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tripleeye49

Transit Advocates Call for Expansion of MTA's Board Anywhere Feature on Local Buses

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NY1

 

Transit advocates are pushing for the MTA to speed up bus service by transforming the way riders pay their fares. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

There are more than 300 MTA bus lines in the city, but only 10 where riders can pay fares in advance and board at any door.

"It gives you more leeway to getting on the bus, first of all. And it cuts down a lot of aggravation and frustration of everybody trying to crowd into one specific area," said one commuter.

"It's a much easier process," said another. "There's multiple doors, the fare is already paid."

The board-anywhere feature exists only on Select Bus Service routes. The MTA has been increasing the number of those lines, but slowly.

But now, transit advocates, and some MTA board members, want to expand the concept to all local MTA bus routes.

"It addresses one of the things riders hate, which is this long line where you narrowly go into the bus and you try to place yourself," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with Straphangers Campaign.

"We think that turning around the decline in bus ridership requires faster and more reliable bus service. All-door boarding on our routes citywide could be a very helpful way to acheive this," said Tabitha Decker, director of research for TransitCenter.

Transit officials disputed that the MTA is far behind on practices already employed elsewhere.

"We understand the importance and value that all-door boarding would provide. I don't think anybody takes issue with that. I do think there are a number of significant thresholds that need to be crossed before we do that, not the least of which is being fare evasion or security on buses," said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast.

The MTA already sends security officers onto its Select Bus Service lines to check for farebeaters. But expanding those Eagle Teams to all the lines in the system would be a pricey undertaking, the agency says.

"In terms of the number of people and the costs associated with it," Prendergast said.

The MTA is bringing Select Bus Service to Brooklyn's B46 in July, promising a speedier ride on the city's third-busiest line, which runs along Utica Avenue. And this fall, all-door boarding will expand to the M23, along 23rd Street in Manhattan, and to the Q70, which links two subway stops in Queens to LaGuardia Airport. All good, say advocates. Just not good enough.

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Well it could be done at major stops on select routes, but not every route should have them. Some of them do not need it at all. Others could use it at select stops.

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Well it could be done at major stops on select routes, but not every route should have them. Some of them do not need it at all. Others could use it at select stops.

Completely disagree.  To deter farebeating citywide, they should be on ALL bus lines.  End of story. I completely support this, including the costs. It's time for the deadbeats to either pay or walk, and it's time for the (MTA) to stop acting as if they can't do anything to improve bus service and start taking steps to do more.  Pushing everyone to overcrowded subways is not working in the slightest.  They also need to start discussing what they are doing about replacing the Metrocard.  Let the public have some say on what works best, particularly in areas where there aren't subways.  I am sick of having to refill my Metrocard in Manhattan. If I don't I'm stuck with a long walk down to 242nd street where just about all of the damn machines are busted.  Ridiculous all around.

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I for one believe that they should first try this out in Manhattan, especially with Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue buses.  Also, the MTA would be well suited if they got enough land within Manhattan to have enough space to have all of their major north / south routes run with articulated buses in conjunction with this, and heavily enforce bus lanes with the central business district (Midtown).  The M5, M20, and M55 need not this upgrade initially.

Edited by tripleeye49
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I for one believe that they should first try this out in Manhattan, especially with Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue buses.  Also, the MTA would be well suited if they got enough land within Manhattan to have enough space to have all of their major north / south routes run with articulated buses in conjunction with this, and heavily enforce bus lanes with the central business district (Midtown).  The M5, M20, and M55 need not this upgrade initially.

Agreed... Bus service along 5th and Madison Avenues continues to worsen, and the buses are too damn small.  

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Completely disagree.  To deter farebeating citywide, they should be on ALL bus lines.  End of story. I completely support this, including the costs. It's time for the deadbeats to either pay or walk, and it's time for the (MTA) to stop acting as if they can't do anything to improve bus service and start taking steps to do more.  Pushing everyone to overcrowded subways is not working in the slightest.  They also need to start discussing what they are doing about replacing the Metrocard.  Let the public have some say on what works best, particularly in areas where there aren't subways.  I am sick of having to refill my Metrocard in Manhattan. If I don't I'm stuck with a long walk down to 242nd street where just about all of the damn machines are busted.  Ridiculous all around.

 

 

In areas without a lot of subway service, I agree that you should be able to purchase time or value on those machines, or have a MVM besides the ticket machines.  It's just common sense, and along areas like 10/11th Avenues, 1/2nd Avenues, and 5th / Madison Avenues they should a MVM along with the ticket machines at every stop immediately.

