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[AMNY] Bus Turnaround Campaign launched to save NYC’s buses, a system ‘in crisis’

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http://www.amny.com/transit/bus-turnaround-campaign-launched-to-save-nyc-s-buses-a-system-in-crisis-1.12069355

 

 

 
Bus Turnaround Campaign launched to save NYC’s buses, a system ‘in crisis’

By Vincent Barone   vin.barone@amny.com July 20, 2016

 

Facing plummeting MTA ridership, transit advocates have launched the Bus Turnaround Campaign to fix a bus system in “crisis.”

Stuck behind cars and behind the times, the city’s bus system has lost 46 million annual trips between 2010 and 2015, according to a recent city report, which notes that the drop of rides is equivalent to subtracting San Antonio’s entire yearly bus ridership.

“New York City has a bus ridership and bus quality crisis,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, at a Wednesday rally outside of Brooklyn’s Borough Hall announcing the new campaign. Groups behind him held up signs that read “make buses work” and “bunching is for bananas, not buses.”

The alliance has teamed up with a slew of advocacy groups, including TransitCenter, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the Straphangers Campaign to call for a complete reimagining of New York’s bus network.

To breathe life back into buses, the groups demand several “practical strategies” from city and the MTA: Restructure problem routes; make boarding buses easier; provide more real-time service information and, most importantly, start giving all buses priority on the city’s busy streets to increase their painfully slow paces.

“Many of the changes that we’re proposing can be rolled out in months or in years,” said Tabitha Decker, director at TransitCenter, “not in decades or a generation.”

Decker added that the ridership reflects service quality. Bus speeds are down from an average 7.8 mph in 2000 to 7.4 mph, according the campaign report, which ranks the city’s buses among the slowest in the nation.

Part of what the campaign calls for is a systemwide expansion of tools used successfully in Select Bus Service routes. Increase bus speeds by supplying more routes with dedicated lanes and coordinate more traffic signals to offer green lights to approaching buses. Build more curb extensions to make bus stops safer and more pedestrian-friendly.

Advocates also want “queue-jump lanes,” or an additional lane built out near an intersection, which would allow only for buses to pass the long line of cars waiting at a red light.

If the rally was any indication, there is political support behind the suggestions. A veritable busload of city and state elected officials were on hand to back the campaign.

“I live close to and work close to a subway line. For New Yorkers who don’t, the world is very unfair,” said Squadron, pointing out the realities of the city’s transit deserts. “The buses are the worst way to get around the city of New York.”

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Transportation Committee, pledged to hold a hearing based on the campaign recommendations within the next few months.

Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said in an email that the agency is “constantly re-evaluating bus routes to improve reliability and to optimize routes in order to serve areas where the demand is highest.” He noted that it’s already working on several recommendations, like route overhauls on Staten Island and using real-time data to improve service.

Passers-by who ride the bus regularly praised the campaign.

“Buses are horrible and really need improvements. So I’m glad we have a forum where we can express ourselves,” said Gloria Jones, from Flatbush. “Because I’ve been burning inside over the bad service.”

 

 

No one wants to ride SLOW buses. I wonder if Vision Zero has a role in this. I think Uber is a factor as well.

Has MTA Bustime had any affect on slowing down the drain or increasing ridership on certain routes?

 

 

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http://www.amny.com/transit/bus-turnaround-campaign-launched-to-save-nyc-s-buses-a-system-in-crisis-1.12069355

 

 

 

No one wants to ride SLOW buses. I wonder if Vision Zero has a role in this. I think Uber is a factor as well.

Has MTA Bustime had any affect on slowing down the drain or increasing ridership on certain routes?

It did. But there's a lot more than an overhaul of buses. The very concept of public transit is at risk.

 

What really irks me, is that Riders Alliance, whom I went to Albany with, know how entangled things are. They're going about solutions the wrong way and it's infuriating.

 

I'm at odds with them because I focus on you guys, bus operators and agency welfare. I advocate for the whole picture because nobody wins without the whole picture.

 

Do you guys agree?

 

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I know it's easy to blame the decline in bus usage over the years on unreliable service but given what I see with the Bx12 there is no evidence of ridership losses despite service suffering from poor reliability. It looks to me like there's something else at fault for people turning away from buses.

