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Brillant93

Plan To Restructure The NYC Bus System

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9 hours ago, Blitz said:

Random thought #1. .people don't want to go up 2 steps in the rear of low floor buses, so what would encourage them to climb nearly a whole flight in a double decker bus?

 Random thought #2...will all of the express buses share the new livery eventually??

#1: Lack of seats, the ability to get a good view up top, esp the front row

#2: Yes

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2 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Routes should not be split without some overlap. 

I don’t think this is gonna be some simple slice and dice — or at least that’s what I’m hearing. It is gonna be a wholesale revamp, much like what Houston/Seattle have done, and what Philly is doing. No corridor/service pattern is being taken as a given. It’s gonna be a highly data driven effort, and they really hope to reflect what is needed rather than what is known. I also heard (though this is definitely subject to change) that they’re gonna be planning to maximize frequency on key corridors, instead of looking to dilute service with zillions of service patterns. 

I don’t know nearly as much about buses, but I’m very interested to see what they’re gonna cook up.

Edited by RR503
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12 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I don’t think this is gonna be some simple slice and dice — or at least that’s what I’m hearing. It is gonna be a wholesale revamp, much like what Houston/Seattle have done, and what Philly is doing. No corridor/service pattern is being taken as a given. It’s gonna be a highly data driven effort, and they really hope to reflect what is needed rather than what is known. I don’t know nearly as much about buses, but I’m very interested to see what they’re gonna cook up.

They should probably treat each borough as its own city because some boroughs need different treatment. Brooklyn and Manhattan have grid like maps but Manhattan might see more change because one everyone isn’t riding the bus there due to more trains around and congestion. Queens and Staten Island have more of a chaotic set up because they have routes that terminate to major areas in different parts of the borough. So a grid system might help in queens but making sure you’re providing aqurrate service is key. 

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It would definitely be interesting to see what they come up with because their are definitely several route and service patterns that aren’t efficient anymore. 

Some routes that I can think of off the top of my head that definitely need tweaking is the Q38 and B24 to eliminate that U shaped routing they have. The routes that serve Astoria and Long Island City could use some tweaking especially the Q100, Q102, Q103 and Q104.

B20 north past Broadway Junction

Q39 in Ridgewood

Q30, Q31, Q48, Q76

Several North/south manhattan routes like the 5th/Madison routes and Lexington/3rd Ave routes.

I also do have some routes that I think should be eliminated completely.

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1 hour ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

. The routes that serve Astoria and Long Island City could use some tweaking especially the Q100, Q102, Q103 and Q104

Is there any reason why they should be tweaked? I can't really speak for the Q100 (well, I can somewhat but I'm not sure how informed it would be) nor the Q102 but I can about the Q103 and Q104 and being a moderately satisfied daily rider of these, I'm somewhat interested in hearing your problem with these two..

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15 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Routes should not be split without some overlap. 

I can think of two routes right away where a nice sharp split would be perfectly fine (the S74/84 at the ETC and the M101 at 125th & Lexington)

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1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

I can think of two routes right away where a nice sharp split would be perfectly fine (the S74/84 at the ETC and the M101 at 125th & Lexington)

I'd split S52 right before Hylan Bl, since few ride from there to the ferry or SI Hospital (since the train is right there to take them to either place faster). 

Edited by Deucey
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3 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

I can think of two routes right away where a nice sharp split would be perfectly fine (the S74/84 at the ETC and the M101 at 125th & Lexington)

I've personally felt for some years (especially after working the M101/2/3 at 100 street) that the M101 should terminate with the M100 on the east side & increase headway on the M103 by having a limited variant run from Cooper Union to 125. that would solve the main issue that currently exist on the 3rd/Lex lines: lateness & bunching 

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19 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Routes should not be split without some overlap. 

i fully agree. equivalent to the B5/B50 set up before the combination & creation of the B82. I'm not saying that the overlap should be 'x' amount of miles, but there should be some sort of adequacy standard if lines are to be split. 

Edited by EastFlatbushLarry

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On 4/24/2018 at 9:39 AM, Blitz said:

Random thought #1. .people don't want to go up 2 steps in the rear of low floor buses, so what would encourage them to climb nearly a whole flight in a double decker bus?

i truly understand your sentiment, but where i personally differ is that LOCAL bus customers tend to be that unwilling. personally, I've never heard express bus customers complain about the current express bus fleet, which is currently front door boarding with steps.

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17 hours ago, RR503 said:

I don’t think this is gonna be some simple slice and dice — or at least that’s what I’m hearing. It is gonna be a wholesale revamp, much like what Houston/Seattle have done, and what Philly is doing. No corridor/service pattern is being taken as a given. It’s gonna be a highly data driven effort, and they really hope to reflect what is needed rather than what is known. I also heard (though this is definitely subject to change) that they’re gonna be planning to maximize frequency on key corridors, instead of looking to dilute service with zillions of service patterns. 

I don’t know nearly as much about buses, but I’m very interested to see what they’re gonna cook up.

