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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA Records Largest Single-Year Ridership Decline in 15 Years

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NYC Buses Get Failing Grades Amid Transit Crisis

Nearly three quarters of the city's bus routes scored a D or an F on a new report card.

By Noah Manskar, Patch Staff | Feb 8, 2018 10:43 am ET | Updated Feb 8, 2018 5:39 pm ET

ap_748753008711-1518104477-8181.jpg

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, NY — New York City's bus system is falling into catastrophe even as the subways inch toward stability, transit advocates said Thursday. Nearly three quarters of the city's 246 bus routes got failing or barely passing grades on new report cards issued by the Bus Turnaround Coalition.

Fewer people are riding the ailing buses as they get slower and less reliable, the report says. The average bus speed fell to just under 7 MPH in 2017 from 7.3 MPH in 2015, while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority recorded 6 percent fewer bus trips last year than in 2016.

That's the largest single-year ridership loss in the last 15 years, and one equivalent to the number of bus ridership in some large cities, said Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. Subway ridership, by comparison, only fell by 1.6 percent last year from 2016 levels.

"This goes far beyond a fluke, or a few more people taking Uber. If the subway is in crisis, then New York's buses are a bonafide catastrophe," Zak Accuardi, a senior program analyst at the Transit Center, said at a news conference outside Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Manhattan's buses are in the worst shape, according to the report cards based on MTA data. Some 41 of the borough's 43 bus routes got a D or F grade on the coalition's report card. The average bus speed there is just 5 MPH, "no faster than a New Yorker running late for a meeting," Accuardi said.

Only seven of Brooklyn's 56 routes scored higher than a D. The two routes that got a B, the B31 and B84, have some of the lowest ridership in the borough, advocates said.

Some 11.8 of buses citywide were "bunched" in October 2017, meaning they arrived too close together and left a big gap before the next bus. Just 9.4 percent of buses were bunched in October 2015.

The MTA has focused on stabilizing the subway system after it entered a crisis last year. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota developed an $836 million plan to do that, and the agency has billions of dollars more in subway construction projects in the pipeline.

But a parallel crisis has been unfolding for years on the buses, which many people take to and from subway stations, advocates say.

The system's outdated routes, aging fleet and inability to navigate heavy traffic makes it unreliable for the 2 million people who use it every day, many of them working-class New Yorkers who have limited access to public transit, advocates and officials say. The typical bus spends 43 percent of its time stuck at red lights or at bus stops, according to a report City Comptroller Scott Stringer published last year.

Advocates and city officials want Mayor Bill de Blasio to install transit signal priority technology, which lets buses pass more easily through traffic lights, on 20 more routes by the end of the year and put dedicated bus lanes on 10 more routes. They also want the state-controlled MTA to let riders board local buses through front and back doors as the agency phases out the MetroCard in coming years.

The city and state must work together to get the buses moving again, City Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) said. But much of the onus is on the city, which controls the streets the buses travel and oversees enforcement of traffic rules that could speed them up.

"This is really on us," Levine said. "The MTA is ready to go."

De Blasio's Department of Transportation plans to quadruple the rate at which it installs transit signal priority devices on bus routes. Officials also plan to put dedicated bus lanes on more routes and change the space between bus stops, the DOT says.

The department says it's planning such improvements on heavily trafficked streets like Fifth Avenue and Manhattan, Fulton Street in Brooklyn and Main Street in Flushing, Queens, along which 130,000 people ride buses every day.

De Blasio also announced plans last fall to add 21 routes over the next decade to Select Bus Service, a collection of bus routes on which riders pay fares before boarding. Two to three routes will be added each year, the DOT says.

"The City works to manage congestion, improve traffic safety, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that simultaneously improve the attractiveness, speed and reliability of buses," the department said in a statement.

Andy Byford, the new chairman of New York City Transit, the MTA agency that runs the subways and buses, has been keen on improving the long-neglected buses. He's said he wants to formulate a bus action plan similar to Lhota's plot to repair the subways.

