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New York Times: Bus Service Is in Crisis, City Comptroller’s Report Says

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/nyregion/bus-service-new-york.html

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Bus Service Is in Crisis, City Comptroller’s Report Says

By VIVIAN WANG   NOV. 27, 2017

 

Though New York City’s buses carry over 2 million passengers a day — more than the Long Island Rail Road, Metro North, PATH and New Jersey Transit combined — they are often treated as an afterthought, even as they hemorrhage riders and strand the mostly low-income New Yorkers who depend on them, according to a report released on Monday by the city comptroller’s office.

The buses, which are operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, travel at an average of under 8 miles per hour. That sluggish pace, combined with unreliable service, an aging fleet and routes that no longer match the commuting patterns of New Yorkers, has contributed to a steep drop in ridership over the past eight years: There were 100 million fewer passenger trips on the buses in 2016 than in 2008, the report says.

Much of the decline in ridership occurred in Manhattan, where the subways, though troubled in their own right, are at least readily available. But for many people in the other four boroughs, buses are the only public transportation available to carry them to work or school.

And when the buses run late, or barely run at all, those affected are often from low-income, minority or immigrant communities, the report says. The average personal income of bus commuters is $28,455, compared with $40,000 for subway commuters, the comptroller’s report says. More than half of bus commuters are foreign-born, and only 25 percent are white.

“The conversation around our bus system is long overdue,” the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said in an interview. “We’ve neglected this. And that’s in part because traditional bus riders tend to be seniors and low-income New Yorkers, marginalized populations that have never had the loudest megaphone.”

Continue reading the main story

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Why You’re Still Stuck on the BusOCT. 27, 2016

Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the transportation authority, rebuffed the comptroller’s report. “The city comptroller should know better than to blame the victim,” Mr. Lhota said. “The M.T.A. Bus System is a victim of inadequate traffic control and failure to enforce the traffic laws by the City of New York. The city comptroller would be well-served to focus on the city’s incompetence than blaming the victim.”

The city’s changing economic profile has made the disparity between subway and bus service all the more apparent.

In recent years, job growth in the other four boroughs has far outpaced growth in Manhattan. The number of jobs in Brooklyn increased by 49 percent from 2006 to 2010, and in the Bronx by 35 percent and in Queens by 34 percent, according to the report. Jobs in Manhattan, by contrast, increased by only 5 percent. As more workers are now commuting within their home boroughs, buses, rather than the Manhattan-centric subways, have become increasingly vital lifelines, the report says.

But bus routes have not changed to mirror the city’s burgeoning economic hot spots. The report identifies 12 neighborhoods that offer significantly more jobs than the city average, but significantly less bus and subway service.

And bus schedules have lagged, too, with 12 times more service during the morning rush than at night, the report says — even though much of the city’s job growth has occurred in industries such as food services, hospitality and health care that do not follow a traditional 9-to-5 workday.

On a recent Saturday morning, Guillaume Blase, 60, waited for the B103 bus in Canarsie to take him to Downtown Brooklyn, where he works as a dishwasher. Mr. Blase said he sometimes returned home as late as 2 or 3 a.m., with no bus service to speak of. The nearest subway from his bus stop, the Rockaway Parkway L, is more than one mile away and follows a less direct route than the bus.

So he ends up walking — “every day, all night, he said.

Additionally, irregular service schedules mean that New York’s buses spend more time traveling to and from their depots, rather than shuttling passengers, compared to those in other cities, the comptroller’s report says.

The sight of out-of-service buses idling at his stop infuriates Allen Gross, 69, a taxi driver who relies upon the Q36 bus to travel from his home in Queens Village to his job in Floral Park, because he does not have his own car.

“The out-of-service line is the best line in New York City,” Mr. Gross joked.

At the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza bus terminal in Brooklyn, Kayla Johnson, a New York police officer, said she had waited in the rain and cold for out-of-service buses to open to passengers.

While subway service has expanded over the years, Ms. Johnson, 36, said she had not seen corresponding growth in bus routes.

“They’re still pretty much the same,” she said. “Most people would agree, there should be more routes.”