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I know it's easy to blame the decline in bus usage over the years on unreliable service but given what I see with the Bx12 there is no evidence of ridership losses despite service suffering from poor reliability. It looks to me like there's something else at fault for people turning away from buses.

However, many if those riders are transit-dependent, and there aren't any other (suitable) alternatives for them in the first place. That's why they might still be packing those Bx12's. 

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I know it's easy to blame the decline in bus usage over the years on unreliable service but given what I see with the Bx12 there is no evidence of ridership losses despite service suffering from poor reliability. It looks to me like there's something else at fault for people turning away from buses.

 

It's a mix of unreliability and speed. New York operates the slowest buses in the nation, with a systemwide average speed of ~7-8MPH. To put this in perspective, a local (R) on Queens Blvd averages 18MPH.

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The drop in ridership is due to several things such as traffic, zero vision itself passengers boarding (those people who wait to get on the bus before getting their metrocards or change) and most importantly the drivers themselves.

I am actually really curious to see the reliability of each route per borough because I can name a couple off the top of my head that are horrible. I know that in this city it is hard in many parts to stay on time but some of these issues can definitely be fixed.

I don't like how some drivers fool around and purposely come late and I experience this a lot. Sometimes I do not understand how it's 11:30 at night and buses that are suppose to run 20 minutes apart bunch up doubling the time to a 40 minute wait and this has been happening a lot especially on my home route the Q25.

I thought bus times second purpose was also to monitor where buses are and try to find ways to improve reliability. It's been a few years since its rolled out in every borough and it's not doing anything.

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The drop in ridership is due to several things such as traffic, zero vision itself passengers boarding (those people who wait to get on the bus before getting their metrocards or change) and most importantly the drivers themselves.

I am actually really curious to see the reliability of each route per borough because I can name a couple off the top of my head that are horrible. I know that in this city it is hard in many parts to stay on time but some of these issues can definitely be fixed.

I don't like how some drivers fool around and purposely come late and I experience this a lot. Sometimes I do not understand how it's 11:30 at night and buses that are suppose to run 20 minutes apart bunch up doubling the time to a 40 minute wait and this has been happening a lot especially on my home route the Q25.

I thought bus times second purpose was also to monitor where buses are and try to find ways to improve reliability. It's been a few years since its rolled out in every borough and it's not doing anything.

The Q25 has also increased in usage over the years so whatever reliability issues you point out are not holding much sway.

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The Q25 has also increased in usage over the years so whatever reliability issues you point out are not holding much sway.

Just because ridership increased doesn't mean that the line isn't being negatively impacted by reliability issues.  In other words, that line could perhaps have even higher ridership if service was more reliable.

 

The drop in ridership is due to several things such as traffic, zero vision itself passengers boarding (those people who wait to get on the bus before getting their metrocards or change) and most importantly the drivers themselves.

I am actually really curious to see the reliability of each route per borough because I can name a couple off the top of my head that are horrible. I know that in this city it is hard in many parts to stay on time but some of these issues can definitely be fixed.

I don't like how some drivers fool around and purposely come late and I experience this a lot. Sometimes I do not understand how it's 11:30 at night and buses that are suppose to run 20 minutes apart bunch up doubling the time to a 40 minute wait and this has been happening a lot especially on my home route the Q25.

I thought bus times second purpose was also to monitor where buses are and try to find ways to improve reliability. It's been a few years since its rolled out in every borough and it's not doing anything.

It's a game of cat and mouse... When management comes down hard on B/Os about their performance, they retaliate accordingly... Some drag the line on purpose, others come late to ensure that they don't get accused of running hot, so it's almost impossible to get any sort of consistency.  It's a problem with the trains to some extent but buses more so.

 

It's a mix of unreliability and speed. New York operates the slowest buses in the nation, with a systemwide average speed of ~7-8MPH. To put this in perspective, a local (R) on Queens Blvd averages 18MPH.

 

 

However, many if those riders are transit-dependent, and there aren't any other (suitable) alternatives for them in the first place. That's why they might still be packing those Bx12's. 

My thought's exactly...

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Exactly how many threads there are on similar topics exactly? If you want to increase the reliability and ridership of buses the (MTA) needs to come at this at a strategic way there needs to be some type of way to clear traffic for buses, ease the crowding or just simply add more buses to the system.

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However, many if those riders are transit-dependent, and there aren't any other (suitable) alternatives for them in the first place. That's why they might still be packing those Bx12's.