"Getting our buses moving again is absolutely essential," Byford said in a statement Thursday. "Working with our partners at the City to unclog the streets and improve bus lanes, we are committed to delivering for our riders. In fact, I explicitly made buses one of my four equal priorities on my first day in office."

(Lead image: Commuters cram into a New York City bus on January 2016. Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Source: https://patch.com/new-york/new-york-city/nyc-buses-get-failing-grades-amid-transit-crisis

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MTA bus routes are failing when it comes to speed and reliability, report says

By Vincent Barone   vin.barone@amny.com February 8, 2018

The marks are in for city buses — and the results are not fridge-worthy.

Nearly 75 percent of bus routes across the city received D or F letter grades from the Bus Turnaround Campaign, a group of advocates who released a new analysis and report card for 246 routes at a news conference Thursday. The group graded each route by average speed and reliability.

Among the slowest buses are the M42 across 42nd Street, with an average speed of 3.5 mph; the M31, which runs from Yorkville to Midtown West and averages 3.7 mph; and the B63, running from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Bay Ridge mostly along Fifth Avenue at 4.8 mph.

The average human walking speed is 3.1 mph.

The grades reflect grave concerns over the MTA’s bus service, which officials believe has spiraled into a crisis on par with — and in some cases, more serious than — subway service.

Riders have ditched buses, stalled in slower and slower traffic, at an alarming clip — especially considering the population and job growth in the city. There were 46 million fewer annual city bus trips recorded in 2015 than there were in 2010.

Between 2016 and last year, service declined again, by six percent from about 910 million total rides to about 854 million rides. That drop represents the biggest single-year decline in ridership in the past 15 years. And some politicians and experts fear that frustrated riders are opting instead for more congestion-causing options like driving or using e-hail services.

“This goes beyond a fluke or a few more people taking Uber. If the subways are in crisis, then New York’s buses are a bona fide catastrophe,” said Zak Accuardi, senior program analyst at the nonprofit TransitCenter, one of several groups that formed the Bus Turnaround Campaign in the summer of 2016 to pressure the city and the MTA to improve service.

“Yet while New York City’s buses are failing New Yorkers, including many of the city’s least well off, this need not be the case. The MTA and New York City DOT need to strengthen their commitment to improving bus service citywide.”

The ridership declines are part of a national trend. Cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia are also grappling with fewer bus riders. Still, more than two million people depend on New York City buses each day for their commutes — that’s more daily riders than the LIRR, Metro-North and New Jersey Transit combined. And the Turnaround campaign, also backed by Riders Alliance, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, believes there are proven ways to reverse course.

“Getting our buses moving again is absolutely essential,” said NYC Transit president Andy Byford. “Working with our partners at the City to unclog the streets and improve bus lanes, we are committed to delivering for our riders. In fact, I explicitly made buses one of my four equal priorities on my first day in office.”

A big part of the problem is that city buses are only moving about half the time they’re on the road. They’re stuck at red lights 21 percent of the time and pulled over at bus stops another 22 percent of the time, according to a recent report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Advocates and officials recommend that both the city and the MTA work to more aggressively redesign streets to paint more dedicated bus lanes, possibly with physical barriers, to help cut through traffic.

The MTA should also work to roll out all-door bus boarding — similar to what’s currently offered on certain Select Bus Service routes — to reduce the time it takes for buses to pick up and drop off passengers, according to the report. The two agencies must also redesign old bus routes, the report says, to reflect changing neighborhoods and commute patterns.

“We’re supposed to be the city that never sleeps, but when it comes to our buses, the MTA has been asleep at the wheel,” Stringer said. “Many of our routes are decades old, designed when shows like ‘I Love Lucy’ were smash hits.”

There’s also been pressure to get the agencies to utilize technology known as Transit Signal Priority, which gives buses top billing at intersections. The tech allows buses to commute with traffic signals, to hold a green light or speed up a red signal for approaching buses.

The technology is used on just six bus routes in the city, according to Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine, who has sponsored a bill in the City Council that would require the city to increase its commitment to install the technology, known as Transit Signal Priority, from five routes per year to 10.