The need for expanded transit options, whether subway or bus, in the boroughs outside Manhattan has long been recognized by city officials. But many of the proposed additions have been made halfheartedly, or have yet to materialize.

In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio asked the transportation authority to examine the feasibility of extending subway service along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, through East Flatbush.

The idea had first been proposed more than 100 years ago, The New York Times said in an article in 1910 that bore the headline “Transit Outlook Bright in Brooklyn.”

But if expanding subway service is expensive and time-consuming — the recent Second Avenue subway extension took nearly a century to materialize and cost $4.4 billion — rerouting buses based on traffic and commuting patterns is far more feasible, said Mr. Stringer, a Democrat from Manhattan who was re-elected this month.

Yet the city’s attempts at streamlining bus service have been spotty.

The city introduced express bus routes called Select Bus Service in 2008, with designated bus lanes and off-board fare payment. They have improved travel times, but only modestly, the report said. On several of the new express lines, ridership has dropped. And of the 20 Select Bus Service routes that the city’s Department of Transportation had planned to have running by the end of this year, only 15 are in operation.

Gloria Chin, a spokeswoman for the city agency, pointed out that Mr. de Blasio’s administration had committed $270 million to Select Bus Service and had announced plans last month to add 21 of the express routes over the next decade. The newest Select line, along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards in Queens, opened this month.

”While we are grateful to get the comptroller’s support for all of these efforts, several of the report’s recommendations will require his office’s active assistance,” Ms. Chin said, citing calls for new bus shelters and additional dedicated bus lanes.

Mr. Stringer compared the state of the city’s buses to the deterioration of the subways. They are twin crises, he said, but only the subways have attracted attention and prompted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to declare a state of emergency.

“We have been lethargic about wrapping our arms around the changing bus infrastructure,” Mr. Stringer said.

“My takeaway from the subway crisis is that when you don’t invest in something, it just stops working,” he added. “And you just can’t only think about the subway system and think that we could put the bus system on a back burner.”

 

 

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It's a good article and quite accurate.  We definitely need more bus shelters.  In my neighborhood I have several bus stops to choose from and only two stops has bus shelters. Additionally, the bus shelters in Manhattan have the time and they used to even have countdown clocks in them,  They need to go back to putting those things in at those bus shelters to give riders as much information as possible so that they don't have to rely on their cell phones.  As this report noted, the local bus riders tend to be the poorest and thus they still may not have limited data plans and so on.  

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I like how the word 'crisis' is used to paint most of the circumstances behind the worsening bus service as beyond the MTA's control. It's less of a crisis and more that the MTA's efforts at maligning buses have worked a little too well for some folks liking. 

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That report got a lot of exposure on the local TV stations, along with MTA's response....back and forth....just what the media wanted for Xmas..:D

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3 hours ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

I like how the word 'crisis' is used to paint most of the circumstances behind the worsening bus service as beyond the MTA's control. It's less of a crisis and more that the MTA's efforts at maligning buses have worked a little too well for some folks liking. 

They keep talking about how they are bringing their fleet in line, but yet they have these damn there 20 year buses running on the road. It's an embarrassment. It's one thing to get use out of the fleet and another to be totally behind. These buses are taking forever to come in, and worse of all, the signal technology keeps being thrown around with very little results seen. I for one am sick of hearing that it's in the works. Roll it out in full on ALL lines ready and stop blowing hot air. I used the Bx12SBS briefly this evening and that bus was packed. Just insane. We need more buses and better frequencies. On top of that I waited almost 20 minutes for another bus when it should've been running every 10 minutes so there's still a bunch of missing buses. Nothing is changing and things are just worsening.

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Even with all the new Bus Trek and BusTime technology, the service gaps on the Q46 have gotten worse and worse in rush hour, especially the morning rush. Plus, I was reading that Q46 (and QV routes in general) had early GPS technology years and years ago for a while, so it's not like this is anything new, and they still can't even out service. 