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In areas without a lot of subway service, I agree that you should be able to purchase time or value on those machines, or have a MVM besides the ticket machines.  It's just common sense, and along areas like 10/11th Avenues, 1/2nd Avenues, and 5th / Madison Avenues they should a MVM along with the ticket machines at every stop immediately.

Or better yet, just have a damn online system.  Wayyy overdue.  The (MTA) needs to continue to facilitate the use of their services, and as it currently stands, they are sorely behind in this area.  For anyone that wants to use the bus, they have to go to some subway station to first get a Metrocard or have cash on them to go to a store that may or may not carry the card that they need.  Just insane and inconvenient.  They talk about fare evasion.  There are tons of people in my neighborhood that can't pay because there's only one store that sells Metrocards and they are usually out of everything, so that means they get on with cash and if no one can let them use their Metrocard, they're out of luck.  It has happened to me on a number of occasions as well, so you need a bus in a hurry that is nowhere near the subway, but yet you have to schlepp to a subway to get to that bus and waste who knows how much time.  Smh... Another reason ridership is declining...

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Completely disagree. To deter farebeating citywide, they should be on ALL bus lines. End of story. I completely support this, including the costs. It's time for the deadbeats to either pay or walk, and it's time for the (MTA) to stop acting as if they can't do anything to improve bus service and start taking steps to do more. Pushing everyone to overcrowded subways is not working in the slightest. They also need to start discussing what they are doing about replacing the Metrocard. Let the public have some say on what works best, particularly in areas where there aren't subways. I am sick of having to refill my Metrocard in Manhattan. If I don't I'm stuck with a long walk down to 242nd street where just about all of the damn machines are busted. Ridiculous all around.

Routes like the Bx46, B84, B32, etc., don't need the payment option. There would be little benefit at a huge cost. You're much better off placing those funds elsewhere.

 

It also isn't feasibly possible to put them at every stop. Many stops do not see much ridership throughout the city, so I dont see the point. I would agree with stops that see a lot of ridership, such as any terminals which see a lot of boardings, and any other main transfer points. Furthermore, are you going to put a machine at the stop before the terminal (if the terminal is 2-3 blocks away)? Also, would this include express buses?

 

I also don't see how it would deter farebeating. If anything, there's a slightly better chance for someone to farebeat depending on the enforcement, and the Eagle Team enforcement as it is is a joke for the most part. I mean, look at the cost for the Eagle Team for the upcoming Q70 SBS, which is $750K annually. They better have good enforcement for that Q70 SBS if that's what the MTA is paying.

Edited by BM5 via WOODHAVEN BL
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Routes like the Bx46, B84, B32, etc., don't need the payment option. There would be little benefit at a huge cost. You're much better off placing those funds elsewhere.

 

It also isn't feasibly possible to put them at every stop. Many stops do not see much ridership throughout the city, so I dont see the point. I would agree with stops that see a lot of ridership, such as any terminals which see a lot of boardings, and any other main transfer points. Furthermore, are you going to put a machine at the stop before the terminal (if the terminal is 2-3 blocks away)? Also, would this include express buses?

I'm not talking about fare machines.  I think paying in advance needs to be implemented in the near future, and I DON'T support putting those machines everywhere either. I want to see an environmentally friendly payment system ONLINE that doesn't require wasting TONS and TONS of paper.  It aggravates me to no end to see all of these paper tickets used just to show proof of payment.  The machines require tons of upkeep and take up unnecessary space and are expensive to install.  For the time being, yes have them at major stops only, but in the future, I would like them done away with completely.  It's an example of how behind the times the (MTA) is.  It would be great if the (MTA) could come up with something in house the way they did with BusTime to keep costs down.  How easy would it be to just pay on your phone for your ride or refill your Metrocard online.  

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Completely disagree.  To deter farebeating citywide, they should be on ALL bus lines.  End of story. I completely support this, including the costs. It's time for the deadbeats to either pay or walk, and it's time for the (MTA) to stop acting as if they can't do anything to improve bus service and start taking steps to do more.

Will it will only be a Pyrrhic victory? The enforcement may very well cost more than amount of money recovered.

 

The MTA needs to strike a right equilibrium between fines (to cover the cost of enforcement), amount of enforcement, and amount of fare beating.

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Will it will only be a Pyrrhic victory? The enforcement may very well cost more than amount of money recovered.