“This is really on us,” said Levine. “The MTA is ready to go. they have the equipment on the buses. We have got to implement this on our traffic signals.”

In the meantime, city buses, the slowest in the nation, are only getting worse, data show. Speeds have declined from an average 7.3 miles per hour in 2015 to just under 7 mph last year. And more buses on the same route are traveling bunched together, which creates larger gaps in service that keep riders waiting longer for their rides. In 2017, 11.8 percent of buses were considered bunched, compared to 9.4 percent two years earlier.

The city’s DOT touted its efforts to expand Select Bus Service and other sought-after improvements such as installing new dedicated bus lanes.

“The City Department of Transportation’s Strategic Plan commits the agency to increase bus travel speeds by 2020, especially on corridors with high ridership and on streets where bus speeds fall below 5 mph,” a DOT representative said in a statement.

The MTA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ed Lawrence, 83, has lived in midtown for decades and relies on the M42 bus almost daily.

“I’ve been in the neighborhood for 40 years,” Lawrence said. “I don’t know if it’s the buses have gotten slower, but traffic is definitely more congested.”

Another M42 rider, 57-year-old Carol Kramer, was less diplomatic.

“I usually take the trains, except I can’t always deal with the stairs,” she said. “The buses have gotten worse for sure, they’re slower than anything.”

With Colter Hettich

Source: https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-bus-service-1.16648452

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Double parked trucks  and cars are a main cultprit. Just saying. 

Edited by Brillant93
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Jesus F. Christ I'm so damn sick of all of this cheap talk. Time and time again statistics similar to these keep being repeated, as are the potential solutions, too.

The MTA seems to think paying people to come up with ideas is "progress", clearly ignoring the fact that they need to pay people to implement the ideas...

What's it going to take to get a system overhaul or any sort of progress going. They put those little TV screens on buses to yell transfers yet no one is going to want to transfer if the crappy service just declines further...

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I agree with the first comment. If you look very closely on the photo, think of what weather outside.

On the busiest routes some buses run slower than others because of the make up time. they either running late or arrive way too early. I was talking to a bus driver on the Q44 SBS last year, and the traffic on Main Street south of Roosevelt Ave is horrendous, compare to those in Manhattan that most times, their break times at either Terminal A or Terminal B are close of being short or nothing at all.

Each driver has a slot card or paper that they take with them and most of the time, use it for arrivals and departures from cross points. Once they have reached that point, it is all sweet or sour from there.

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Wake me up when actual initiative is taken to solve the issues with NYC buses. A bunch of ideas are on the table yet MTA management seems clueless as to what to do.

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1 hour ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

Wake me up when actual initiative is taken to solve the issues with NYC buses. A bunch of ideas are on the table yet MTA management seems clueless as to what to do.

Agreed. We need to start seeing resolutions take hold because as it stands, nothing is changing.

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4 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

Jesus F. Christ I'm so damn sick of all of this cheap talk. Time and time again statistics similar to these keep being repeated, as are the potential solutions, too.

The MTA seems to think paying people to come up with ideas is "progress", clearly ignoring the fact that they need to pay people to implement the ideas...

What's it going to take to get a system overhaul or any sort of progress going. They put those little TV screens on buses to yell transfers yet no one is going to want to transfer if the crappy service just declines further...

The MTA doesn't pay Riders Alliance or the members of the Bus Turnaround Coalition. Those are funded through donations (individual, corporate, etc)

2 hours ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

Wake me up when actual initiative is taken to solve the issues with NYC buses. A bunch of ideas are on the table yet MTA management seems clueless as to what to do.

Hopefully Andy Byford lives up to his promise of implementing actual solutions.