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9 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They keep talking about how they are bringing their fleet in line, but yet they have these damn there 20 year buses running on the road. It's an embarrassment. It's one thing to get use out of the fleet and another to be totally behind. These buses are taking forever to come in, and worse of all, the signal technology keeps being thrown around with very little results seen. I for one am sick of hearing that it's in the works. Roll it out in full on ALL lines ready and stop blowing hot air. I used the Bx12SBS briefly this evening and that bus was packed. Just insane. We need more buses and better frequencies. On top of that I waited almost 20 minutes for another bus when it should've been running every 10 minutes so there's still a bunch of missing buses. Nothing is changing and things are just worsening.

During the PM rush, they abandon like half the intervals on the Inwood end of the Bx12 through a combination of short turns at University or Sedgwick Avenue and deadheading from Inwood back to the Bronx via the Broadway Bridge.

As a result, you'll see literally hundreds of people waiting at 10th Avenue, with stop and go traffic approaching the bridge to boot.

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One of the issues is the lack of enforcement of the bus lanes and parking restrictions. Durning some hours on busy streets there is no standing 6-9am but you still have cars parked and trucks making deliveries. Bus Lanes for the Q44sbs in Flushing  and Hillside ave cars are parked and trucks making deliveries. Also vision zero dosent help where traffic signals have been changed in order to slow down traffic ex. a stretch of 10 blocks would have been green lights together now you have a green light every 3 blocks and then the next 3 blocks is red. You just added 3 to 5 minutes to your trip on the bus. 

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I'll add another article to this since it touches upon a few things that the NY Times article leaves out.  Our bus network is now the slowest in the entire nation.  If that doesn't get the (MTA) and elected officials off of their @sses, I don't know what will. I've included some of the highlights that differ from the original article.

MTA buses slowest in the nation, lose 100 million passengers, report says

Updated Nov 27, 9:18 PM; Posted Nov 27, 6:55 PM

nws-express-buses-9be5aec38ba4129a.jpg

This Advance file photo shows buses outside the Yukon Avenue bus depot on Monday, June 5, 2017.

By Thomas Erik Bascome

tbascome@siadvance.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses have lost 100 million passenger trips in the past eight years, while traveling at the slowest speed of any large city buses in the United States, according to a new report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.

The report titled, "The Other Transit Crisis: How to Improve the New York City Bus System," highlights the many shortcomings of the city's current buses routes as slow, unreliable, long, meandering, confusing, congested and poorly connected.

"Today, we're sounding the alarm on our bus crisis. Falling ridership, major slowdowns and a bus infrastructure in decline is having an effect across the five boroughs," said Stringer.

The MTA has acknowledged the current state of disarray regarding the bus system, citing congested traffic as the primary culprit.

"The bus system and our riders are the victims of a crisis," said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. "Traffic congestion and New York City's consistent inability to manage traffic flow and enforce existing traffic laws on its streets is killing our bus service and hurting bus riders . . . Traffic congestion is keeping the most reliable and advanced bus fleet in recent history from moving as efficiently as it can and should." 

Slowest in the nation

New York City buses traveled at an average of 7.4 miles per hour along local, SBS and express bus routes, slowest among the 17 largest bus companies in the nation.

While Staten Island had the highest average speed of any borough, buses still only traveled at an average of 11.4 miles per hour.

These slow speeds can be attributed in part to the fact that New York City buses only spend about half of their time in motion, with 21 percent of time spent at red lights and 22 percent at bus stops.

Declining ridership

The MTA bus system has lost 100 million passenger rides from 2008, when they totaled nearly 870 million rides, to 2016, when they totaled approximately 770 million.

The largest decline in average weekday ridership came in Manhattan, where bus ridership dropped 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.

During the same time period, bus ridership on Staten Island actually increased by 3 percent. 

Failure to meet standards

The MTA's failure to meet some of its own standards and protocols has contributed to the failing bus system, according to the report. 

In order to limit time stopped, the MTA aims to locate bus stops at least 750 feet apart. However, 30 percent of routes do not meet this minimum requirement. 

The MTA has acknowledged in the past that straight routes with less turns are most efficient. However, 97 of the 220 New York City local bus routes have 10 or more turns, with the average Staten Island route having 13 turns.

According to the MTA's 12-year replacement cycle for buses, the average age of their vehicles should be 6 years. However, Stringer's report found the average age to be 7.8 years, with 22 percent of buses still on the road after 12 years.

