quite a while before the finished product actually showed up on buses. Lots of these things would have been introduced a long time ago, however MTA has had to replace 4,000 buses, which was priority first. All of these things are now possible as they have finally been able to stabilize the fleet, which has taken about 9 years. There are still 4 more years to go before the fleet age is where MTA wants it to be. 

 

Now for all the details, and locations of the USB charging ports, LED AV boards, and wifi, see the Fleet and Depots thread which will be updated this morning.

 

EDIT: This announcement of the new look and upgrades for MTA was pushed up to highlight the fact that the MTABC buses currently being delivered were funded by the Gov. If they had waited until the TA batch arrived they could not say that Fed funds were used to improve the fleet. These will not only be the first New articulated buses for an ex-PBL, but a BC division will launch the next generation of MTA buses and technology. So for all of us that were wondering why this came out of left field, it is because the timing was perfect. Fed funds, ex-PBL's first, systematic merger currently in the works = Smart move.

Edited by East New York
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I can see this initiative being like the subway countdown clocks - the public loved those from day 1 and the biggest problem has been that the MTA can't implement the clocks systemwide fast enough. 

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Apples to oranges. I think having just under half the fleet modded with these improvements (or at least some of them) by 2018 is pretty good.

 

EDIT: You know, I like watching the Facebook transit fans react to new information. It makes a great group for experimentation. No matter how many facts and figures you place to support why something is good or have been asked for, there will always be a few (the control group) that will reject it vehemently.

Edited by LTA1992
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Sound Transit out here in the Puget Sound area used to install wi-fi on their buses. They have since discovered it's a gigantic waste of time and money, since the equipment is obsolete within a year or two and nobody uses it anyways. They will not be putting wi-fi on any new buses.

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Sound Transit out here in the Puget Sound area used to install wi-fi on their buses. They have since discovered it's a gigantic waste of time and money, since the equipment is obsolete within a year or two and nobody uses it anyways. They will not be putting wi-fi on any new buses.

One TA has nothing to do with the other.... Just saying.

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