In any case, here are the report cards. The only routes to achieve a grade of A were the Bx29 and Q35. The criteria they used were strictly related to reliability and speed (which explains why the S55/56 scored a B despite having a limited span of weekday service, no weekend service, and 30 minute service when they do actually run). They were a bit sloppy (they counted the S84 as its own separate route, but none of the other limiteds with an official local counterpart. Also, they implied that they used bunching to calculate reliability on frequent routes, and on-time performance to calculate reliability on infrequent routes, but they didn't actually show which standard they used for individual routes: You have to assume it based on the average frequency they stated for that route). Also, they didn't actually show their grading scale (it seems a bit odd that 1/7 buses bunched gets the S46 an F). Also, there's a difference between 2 buses bunching on 15 minute headways as opposed to 3 minute headways.

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43 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The MTA doesn't pay Riders Alliance or the members of the Bus Turnaround Coalition. Those are funded through donations (individual, corporate, etc)

Hopefully Andy Byford lives up to his promise of implementing actual solutions.

In any case, here are the report cards. The only routes to achieve a grade of A were the Bx29 and Q35. The criteria they used were strictly related to reliability and speed (which explains why the S55/56 scored a B despite having a limited span of weekday service, no weekend service, and 30 minute service when they do actually run). They were a bit sloppy (they counted the S84 as its own separate route, but none of the other limiteds with an official local counterpart. Also, they implied that they used bunching to calculate reliability on frequent routes, and on-time performance to calculate reliability on infrequent routes, but they didn't actually show which standard they used for individual routes: You have to assume it based on the average frequency they stated for that route). Also, they didn't actually show their grading scale (it seems a bit odd that 1/7 buses bunched gets the S46 an F). Also, there's a difference between 2 buses bunching on 15 minute headways as opposed to 3 minute headways.

I think someone made a typo or their methodology is completely f**ked because there's no way the Bx46 is deserving of an F if the Bx29 and S55 can get As and Bs. Also they did specify that they used bunching if the route comes every 15 minutes or less and OTP if it comes every 15 minutes or more, but I agree they could've and should've used a metric that involved both regardless of frequency, even if it needed to be weighted differently for each route to account for it.

Edited by CDTA

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50 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The MTA doesn't pay Riders Alliance or the members of the Bus Turnaround Coalition. Those are funded through donations (individual, corporate, etc) F). 

He didn't say that they did, but Cuomo did support the idea of paying people to come up with ideas to improve transportation. I suspect that's what he's talking about.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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We have known that the bus system was failing years ago. MTA and the DOT still haven’t done a whole lot to solve this issue. The main issue is trucks and double parking. The bus lanes should be strictly enforced and they should partner with the NYPD to help enforce bus lanes and keep traffic moving on streets. Also what the MTA needs to do is utilize short turns more especially if you don’t need to run every bus to its normal terminal. There are some routes that bunch in 4’s and 5’s and to run every bus to the terminal and not turn two of those buses at least around is outrageous. 

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4 hours ago, CDTA said:

I think someone made a typo or their methodology is completely f**ked because there's no way the Bx46 is deserving of an F if the Bx29 and S55 can get As and Bs. Also they did specify that they used bunching if the route comes every 15 minutes or less and OTP if it comes every 15 minutes or more, but I agree they could've and should've used a metric that involved both regardless of frequency, even if it needed to be weighted differently for each route to account for it.

And when click on it, it says it has a C in speed (9 mph), and A in bunching (1/92), and a B in on-time performance (78%). So that should average to B or C, not F.

But I just realized, you'll find it if you click "Methodology"

Bus Turnaround performance metrics are available and documented as part of a public API, and related analysis code is open for anyone to review, use, and adapt on Github. This API and the analysis code were produced by Nathan Johnson, Kuan Butts, JD Godchaux, Lela Prashad, Martin Lehner, and Neil Freeman. The Bus Turnaround Coalition owes special thanks to Nathan and Neil, without whom these metrics would not exist.

Each route is assigned speed and reliability grades based on thresholds in the table below. Those grades are then assigned to a traditional 4-point scale and averaged to create the route’s final grade, per the table below. Additionally, a bus route that receives an “F” on either performance metric automatically fails, as do buses with a “truancy” rate of greater than five percent (according to data from NYC Transit).