The MTA says they are in the process of getting younger, brand new buses.

"We have received 277 new buses in 2017 as part of our 2015-2019 Capital Program, and are slated to receive another 1,700 as part of the program," according to an MTA spokesperson.

Fractured management

The New York City bus system is managed by two agencies: New York City Transit Bus and MTA Bus Company. 

While some progress has been made towards unifying their operations, planning and scheduling remain separate. 

The report suggests more cooperation between the agencies going forward to increase the reliability of services.

The MTA says that the fractured management does not negatively impact their operations or customer service.

"NYC Transit and MTA Bus operations, planning and customer service are unified at the management level and there's no customer-facing distinction between the two either; only behind the scenes, depots and drivers are not shared due to separate unions covering the two groups, but this doesn't negatively impact route performance for customers," according to an MTA spokesperson.

Recommendations

Stringer called for an extensive series of reforms to be made to New York City's bus system, including a comprehensive review of the bus network to better align it with emerging job centers and changing neighborhoods. 

You can read all 19 of Stringer's recommendations in the official report (see link below)

https://comptroller.nyc.gov/reports/the-other-transit-crisis-how-to-improve-the-nyc-bus-system/?utm_source=Media-All&utm_campaign=9b438b5264-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7cd514b03e-9b438b5264-109196445#_edn2

MTA Solution

The MTA has called on city government to help rectify some of the traffic congestion problems that are negatively impacting its bus service.

"City government is responsible for most factors that impact bus performance, starting and ending with the reduction of traffic congestion. City government is also responsible for building bus-only lanes, enforcing violations of cars using or blocking bus-only lanes, performing traffic studies and modifying the street signals that are essential to Traffic Signal Priority, and installing and maintaining bus stop shelters," according an MTA spokesperson.

The full article can be found with the link below:

Source: http://www.silive.com/news/2017/11/mta_buses_slowest_in_the_natio.html

 

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4 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Even with all the new Bus Trek and BusTime technology, the service gaps on the Q46 have gotten worse and worse in rush hour, especially the morning rush. Plus, I was reading that Q46 (and QV routes in general) had early GPS technology years and years ago for a while, so it's not like this is anything new, and they still can't even out service. 

It seems as if the (MTA) is using BusTime and Bus Trek to essentially try to do away with actual schedules. If you look at any of the bus stops that now have those countdown clocks, none of them appear to have timetables anymore.  Those countdown clocks only show when the next bus is due to arrive, but if your bus is packed, well you don't know when the next one is due if you don't have access to BusTime or the timetable. Their answer isn't more accountability.  It's less.  So last night was a mess, and this morning my wait wasn't long, but I witnessed something rather ridiculous.  I saw three Bx1 buses at Riverdale Avenue and West 231st street. At this particular time, that bus runs every 10 minutes, yet all of the buses were on layover when it was clear that one should've arrived already.  Then two of them start up and leave together and the one that was late skipped stops to attempt to get back on schedule, but left the guy behind him slammed at the big stops. Just ridiculous.  If you're late, why are sitting there like you're on time?  They're able to get away with it because management allows it.

3 hours ago, paulrivera said:

During the PM rush, they abandon like half the intervals on the Inwood end of the Bx12 through a combination of short turns at University or Sedgwick Avenue and deadheading from Inwood back to the Bronx via the Broadway Bridge.

As a result, you'll see literally hundreds of people waiting at 10th Avenue, with stop and go traffic approaching the bridge to boot.

I normally take the BxM3 to where I was going last night because the few times I've used the Bx12 over by Fordham I saw how bad it was but I lucked out and got emptier ones since I was tracking them on BusTime, but last night had to finish something in my office and opted for the (4) to the bus instead since I didn't feel like waiting another 30 minutes for the BxM3. The subway ride was actually not bad since people were still off, but that Bx12 bus was packed. The first time I had ever taken the subway and got off at Fordham Rd and Jerome and the crowd was unbelievable.  So many people were packedin the bus shelter that I just waited until the bus actually came to get my ticket.  I didn't feel like fighting through that crowd to get it.  