 

The MTA needs to strike a right equilibrium between fines (to cover the cost of enforcement), amount of enforcement, and amount of fare beating.

Agreed... This can be done via random blitzes.  Show up on lines that are known to have chronic fare beating issues and do it that way.  They did it in the past so it can be done.  

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I for one believe that they should first try this out in Manhattan, especially with Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue buses.  Also, the MTA would be well suited if they got enough land within Manhattan to have enough space to have all of their major north / south routes run with articulated buses in conjunction with this, and heavily enforce bus lanes with the central business district (Midtown).  The M5, M20, and M55 need not this upgrade initially.

 

They already "tried it out" with the +SBS+ routes.

 

Routes like the Bx46, B84, B32, etc., don't need the payment option. There would be little benefit at a huge cost. You're much better off placing those funds elsewhere.

 

It also isn't feasibly possible to put them at every stop. Many stops do not see much ridership throughout the city, so I dont see the point. I would agree with stops that see a lot of ridership, such as any terminals which see a lot of boardings, and any other main transfer points. Furthermore, are you going to put a machine at the stop before the terminal (if the terminal is 2-3 blocks away)? Also, would this include express buses?

 

I also don't see how it would deter farebeating. If anything, there's a slightly better chance for someone to farebeat depending on the enforcement, and the Eagle Team enforcement as it is is a joke for the most part. I mean, look at the cost for the Eagle Team for the upcoming Q70 SBS, which is $750K annually. They better have good enforcement for that Q70 SBS if that's what the MTA is paying.

 

I agree that with lower-ridership routes and lower-ridership stops, the fare machines would probably be losing money once you factor in the costs of installation and maintenance (and they wouldn't save much time, because 1-2 people boarding at each stop isn't where you have the time savings. It's those big stops where you have a mob of people waiting and each person has to dip their card where you save significant amounts of time). And then there's the obvious issue that if you miss your bus that runs on 30 minute headways because you were fumbling for a MetroCard, that's not a good thing either.

 

And in general, +SBS+ routes tend to have lower fare evasion rates compared to regular routes, so as much as people like to get on the MTA about how little enforcement they put out there, it does seem to be doing the trick.

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This brings up an idea I've had for some time now. When they replace the metrocard, they should put little readers at each door. I believe this is how they do it San Francisco. 

Edited by Jdog14
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Well it could be done at major stops on select routes, but not every route should have them. Some of them do not need it at all. Others could use it at select stops.

 

You don't need full sized MVMs. Smartcards and tap credit cards only need a reader the size of a payment terminal, and you could reasonably fit something that small at every door of a bus.

 

In fact, the Netherlands is going to go entirely cashless and smartcard only to deter muggings.

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They already "tried it out" with the +SBS+ routes.

 

 

I agree that with lower-ridership routes and lower-ridership stops, the fare machines would probably be losing money once you factor in the costs of installation and maintenance (and they wouldn't save much time, because 1-2 people boarding at each stop isn't where you have the time savings. It's those big stops where you have a mob of people waiting and each person has to dip their card where you save significant amounts of time). And then there's the obvious issue that if you miss your bus that runs on 30 minute headways because you were fumbling for a MetroCard, that's not a good thing either.

 

And in general, +SBS+ routes tend to have lower fare evasion rates compared to regular routes, so as much as people like to get on the MTA about how little enforcement they put out there, it does seem to be doing the trick.

 

To clarify, if the MTA wants to implement the "board anywhere" proposal that many within the city would like them to go ahead with, not just on SBS+ routes but all routes, that they should implement them first in Manhattan, and on Madison, and Lexington Avenue routes first.  That would mean the M1, M2, M3, M4, M101, M102, and M103 routes.  In addition I had suggested that they place articulated buses on the M1, M2, M3 and M4 buses.

 

Then they can expand (the board anywhere proposal) to routes like the M7, M10, M11, and M104 routes, and then to routes like the Bx13, Bx15, Bx17, Bx19, Bx41 Local next, and so forth until all routes are covered.

Edited by tripleeye49

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Agreed... Bus service along 5th and Madison Avenues continues to worsen, and the buses are too damn small.  

They are horrible in the morning with all the express buses on them. 

 

Throwing in my idea, it would be nice if they put in NFC cards that can be synced with your phone. Also, eagle teams equipped with readers that card readers to check the history of the card (this is where they check to see if someone paid their fare either from tapping machines on the bus stop or on the bus.)

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You don't need full sized MVMs. Smartcards and tap credit cards only need a reader the size of a payment terminal, and you could reasonably fit something that small at every door of a bus.