 

Grade Thresholds

SpeedBunchingOn-Time PerformanceOverall

All> 4 buses/hour< 4 buses/hourAll

A> 12.5mph< 2.5%> 80%> 3.67

B10-12.5mph2.5-5%75-80%> 2.67

C7.5-10mph5-10%65-75%> 1.67

D5-7.5mph10-15%50-65%> 0.67

F< 5mph> 15%< 50%< 0.67

 

We have strived to fairly grade NYC buses by holding them accountable to a high but achievable standard that acknowledges the constraints on bus operations in a dense, metropolitan city. In other words, we are not grading on a curve. The Turnaround Coalition’s approach to defining the above grade thresholds is as follows:

We set a goal of increasing speed to a median of 10mph, which is approximately the average speed in Chicago and Boston. The current median speed among NYC bus routes is 6.6mph.

We set a goal of reducing bunching on high-frequency routes to 5%, which would represent 1 in 20 buses bunched, or for a bus rider that rides twice per day on weekdays, one bus every two weeks. Current median bunching among NYC bus routes is 9%.

We set a goal of running at least 75% of low-frequency buses on-time—the same goal that Boston’s MBTA has set for itself. The current median for on-time performance among NYC bus routes is 59%.

We have defined grade thresholds in relation to these goals and to the current statistical distribution of performance (recognizing that, no matter what, some routes will perform better than others). Bus routes achieving the above goals for performance are assigned a minimum of a “B” for that performance metric (for example, a bus with an average speed of 10mph earns a B for speed), and other grade thresholds are based on percentiles within an “ideal” performance distribution, in which the current distribution remains but has the median shifted to achieve our performance goals. Email us if you want to get all-the-way into the weeds: busworks@transitcenter.org

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5 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The MTA doesn't pay Riders Alliance or the members of the Bus Turnaround Coalition. Those are funded through donations (individual, corporate, etc)

Hopefully Andy Byford lives up to his promise of implementing actual solutions.

In any case, here are the report cards. The only routes to achieve a grade of A were the Bx29 and Q35. The criteria they used were strictly related to reliability and speed (which explains why the S55/56 scored a B despite having a limited span of weekday service, no weekend service, and 30 minute service when they do actually run). They were a bit sloppy (they counted the S84 as its own separate route, but none of the other limiteds with an official local counterpart. Also, they implied that they used bunching to calculate reliability on frequent routes, and on-time performance to calculate reliability on infrequent routes, but they didn't actually show which standard they used for individual routes: You have to assume it based on the average frequency they stated for that route). Also, they didn't actually show their grading scale (it seems a bit odd that 1/7 buses bunched gets the S46 an F). Also, there's a difference between 2 buses bunching on 15 minute headways as opposed to 3 minute headways.

The methodology of those report cards is definitely suspect. The Bx29 gets an A but I doubt the average rider would prefer it over say the M101 which definitely deserves an F. When I look at routes like the Bx29 and Q35 I would say they are better at delivering the advertised service to riders than an M101. The problem is that the advertised service on the Bx29's of the world is paltry and barely filling the role of a coverage route. The problem with the bus network is self evident..... High ridership, low headway routes are being run into the ground and those are the workhorses of the bus network . Traffic is a pathetic excuse because any route useful enough to generate strong ridership will have to use corridors with heavy vehicular traffic yet the service still should be somewhat reliable. The fact that service is unreliable on nearly every low headway route in the city says it all. In an ideal world the high ridership routes should be getting A's and the coverage routes getting F's. Given it's the MTA we're dealing with it's the other way around. 

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20 minutes ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

The methodology of those report cards is definitely suspect. The Bx29 gets an A but I doubt the average rider would prefer it over say the M101 which definitely deserves an F. When I look at routes like the Bx29 and Q35 I would say they are better at delivering the advertised service to riders than an M101. The problem is that the advertised service on the Bx29's of the world is paltry and barely filling the role of a coverage route. The problem with the bus network is self evident..... High ridership, low headway routes are being run into the ground and those are the workhorses of the bus network . Traffic is a pathetic excuse because any route useful enough to generate strong ridership will have to use corridors with heavy vehicular traffic yet the service still should be somewhat reliable. The fact that service is unreliable on nearly every low headway route in the city says it all. In an ideal world the high ridership routes should be getting A's and the coverage routes getting F's. Given it's the MTA we're dealing with it's the other way around. 