The driver was a real @sshole, telling people he wouldn't move if they didn't move back when there was nowhere to go.  I only had to go two stops and luckily I was at the front so I wasn't impacted at, but I will not be doing that again. That's one reason I don't bother with Metro-North except when I'm done and going home because going there it leaves me down hill and I don't feel like walking up hill for 15 minutes to get to my final destination.  The BxM3 leaves me on Sedgwick in a part that isn't as hilly and puts me much closer to where I have to go.

Quite frankly the only reason a lot of the Bronx buses get the ridership they do is because of those damn hills. Most of Fordham Road is very hilly and people don't want to walk up them so they take the bus (myself included), so when you combine that with the lack of a subway to go across you get those huge crowds.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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7 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Even with all the new Bus Trek and BusTime technology, the service gaps on the Q46 have gotten worse and worse in rush hour, especially the morning rush. Plus, I was reading that Q46 (and QV routes in general) had early GPS technology years and years ago for a while, so it's not like this is anything new, and they still don't want to even out service. 

FTFY. 

What kind of gaps are we talking about on the Q46? Combined headway during the AM Rush is 2 minutes so I want to see how the MTA is managing to screw that up. 

 

I am still struggling to find out when Bx12 SBS buses DON'T see overcrowding. Scheduled frequencies are the main issue here and I guess next we can talk about whatever ignorant dispatching is done in the event of some traffic (which these days is every afternoon). 

When things like frequencies and dispatching are central issues in ridership decline it's not a crisis, it's a big self inflicted wound. 

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7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It seems as if the (MTA) is using BusTime and Bus Trek to essentially try to do away with actual schedules. If you look at any of the bus stops that now have those countdown clocks, none of them appear to have timetables anymore.  Those countdown clocks only show when the next bus is due to arrive, but if your bus is packed, well you don't know when the next one is due if you don't have access to BusTime or the timetable. Their answer isn't more accountability.  It's less.  So last night was a mess, and this morning my wait wasn't long, but I witnessed something rather ridiculous.  I saw three Bx1 buses at Riverdale Avenue and West 231st street. At this particular time, that bus runs every 10 minutes, yet all of the buses were on layover when it was clear that one should've arrived already.  Then two of them start up and leave together and the one that was late skipped stops to attempt to get back on schedule, but left the guy behind him slammed at the big stops. Just ridiculous.  If you're late, why are sitting there like you're on time?  They're able to get away with it because management allows it.

I normally take the BxM3 to where I was going last night because the few times I've used the Bx12 over by Fordham I saw how bad it was but I lucked out and got emptier ones since I was tracking them on BusTime, but last night had to finish something in my office and opted for the (4) to the bus instead since I didn't feel like waiting another 30 minutes for the BxM3. The subway ride was actually not bad since people were still off, but that Bx12 bus was packed. The first time I had ever taken the subway and got off at Fordham Rd and Jerome and the crowd was unbelievable.  So many people were packedin the bus shelter that I just waited until the bus actually came to get my ticket.  I didn't feel like fighting through that crowd to get it.  

The driver was a real @sshole, telling people he wouldn't move if they didn't move back when there was nowhere to go.  I only had to go two stops and luckily I was at the front so I wasn't impacted at, but I will not be doing that again. That's one reason I don't bother with Metro-North except when I'm done and going home because going there it leaves me down hill and I don't feel like walking up hill for 15 minutes to get to my final destination.  The BxM3 leaves me on Sedgwick in a part that isn't as hilly and puts me much closer to where I have to go.

Quite frankly the only reason a lot of the Bronx buses get the ridership they do is because of those damn hills. Most of Fordham Road is very hilly and people don't want to walk up them so they take the bus (myself included), so when you combine that with the lack of a subway to go across you get those huge crowds.

One thing on the Bx12 from the years I lived in Fordham Hill Oval: local and SBS stay packed 24/7. Worst ride I ever had was taking either to Pelham and SBS to Bay Plaza and standing the entire time.

if the drivers would just leave on schedule, there’d be fewer SRO situations on that and other lines.

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8 hours ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

FTFY. 

