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ViaWaterViaChurch

Alternative Express Bus Routes

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I always get excited when I'm on an express bus and the driver will be a rebel and go off route.  What are some of your experiences you've had?  The biggest ones for me are when QM midtown buses turn down 2nd ave and go back toward the tunnel instead of taking the bridge. 

 

So far I've QM24 via 57th, right on 2nd ave to the Midtown Tunnel.

I've also had QM34 via 3rd ave, right on 56th street, right on 2nd ave back to the midtown tunnel

 

Though this isn't that much of a difference, sometimes the QM25 driver will turn right onto Vesey street and take that up towards Park Row instead of going up Church, making a right on Park Place, and then looping around to Park Row.  It's sometimes can save 5 minutes as Broadway can get pretty congested. 

 

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I have a few as well.  When I go to Woodlawn, some drivers will do the old BxM4 Super Express if no one is getting of along the Grand Concourse or points south of Woodlawn. We take the Deegan all the way up to 233rd and get off there.  Saves a TON of time like that.  

 

On the BxM2, Southbound, drivers will skip the Upper West Side completely and just stay on 5th if no one is getting off.  They'll take 5th down and cut over on 34th or Central Park South or where ever someone is getting off along 7th.  Saves some time as well.  The other trick that some will do is not follow the route when coming through Columbus Circle.  Central Park South can be very congested a times, and since the next stop Southbound after 63rd and Broadway is at 57th and 7th, it really doesn't matter which way you go.  That can save a lot of time sitting in traffic.

 

The QM2 drivers also have a few shortcuts they like to use when coming from Bay Terrace.  I don't remember what they take but they haul @ass to get to 34th and 3rd and I get back from Whitestone in record time.  :D

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QM drivers are notorious for short cuts even during rush hour (QM2 especially), some BM Drivers skip lower Manhattan if no one is going there, and the BXM2 and 3 sometimes go via the FDR. 

 

I was once able to convince a QM4 driver to go way off route and just drop me off at Flushing. But that was back when it was run by CP.

Edited by IAlam

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QM drivers are notorious for short cuts even during rush hour (QM2 especially), some BM Drivers skip lower Manhattan if no one is going there, and the BXM2 and 3 sometimes go via the FDR. 

You must mean the Harlem River Drive, not the FDR. Those express buses must come off at East 120th street (they don't allow them to run any further south, and below 120th street is the FDR).  You're also correct about the BM drivers, but it seems as if there are fewer of them doing that.  They don't even ask anymore.  They do the entire loop and then go up the FDR.  Really stupid.

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You must mean the Harlem River Drive, not the FDR. Those express buses must come off at East 120th street (they don't allow them to run any further south, and below 120th street is the FDR).  You're also correct about the BM drivers, but it seems as if there are fewer of them doing that.  They don't even ask anymore.  They do the entire loop and then go up the FDR.  Really stupid.

Usually late afternoon buses will ask if you're going Downtown. 

 

As for FDR part I didn't know it was called Harlem River Driver in the north thanks for the tip tho. 

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Usually late afternoon buses will ask if you're going Downtown. 

 

As for FDR part I didn't know it was called Harlem River Driver in the north thanks for the tip tho. 

Yeah, they used to do that Saturdays too... I usually board in Sheepshead Bay, but closer to Manhattan Beach along Emmons, so you can see why I would like them to skip that where possible. Would be nice to have that for Gerritsen Beach too.  Southbound the BM4's move quickly but it still takes a while to get down there.

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Coming back to Queens, I've had QM5 BO's take the LIE to main street, then up main street to Union Turnpike. Once the BO went all the way down the LIE to 164 street since no one was getting off before 164 street

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Do bus drivers just ask riders when they're getting on the bus?  I know the steady guys probably know their regulars after a while too.