Well, in an ideal world, all routes would be getting As. The coverage routes would still run on decent enough headways to be considered useful (and at least have evening/weekend service, if not overnight service), and they would do well at delivering their advertised service levels reliably.

 

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Padded running time is an issue as well. When you have B/O's driving like they're powering the bus with their legs like the Flintstones and purposely waiting at green traffic signals, you can't put all the blame on traffic, and double parked vehicles.

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How does the Q1 get a C and the Q43 get a D? Shouldn't both routes get a failing grade for getting overtaken by the n22 along Hillside Avenue?  I took the n22 to Mineola last night and it was SRO until we got to the City Line. I watched lots of people get off at Cherry Lane and some of them walk back into Queens just to avoid taking the Q43. 

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5 hours ago, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

The methodology of those report cards is definitely suspect. The Bx29 gets an A but I doubt the average rider would prefer it over say the M101 which definitely deserves an F. When I look at routes like the Bx29 and Q35 I would say they are better at delivering the advertised service to riders than an M101. The problem is that the advertised service on the Bx29's of the world is paltry and barely filling the role of a coverage route. The problem with the bus network is self evident..... High ridership, low headway routes are being run into the ground and those are the workhorses of the bus network . Traffic is a pathetic excuse because any route useful enough to generate strong ridership will have to use corridors with heavy vehicular traffic yet the service still should be somewhat reliable. The fact that service is unreliable on nearly every low headway route in the city says it all. In an ideal world the high ridership routes should be getting A's and the coverage routes getting F's. Given it's the MTA we're dealing with it's the other way around. 

I'm not even bothering to discuss any of the "grades" any of these routes were given by this Bus turnaround coalition or whatever....

The criteria you're basing & conveying your point on here (usefulness) with, is different from the criteria being used by that coalition group to determine these "grades"...

- To hell with the methodology they're using, when I have a problem with the criteria... I don't claim to know what it is, but this whole grading thing & all these routes getting so-called D's & F's (almost by default it seems like) is indicative to me of an agenda being pushed by this coalition.... There is this undertone I sense & I don't like it one bit (that isn't to say that the MTA is off the hook, because they are definitely NOT)..... Just come out & say that our routes are unreliable & slow & pack your bags & go home.... Us enthusiasts (and keen commuters of w/e routes they utilize) generally get what the problems are with the buses.....

- However, this idea of ideality you portray of high ridership, low headway routes getting A's & coverage routes getting F's (so to speak) I can't concur with either.... I honestly wouldn't want to be in a city where every bus route in a city of this magnitude is pulling in ridership #'s similar to that of any of the current top 10 utilized routes in our system (which is what it's sounding like you're implicating)..... I wouldn't call that ideal at all; more like chaotic (then we'd be having a very different discussion on these parts).... Putting it another way, for a bus network to be perfect/ideal, coverage routes shouldn't exist?

Some areas are of lower densities than others.... It is what it is....

7 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Well, in an ideal world, all routes would be getting As. The coverage routes would still run on decent enough headways to be considered useful (and at least have evening/weekend service, if not overnight service), and they would do well at delivering their advertised service levels reliably.

LOL !

But yeah, I wouldn't give a route like the Q64 anything less than an 'A' in the usefulness category because it's not on par with a route like the Q44, for example.....

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10 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

How does the Q1 get a C and the Q43 get a D? Shouldn't both routes get a failing grade for getting overtaken by the n22 along Hillside Avenue?  I took the n22 to Mineola last night and it was SRO until we got to the City Line. I watched lots of people get off at Cherry Lane and some of them walk back into Queens just to avoid taking the Q43. 

LMAO @ the first statement :lol:.... Some of those drivers be keeping up with myself & other motorists along Hillside (I still refuse to take NICE bus though)....