What kind of gaps are we talking about on the Q46? Combined headway during the AM Rush is 2 minutes so I want to see how the MTA is managing to screw that up. 

 

I am still struggling to find out when Bx12 SBS buses DON'T see overcrowding. Scheduled frequencies are the main issue here and I guess next we can talk about whatever ignorant dispatching is done in the event of some traffic (which these days is every afternoon). 

When things like frequencies and dispatching are central issues in ridership decline it's not a crisis, it's a big self inflicted wound. 

Just as an example, three times last week, I personally saw 10-15 minutes gaps between any Q46 service (local and limited) between 7:15 and 7:45 am, the height of rush hour. There was bunching of about seven buses, and the line at Main Street was 40 people deep. 

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19 hours ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

When things like frequencies and dispatching are central issues in ridership decline it's not a crisis, it's a big self inflicted wound. 

Big time self inflicted wounds. Run times are up, service quality is down, the (MTA) would rather cut service than add to it (ie: abandoning runs when drivers call in sick, not replacing runs when buses break down), and they’re slow to add service where demand is highest; and the riders can’t take it anymore.

Cuomo can talk about congestion pricing all he wants, but all that’s going to do is strain the subways and buses with riders that are already packed in, and will do NOTHING at all for the outer boroughs.

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One can blame the DOT for traffic, but it just cannot be blamed for reducing the frequency of service, reducing the number of buses, or being the one ultimately in control of bus planning.

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Let me talk about my experience with the bus system. In the rush hours when the buses are plenty, there is horrible bunching and traffic, deterring me from taking the bus. During off peak hours specifically nights after 8:30PM where traffic is less, I checked Bus time and the buses runs every 30 min. There is no way in the world I'm waiting 30 min for a bus. Lhota can talk all about traffic but off peak ridership is down too... It's easy to blame the others for ALL your problems.

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3 hours ago, paulrivera said:

Big time self inflicted wounds. Run times are up, service quality is down, the (MTA) would rather cut service than add to it (ie: abandoning runs when drivers call in sick, not replacing runs when buses break down), and they’re slow to add service where demand is highest; and the riders can’t take it anymore.

Cuomo can talk about congestion pricing all he wants, but all that’s going to do is strain the subways and buses with riders that are already packed in, and will do NOTHING at all for the outer boroughs.

 

17 minutes ago, Mtatransit said:

Let me talk about my experience with the bus system. In the rush hours when the buses are plenty, there is horrible bunching and traffic, deterring me from taking the bus. During off peak hours specifically nights after 8:30PM where traffic is less, I checked Bus time and the buses runs every 30 min. There is no way in the world I'm waiting 30 min for a bus. Lhota can talk all about traffic but off peak ridership is down too... It's easy to blame the others for ALL your problems.

On nights when I finish on the Upper East or Upper West Side and the waits between express buses are too long or they are delayed, I just opt for the subway.  Well I've done that a few times this week, and each night the waits for the Bx7 or Bx10 have been ridiculous.  The Bx10 comes first and the first bus is so packed that you have wait for the next one. Luckily there has been another one that comes a few minutes later, but the Bx7 has been a no-show with waits of 15-25 minutes, which forces me to take the Bx10 and go through Spuyten Duyvil which is annoying when the Bx7 gets up the hill a lot faster to get home.  I also notice that they no longer have a dispatcher there at 231st.  They should have one because I don't understand why the Bx7 has been so bad the last few nights when traffic hasn't been that bad since it has been cold out. 

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Recommendation 10: The MTA should adopt a more rapid, direct, and grid-like bus network and incorporate these design principles into its service standards

Much of the New York City bus system is designed under the premise that riders refuse to transfer. To accommodate this assumption, routes generally have a hub and spoke design—radiating out from a central destination and meandering along their route to service multiple neighborhoods.
Yet a number of internal studies have demonstrated that riders are willing to transfer, provided it speeds up their commute. A Northeast Queens bus study, for instance, found that approximately one-third of riders transfer to another bus and one-third switch to the subway. A study of Staten Island express buses, meanwhile, found that many riders will exit as soon as they enter Manhattan and transfer to the subway. This revelation should guide MTA bus planners moving forward, allowing them to design a shorter, straighter, faster, and more grid-like network.