 

In fact, the Netherlands is going to go entirely cashless and smartcard only to deter muggings.

Thank you. I can't see why this less expensive and less intrusive method isn't being thought of. I didn't even hear anyone mention it despite there being around 20 minutes of all door boarding discussion. Edited by LTA1992

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To clarify, if the MTA wants to implement the "board anywhere" proposal that many within the city would like them to go ahead with, not just on SBS+ routes but all routes, that they should implement them first in Manhattan, and on Madison, and Lexington Avenue routes first. That would mean the M1, M2, M3, M4, M101, M102, and M103 routes. In addition I had suggested that they place articulated buses on the M1, M2, M3 and M4 buses.

 

Then they can expand (the board anywhere proposal) to routes like the M7, M10, M11, and M104 routes, and then to routes like the Bx13, Bx15, Bx17, Bx19, Bx41 Local next, and so forth until all routes are covered.

No artics on 5th and Madision Avenue lines under no circumstances. The amount of traffic that will create would be horrendous and also when you put an artic on the line the frequencies decrease. What needs to happen is to increase more buses on the 5th and Madison Avenue lines.

 

To effectively do board anywhere on Madison/5th. Gotta increase frequency and put machines in major stops along the Madision Avenue/5th lines. 34,42,50,57,60,72,79,86,96 and Mount Sinai Hosp.

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No artics on 5th and Madision Avenue lines under no circumstances. The amount of traffic that will create would be horrendous and also when you put an artic on the line the frequencies decrease. What needs to happen is to increase more buses on the 5th and Madison Avenue lines.

 

To effectively do board anywhere on Madison/5th. Gotta increase frequency and put machines in major stops along the Madision Avenue/5th lines. 34,42,50,57,60,72,79,86,96 and Mount Sinai Hosp.

someone on one of the other threads mentioned the ratio of artics to no artics is 4:5, which isn't really bad, however with more buses, I can see bunching becoming a bigger problem. However if bunching occurs with artics, then there is an even bigger gap in service. Either way, you're still f*****.

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someone on one of the other threads mentioned the ratio of artics to no artics is 4:5, which isn't really bad, however with more buses, I can see bunching becoming a bigger problem. However if bunching occurs with artics, then there is an even bigger gap in service. Either way, you're still f*****.

The ratio is 2 artics to 3 standards

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The ratio is 2 artics to 3 standards

 

Pages 17-19 (specifically, the "Discussion" on page 18)

 

During peak periods, it's a 3:4 ratio, off-peak is 4:5, and overnight is 1:1 for obvious reasons.

 

If it was 2:3, they wouldn't be talking about how artics increase capacity overall.

Edited by checkmatechamp13
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Thank you. I can't see why this less expensive and less intrusive method isn't being thought of. I didn't even hear anyone mention it despite there being around 20 minutes of all door boarding discussion.

 

To be fair, five years ago we were supposed to have them today, and today they're still five years into the future.

 

At this point it wouldn't be unreasonable for us to skip an entire generation of transit fare media the way SEPTA did in Philly.

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No artics on 5th and Madision Avenue lines under no circumstances. The amount of traffic that will create would be horrendous and also when you put an artic on the line the frequencies decrease. What needs to happen is to increase more buses on the 5th and Madison Avenue lines.

 

To effectively do board anywhere on Madison/5th. Gotta increase frequency and put machines in major stops along the Madision Avenue/5th lines. 34,42,50,57,60,72,79,86,96 and Mount Sinai Hosp.

 

I believe that the flow of traffic would be easier with fewer buses running, and if the ratio is 4:5 articulated to standard, then the headways would not be that far off, maybe one or two less buses an hour per route, but with articulated buses there is a better shot with those buses running on 5th / Madison Avenues of getting a seat, and with the ability of getting in or out of any door, I see it running very successfully on 5th and Madison.  Either way, enforcement really needs to be done on 5th Avenue.

 

Getting in and out of any door will really help the M101, M102, and M103 buses as well.

Edited by tripleeye49

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Skipped a whole page of this nonsense.

 

You want this "easy boarding", then MTA should have done like what Oyster in London (and others have done): touch-in and touch-out.

 

MTA is the one that let the side down.  Technology has been there, THEY have opted not to do it.

 

I'm sure the ACLU, et al would have the problem with you having something tied to you, personally,  as some sort of responsibliity for payment.  THAT is the real problem at the nub of all of this.

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