I see the reverse of that situation also, on the commute coming home..... Folks walking over to Cherry Lane to head towards Jamaica or whatever - even when there's one (or even two) Q43's already at the first WB stop....

Something else I've noticed about the Q43 on that end is, even though there'll be 2-3 buses on layover, riders can't get too anxious - because all of those buses are not going back in service.... For instance, it was either on tuesday or wednesday (whichever day that it had snowed), there were 2 buses on layover... both made the turnaround right behind one another... Looked like 10-15 people waiting, so I'm guessing that at least 1 of them would go in service... Nope - both buses left not in service.... Saw a couple hands go up in the air, as if to gesture, what the f***.... I sat at the light just smh, just as I am typing this right now....

That very scenario/situation is one of many reasons I stopped doing the whole LIRR -> B12 thing coming home..... Got sick & tired of seeing 5+ buses pull into Alabama av within about 10 mins. of each other, to continue standing waiting for the next WB bus out for at least another 10 mins after seeing the initial bus pulling in from the west... Crowds keep building up (from off the (J)), and you easily have 60-75 people waiting for the B12 around that time.... I let the crowds have at the first bus that (finally) pulls in (because I'm not pushing & shoving to get on no bus), thinking that the next bus out will arrive within 2 mins. or so, to more often than not, be let down.... Sometimes the waits would be so long that I'd bite the bullet & take the B25 to the B46.... Probably the only thing I miss about that B12 commute is the seeing of 50-60+ people at the stop, to see only 2 or 3 MF-ers board the B25 that would pull in at the time.... Always got a kick out of that...

 

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10 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

I'm not even bothering to discuss any of the "grades" any of these routes were given by this Bus turnaround coalition or whatever....

The criteria you're basing & conveying your point on here (usefulness) with, is different from the criteria being used by that coalition group to determine these "grades"...

- To hell with the methodology they're using, when I have a problem with the criteria... I don't claim to know what it is, but this whole grading thing & all these routes getting so-called D's & F's (almost by default it seems like) is indicative to me of an agenda being pushed by this coalition.... There is this undertone I sense & I don't like it one bit (that isn't to say that the MTA is off the hook, because they are definitely NOT)..... Just come out & say that our routes are unreliable & slow & pack your bags & go home.... Us enthusiasts (and keen commuters of w/e routes they utilize) generally get what the problems are with the buses.....

- However, this idea of ideality you portray of high ridership, low headway routes getting A's & coverage routes getting F's (so to speak) I can't concur with either.... I honestly wouldn't want to be in a city where every bus route in a city of this magnitude is pulling in ridership #'s similar to that of any of the current top 10 utilized routes in our system (which is what it's sounding like you're implicating)..... I wouldn't call that ideal at all; more like chaotic (then we'd be having a very different discussion on these parts).... Putting it another way, for a bus network to be perfect/ideal, coverage routes shouldn't exist?

Some areas are of lower densities than others.... It is what it is....

LOL !

But yeah, I wouldn't give a route like the Q64 anything less than an 'A' in the usefulness category because it's not on par with a route like the Q44, for example.....

My rebuttal to checkmate was founded more in the logic that the frequency of service becomes the main criteria to evaluate routes in an ideal world where the vast majority of routes are reliable. Routes with low frequencies (while needed) just wouldn't appeal enough to get an A if all routes are graded on the same scale and pass the reliability test. Checkmate seems to think any route that is useful and reliable should get an A while not considering that a 3 minute headway can be rated equivalently to a 15 minute headway and one of those is much worse on paper than the other. A route's report card grade to me is not some evaluation on it's existence more than a reflection of what the average joe would think about that route if he used it. The average joe wouldn't be giving A's to the Bx29 and F's to the multitude of low headway routes that have them in any world where the service made sense. 

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11 hours ago, NY1635 said:

How does the Q1 get a C and the Q43 get a D? Shouldn't both routes get a failing grade for getting overtaken by the n22 along Hillside Avenue?  I took the n22 to Mineola last night and it was SRO until we got to the City Line. I watched lots of people get off at Cherry Lane and some of them walk back into Queens just to avoid taking the Q43. 