Currently, major thoroughfares throughout the city—like Victory Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, Fordham Road, and Fifth Avenue—carry multiple bus routes as they approach a central destination. These bus lines will have converged after servicing local streets in various neighborhoods.

Instead, the MTA should divide long, meandering routes in half. Rather than turning onto major thoroughfares, they should cross or terminate at these heavy roads (see below). Riders could then transfer to an ultra-high frequency route (~1-2 minute headways) that travels exclusively on that road. This will shorten the length of routes, cut down on the number of turns, and create a more direct, legible, faster, and reliable bus system.

 

What do you think about the bolded part? Do you think that will work in NY?

Edited by N6 Limited

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4 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

What do you think about the bolded part? Do you think that will work in NY?

It's BS.  More transfers always mean longer commutes. I guess they didn't learn anything from the X1 that runs every few minutes. You have one backup on that line along Hylan Blvd and all hell breaks loose.  

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It's BS.  More transfers always mean longer commutes. I guess they didn't learn anything from the X1 that runs every few minutes. You have one backup on that line along Hylan Blvd and all hell breaks loose.  

It depends. Say you have a trunk and 3 branches. The trunk has a bus that runs every 5 minutes from all three branches. Each branch has 15 min headway. If we were to end the branch at the trunk street and give each branch 5 minute headway, riders will save time waiting for the bus. Of course reliability is still the key factor here in whether this will work.

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5 minutes ago, Mtatransit said:

It depends. Say you have a trunk and 3 branches. The trunk has a bus that runs every 5 minutes from all three branches. Each branch has 15 min headway. If we were to end the branch at the trunk street and give each branch 5 minute headway, riders will save time waiting for the bus. Of course reliability is still the key factor here in whether this will work.

That's exactly the key, and we both know how bad reliability has become.

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10 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

What do you think about the bolded part? Do you think that will work in NY?

For Victory and Hillside specifically, that wouldn't work because they'd force way too many transfers. Routes turn onto Hillside to serve the subway; terminating routes at Hillside would mean an already long commute that is bus > subway becomes bus > bus > subway, bringing us back into the days of the two-fare city. Likewise, truncating routes at Victory turns trips from bus > ferry > subway to bus > bus > ferry > subway. Every additional transfer is an additional wait in the elements. Transferring is fine, but only a reasonable amount.

Really, to solve that in Queens, you have to extend the subway. Aside from the bus diversions into Flushing and Jamaica for the subway, the routes do form a grid.

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10 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It's BS.  More transfers always mean longer commutes. I guess they didn't learn anything from the X1 that runs every few minutes. You have one backup on that line along Hylan Blvd and all hell breaks loose.  

I could see it working for the local bus network in SI. Right now all local bus service is St. George focused with a handful of routes going to other places. Maybe instead, only directly north-south routes go to St. George, and all east-west routes go to Bay Ridge, or Bayonne, or Elizabeth/EWR, or what have you.

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3 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

I could see it working for the local bus network in SI. Right now all local bus service is St. George focused with a handful of routes going to other places. Maybe instead, only directly north-south routes go to St. George, and all east-west routes go to Bay Ridge, or Bayonne, or Elizabeth/EWR, or what have you.

I don't agree with that. The routes should be tailored to the needs of the riders. Not everybody needs the ferry, and one of the biggest complaints I had about SI local bus service was you can't travel anywhere quickly within Staten Island. Sometimes I would take the express bus in from the city and want to make a stop at a supermarket for a few things. Should I have to take car service just to take what is a 5-10 minute ride on the bus because of how poorly some lines run out there? The frequencies are abysmal on some lines with 30 minute waits and most lines are tied directly to the ferry so good luck trying to transfer to other lower priority lines and get somewhere quickly. On top of the long waits, you have buses that run hot and end very early. I used to wonder why some people would take car service everywhere on the island and then I realized why.  It's very difficult to live on Staten Island and rely on the local buses, and I realized this when I didn't depend on them to get around. Most of my trips were via express bus to and from Manhattan and I limited use of the local buses. Since I have moved my cab fare expenses have decreased substantially.

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