You can be certain I will. The Bx12 is like a crosstown to me.

 

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Exactly how many threads there are on similar topics exactly? If you want to increase the reliability and ridership of buses the (MTA) needs to come at this at a strategic way there needs to be some type of way to clear traffic for buses, ease the crowding or just simply add more buses to the system.

Class-D drivers are going to have to be de-prioritized if buses are to have ANY curb. Seventy years ago corporate interests engineered against public transport and made things like they are now.

 

The campaign needs to be reverse engineered. And a lot of car owners will spit at you for it. But this is a city of transit, not cars.

 

If they want a city of cars they can move to Jefferson Valley. There's only two buses in that remote stretch. The Bee-Line #16 & PART-2.

 

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I know it's easy to blame the decline in bus usage over the years on unreliable service but given what I see with the Bx12 there is no evidence of ridership losses despite service suffering from poor reliability. It looks to me like there's something else at fault for people turning away from buses.

Sheepshead Bay would like to sit down & have a word with you......

 

The drop in ridership is due to several things such as traffic, zero vision itself passengers boarding (those people who wait to get on the bus before getting their metrocards or change) and most importantly the drivers themselves.

I am actually really curious to see the reliability of each route per borough because I can name a couple off the top of my head that are horrible. I know that in this city it is hard in many parts to stay on time but some of these issues can definitely be fixed.

I don't like how some drivers fool around and purposely come late and I experience this a lot. Sometimes I do not understand how it's 11:30 at night and buses that are suppose to run 20 minutes apart bunch up doubling the time to a 40 minute wait and this has been happening a lot especially on my home route the Q25.

I thought bus times second purpose was also to monitor where buses are and try to find ways to improve reliability. It's been a few years since its rolled out in every borough and it's not doing anything.

If it's one thing that absolutely pisses me off when it comes to buses, is to see bunching occurring during the late night/early morning hours....

 

Just this past monday morning, 4:45 am, there were TWO EB B35's.... Literally, one right behind the other - the first bus had about 20 ppl. on it & the one behind, had about 5..... I literally said aloud, "the f**k is this shit.... 5 in the morning, you got this shit goin on".... Some dread turned around & looked at me, but I aint care....

 

The Q25 has also increased in usage over the years so whatever reliability issues you point out are not holding much sway.

I have to agree with him regarding the Q25... For all that service it's given (when you look at the schedule), buses do not arrive nearly as frequent as the posted headways show/suggest......

 

Just because ridership increased doesn't mean that the line isn't being negatively impacted by reliability issues.  In other words, that line could perhaps have even higher ridership if service was more reliable.

That too, but what he stated beforehand doesn't sit well with me either.... I don't care for this train of thought that says, the more service a route has, supposedly, indubitably the more reliable it is....

 

Tell the rich guy up the street from you that he doesn't have any problems - then watch his facial expression right afterward!

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Sheepshead Bay would like to sit down & have a word with you......

 

If it's one thing that absolutely pisses me off when it comes to buses, is to see bunching occurring during the late night/early morning hours....

 

Just this past monday morning, 4:45 am, there were TWO EB B35's.... Literally, one right behind the other - the first bus had about 20 ppl. on it & the one behind, had about 5..... I literally said aloud, "the f**k is this shit.... 5 in the morning, you got this shit goin on".... Some dread turned around & looked at me, but I aint care....

 

I have to agree with him regarding the Q25... For all that service it's given (when you look at the schedule), buses do not arrive nearly as frequent as the posted headways show/suggest......

 

That too, but what he stated beforehand doesn't sit well with me either.... I don't care for this train of thought that says, the more service a route has, supposedly, indubitably the more reliable it is....

 

Tell the rich guy up the street from you that he doesn't have any problems - then watch his facial expression right afterward!

There's such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you put too many buses on a badly performing route without assessing the base issue you create more issues.

 

I've never owned a car and consider a license a tool rather than a voucher to own a car. As I've said before, suburban transit options are a blessing up there no matter the form. I just got off from the Regional Talk forum on this site and 70% of those suggestions are outlandish even by my standards.

 

I may hail from Northern Westchester but not all of us have deep pockets. That is a disdainful myth that needs to be reexamined. Visit Peekskill for a day or two. Their drug bust was as large as East Harlem's...

 

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