Some do and some don't.  If they're going to skip stops, they should always ask because while I'm a regular, I take the express bus all over the place.  I remember one night I decided to take the BxM2 to Whole Foods.  The driver had picked me up before and didn't ask what stop I was getting off.  Instead of going over to the Upper West Side, he skipped those stops completely and went straight down 5th and turned on Central Park South, letting me out at 57th and 7th.  I didn't complain since he got me there fast, but I really wanted 63rd and Broadway since I wanted to make a few stops, but in the end, it allowed me to do a few other things so it all worked out.  What I do hate is when a driver clearly wants to take a shortcut and keeps asking you where you're getting off at.  It's like I told you, so stop asking already and just say I would like to do XYZ is that okay with you?  <_<

 

Going to Riverdale, if there aren't many people on the bus, some drivers like to skip Spuyten Duyvil completely, running straight up Riverdale Avenue and making a stop at 239th and Henry Hudson Parkway.  I'm fine with skipping it because I can get off at 239th or even 246th, but just say that and all is well. It saves a good 5 - 10 minutes.  I'll usually just tell them, if you want to skip Kappock Street (Spuyten Duyvil) I'm fine getting off further up or even along Riverdale Avenue.  I have done that as well.  With the street layout the walk for me is almost the same.

 

The other thing that really annoys is when you negotiate for one stop but then the driver decides to let out elsewhere after they've already screwed you over.  Once I needed 7th and 57th and the B/O appeared to be fine with it.  He gets to 5th and 57th and is trying to let me out there, and I'm like wait a minute, I asked for 57th and 7th,  he's like well I'm turning back around here and going back on Madison, so I was stuck having to schlepp those two long blocks to 7th.   <_<

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Coming back to Queens, I've had QM5 BO's take the LIE to main street, then up main street to Union Turnpike. Once the BO went all the way down the LIE to 164 street since no one was getting off before 164 street

 

I actually saw that sometime last week! Threw me off completely when I was on the Q44. I thought we turned onto Union Turnpike!

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You must mean the Harlem River Drive, not the FDR. Those express buses must come off at East 120th street (they don't allow them to run any further south, and below 120th street is the FDR).  You're also correct about the BM drivers, but it seems as if there are fewer of them doing that.  They don't even ask anymore.  They do the entire loop and then go up the FDR.  Really stupid.

That's not always true. I was once on a BxM4 that took the deegan from the Concourse, via triboro, then the FDR down to 96th St. This was back in 2006 on St. Patrick's Day

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That's not always true. I was once on a BxM4 that took the deegan from the Concourse, via triboro, then the FDR down to 96th St. This was back in 2006 on St. Patrick's Day

The point I was making is that they're not supposed to be on it that far south. Poorly trained B/O...

I once was on a Riverdale bound BxM1 that turned on 106th St then 1st Ave via the Willis Ave Bridge to get to the deegan. Saved a lot of time and I think its how all non Inwood BxM1s should go

I disagree. They tried that and it was a mess. You just got lucky. I've been stuck in that mess quite a few times and make a stink. The best way to go is the way they go now, esp. with the construction on the Deegan.

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The point I was making is that they're not supposed to be on it that far south. Poorly trained B/O...

I disagree. They tried that and it was a mess. You just got lucky. I've been stuck in that mess quite a few times and make a stink. The best way to go is the way they go now, esp. with the construction on the Deegan.

Going through Inwood can be a nightmare taking 25 minutes from the HRD to Bway/225th St. I think it's very unnecessary especially when the bus isnt stopping in Inwood.  The deegan does get traffic, but so do the Inwood streets and sometimes the HRD as well. On rare occasions they sometimes take the local roads in the Bronx instead of the deegan. Sometimes in rush hour thats the fastest way to go

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I actually saw that sometime last week! Threw me off completely when I was on the Q44. I thought we turned onto Union Turnpike!

Ha! I like when them do that, though I've found that it doesn't really save any time over the regular route, even off peak or late night.

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Going through Inwood can be a nightmare taking 25 minutes from the HRD to Bway/225th St. I think it's very unnecessary especially when the bus isnt stopping in Inwood.  The deegan does get traffic, but so do the Inwood streets and sometimes the HRD as well. On rare occasions they sometimes take the local roads in the Bronx instead of the deegan. Sometimes in rush hour thats the fastest way to go

I'm not saying via Inwood.  I'm saying take the Deegan, but further up.  The BxM1 via Henry Hudson Parkway (the ones that skip Inwood) are now supposed to go via Madison by way of going via 116th from 3rd and then follow the BxM18 and the BxM2. I actually avoid the via Inwood buses now and either take the BxM2 or the semi-express Metro-North trains on weekends.  I don't want a tour of Inwood, and those buses can become stuck in traffic along Broadway and Dyckman. It now takes an hour just to get to 96th street with those via Inwood buses.  Ridiculous. I've been trying to get them to give us at least every other BxM1 on weekends (Saturdays) to skip Inwood, but basically we just the BxM2 for that, especially on the Upper East Side.  