The same thing happens on the N4 at Hook Creek Blvd. NICE is just so much faster than NYCT's snails on wheels. On the N6 we pass so many NYCT buses on Hillside Ave. Granted, they have to make more stops, but that's just part of the reason.

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9 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

The same thing happens on the N4 at Hook Creek Blvd. NICE is just so much faster than NYCT's snails on wheels. On the N6 we pass so many NYCT buses on Hillside Ave. Granted, they have to make more stops, but that's just part of the reason.

Perhaps the speed of NICE operators has to due with the very tight schedules they work with? There isn't that much padding due to budgetary constraints.

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What's up with the not applicable on some of these routes? All routes should have been graded fairly. The  Q5, 12 and 43 got C's despite having quick NICE counterparts. Other than that, this system looks flawed. 

Edited by Q43LTD
Did some research

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I just glanced at some of the results and methodology. Although nothing about the methodology jumps out at me as being faulty, I question some of the results. Although most would agree that Staten Island local buses are the worst because of poor headways and coverage, the routes in SI are rated as the best in the city.

Also, I do not understand how the B1 could rate an F in bunching when they state only one in seven bunch.   One in seven sounds pretty good to me. I think it's much worse than that.

I think too much of an emphasis is placed on speed and not enough emphasis on poor headways. I guess that's why the B84 did so well as well as SI routes.

If buses bunch and you still only wait 15 minutes, that's better than no bunching and having to wait a half hour. Poor or inadequate routing is totally ignored in the methodology, but I can't think of a way to consider that either. 

It should also be noted that SBS barely scored higher than their respective locals rating C, D, or F. 

Edited by BrooklynBus

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On 2/9/2018 at 3:56 PM, JubaionBx12+SBS said:

Wake me up when actual initiative is taken to solve the issues with NYC buses. A bunch of ideas are on the table yet MTA management seems clueless as to what to do.

Don't hold your breath.

 

The first rule of politics is that complaining about a problem is always better than solving it; a problem that has been solved is no longer there to complain about, campaign about, and fund-raise about. (That's why "advocacy" is such a lucrative business plan — you can make lots of money by complaining about the same problem and "pushing for a solution" for decades.)

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It's interesting that a picture of the M15 is shown. With the partial opening of the SAS to 96 Street, and the subsequent relief on the Lexington Avenue line, ridership on the M15 has to have dropped significantly now that the subway is an alternative. I would also expect major ridership declines on the M66 and M31 as well (which serve the hospital and college corridor on York Avenue). That ridership has likely transferred to the (Q) (72 Street-2 Avenue is a madhouse on weekdays), whereas it would have been previously on buses. The relief on Lexington Avenue has likely also opened up space on the (6), which in turn reduces ridership on the 3 and Lexington Avenue buses as well.

Edited by aemoreira81

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I thought about this a little more and I think this report was a little too harsh on the buses. When they rate a poor routes like the B31 and B84 get high grades and a failing grade is given to a great route like the B1 something has to be wrong. And I can think of three things right away. There is no criteria judging how useful a route is. One way would be to count the number of available transfers to other bus and subway lines. A long route like the B1 which gets you a lot more places is certainly more useful than a short route like the B31, yet this is not considered. And as I stated, I do not see how one out of seven buses bunching (if true, I think it is much higher) deserves an F for bus bunching.

Scheduled service frequency also needs to be considered. The average scheduled daily headway needs to be considered and routes with more scheduled service needs to be given a higher rating than a route with 30 minute headways all day long. 

Another point not considered is fare evasion. Maybe since the Eagle Team only patrols SBS, perhaps it is totally out of control and ridership is down nowhere near 6 percent. 

After all, are they really objective, or is their goal to show the buses are not working well? The MTA's goal is to show how great the buses are so their satisfaction surveys show that passengers are overwhelmingly satisfied with the buses. What we need are objective studies. 

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