 

Make no mistake about it. We want fewer BxM1 buses serving Inwood, and that's one way that the (MTA) placates us with the BxM2 running nearby on 5th and Madison,  otherwise there would be more noise about the BxM1.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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The non Inwood BxM1's have taken so many different routes it's hard to call one of them the standard route

Iol... True...  They now have the BxM1 via Henry Hudson Parkway going via the Willis Avenue bridge,  but they rarely take that now unless they're rookies. 

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Iol... True...  They now have the BxM1 via Henry Hudson Parkway going via the Willis Avenue bridge,  but they rarely take that now unless they're rookies. 

and the southbound ones either go via Inwood anyway (despite not stopping there), Deegan-Madison Ave Bridge-5th-96-Lex or RFK-2nd-96th-Lex.

If the northbound BxM1's go via Madison Ave, they might as well take over the Mount Sinai stop and the keep the BxM2 completely on the West Side

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and the southbound ones either go via Inwood anyway (despite not stopping there), Deegan-Madison Ave Bridge-5th-96-Lex or RFK-2nd-96th-Lex.If the northbound BxM1's go via Madison Ave, they might as well take over the Mount Sinai stop and the keep the BxM2 completely on the West Side

No, the Southbound ones go via Inwood because the congestion on the Deegan in the mornings can be atrocious, so via Inwood only because there is no other faster way to reach the Harlem River Drive. That's the only reason. Going that way is still better than sitting on the Deegan for an hour. That has happened to me numerous times and people started filing complaints. I made a point that buses should avoid parts of the Deegan and go via the Harlem River Drive. It's so bad now (the Deegan), that even the Super Express BxM3 buses go via Inwood to use the Harlem River Drive.

 

The BxM2 will stay where it is because there is no demand for express bus service that far North and West. They had the BxM2's running West and North for years and re-routed it to the current set up for that reason and it's much more useful this way. Lots of people transfer from the subway at Central Park West or come from the nearby museums with their kids. Additionally, without the BxM2 stopping at Mount Sinai, the BxM1 would be slammed. The BxM2 relies on a good portion of its morning ridership from Mount Sinai. Aside from the doctors and nurses that work there, people have doctors' appointments there and elsewhere in the immediate area. At this point, with the way congestion is, the BxM2 would be in serious trouble without it. South of that the bus now empties out considerably by 63rd, and by 50th the bus is basically empty. Too much construction and congestion past that for anyone to ride to 34th. Same deal with the BxM1. Most buses are empty by 56th or 50th.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Would it be possible for a BxM2 to take the Henry Hudson Parkway from Dyckman St on south?

I don't think so, and even if it did, the BxM2 depends on Mount Sinai as a big generator of its ridership in the morning, so skipping that isn't an option, not to mention people getting off there for doctors' appointments in the area or at Mount Sinai itself.  94th and 5th also sees some usage from the Upper East Side crowd, and you actually have a few people that work either at the Natural Museum of History (I see two of them regularly that work at the museum), or the nearby hospitals (i.e. Lenox Hill) that use the 80th and 5th stop.  After that 81st and Central Park West works for the people transferring to the subway, shop or that want some of the museums for the kids. And yes I know this is during the week, but remember that Riverdale is a natural retirement community. 72nd and Columbus is hit or miss, but is used for people that want to go shopping or work in the area, and then there's 63rd and Broadway (one of the biggest stops southbound) for shopping or people working or going to university (Fordham or the others in the area) and 57th and 50th for more office folks.  At night 63rd is very big with the Lincoln Center crowd going to see plays and the like.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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certain BxM3s could definitely skip Sedgwick Ave entirely. Many trips dont see one rider use Sedgwick Ave

While that is true, the BxM3 needs all of the passengers it can get. The via Sedgwick trips are hit or miss, esp. the Southbound ones going to Midtown at night. The issue is there isn't enough ridership in Yonkers or North Riverdale.

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