You have remember that what comes out is only as good as the data that goes in. For years the MTA has spoken about its models, but has never revealed any of the assumptions it uses. You also need to remember that numbers only tell part of the story. You must also know passenger likes and dislikes, their tolerances, other alternatives available to them, etc. You can't plan bus routes in a vacuum by making unrealistic assumptions. The MTA must not only reveal the results of its analysis but explain how it arrived at its decisions and also just be willing to compromise. Past MTA reroutings were proposed on a take it it keave it basis. 

I've previously told the story of John Simpson who left NY for Denver in the late 70s. He completely revamped all the bus lines into a perfect grid system, got great publicity for his ingenuity and based on that publicity was hired by NYC to be its first President in 1980. By 1982, the results were in. His plan was a complete failure because the routes no lanes ne'er went to where the people wanted to go. Instead of pretty direct service most everyone now had to walk a half mile or more to and from the buses and more people needed two buses, so ridership dropped, more decided to drive, and many route changes had to be undone. That's what can happen when you rush a change without carefully considering consequences and your prime concern is costs, bus speeds and fewer bus hours. 

There needs to be adequate consultation with cmmunities and well thought out plans. That is not possible in a few short years unless you greatly increase your planning staff. Currently each route change is studied girl three years which is also insanely slow. It will be interesting to see how Byford intends to speed up that process. 

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1 hour ago, EastFlatbushLarry said:

I've personally felt for some years (especially after working the M101/2/3 at 100 street) that the M101 should terminate with the M100 on the east side & increase headway on the M103 by having a limited variant run from Cooper Union to 125. that would solve the main issue that currently exist on the 3rd/Lex lines: lateness & bunching 

I'll be the one to say it - the M101 is overrated & the M103 is underrated....

What you're saying here regarding splitting the M101 is what a couple of us discussed a couple mos. ago in either the [Manhattan bus proposal thread] or the [Bus random thoughts thread]..... Up in the more northern part of Manhattan, I remember when folks used to shun the M100 & bombard the shit out of the M101 back in my HS & early college years (mid-to-late 90's/early 2000's) & I could never understand it..... Then, (whenever the role reversal of sorts happened), the M100 became the more sought after/prevalent route north of Harlem.... I say that to say, yes, split the M101 & divvy up some of that extra/leftover service b/w the M100 & the M103.... The M101 b/w 2nd/125th & Ft. George/193rd is still a route that could hold its own as far as justification goes, but I would still provide the M100 more service than an M101 of sorts.....

I, on occasion, take the M103 from the E. 30's (streets) to Chinatown - and nothing grinds my gears more in this regard, than seeing [3-4 M101's] and [2-3 M102's] minimum before an M103 shows up..... I wish I could honestly say that's an exaggeration, but sadly, it's not.... That ridership in/out of Park Row itself & along Bowery isn't near as weak as it used to be back in the say, the '90's & before the fact.....

1 hour ago, EastFlatbushLarry said:
21 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Routes should not be split without some overlap. 

i fully agree. equivalent to the B5/B50 set up before the combination & creation of the B82. I'm not saying that the overlap should be 'x' amount of miles, but there should be some sort of adequacy standard if lines are to be split. 

I don't have a problem with an even split (meaning, with no overlap) of some route, if the riderbases from either end of the route has that midpoint as a ridership generator.....

41 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

I've previously told the story of John Simpson who left NY for Denver in the late 70s. He completely revamped all the bus lines into a perfect grid system, got great publicity for his ingenuity and based on that publicity was hired by NYC to be its first President in 1980. By 1982, the results were in. His plan was a complete failure because the routes no lanes ne'er went to where the people wanted to go. Instead of pretty direct service most everyone now had to walk a half mile or more to and from the buses and more people needed two buses, so ridership dropped, more decided to drive, and many route changes had to be undone. That's what can happen when you rush a change without carefully considering consequences and your prime concern is costs, bus speeds and fewer bus hours.

Well let's hope that Byford isn't John Simpson 2.0..... I'd like to be optimistic, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the ultimate outcome of it all.....

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18 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

Is there any reason why they should be tweaked? I can't really speak for the Q100 (well, I can somewhat but I'm not sure how informed it would be) nor the Q102 but I can about the Q103 and Q104 and being a moderately satisfied daily rider of these, I'm somewhat interested in hearing your problem with these two..

I would change the Q100 to run on Ditmars Blvd to help with the Q69 especially when buses are bunched and running crappy. Also I wouldn’t have every bus running to Rikers Island. I would simply have buses short turn where the Q101 ends since that’s like the only other place I can think of where that route can terminate. 

The Q104, I think it’s northern terminal should be Roosevelt Island. However it is not as frequent so I can’t even suggest every other bus serving the island. The southern should either be 74th and Roosevelt Ave via Broadway or somewhere  or somewhere south past its current terminal in Sunnyside. 

The Q102 I feel is useless and on top of that it’s very infrequent. The (F) is fully handicap accessible at both Roosevelt Island and 21st. The Q102 follows the (N) and (W) from Queens Plaza to 30th Ave, and it supplements the Q18 in Astoria. The few times I took the Q102 it gets usage on 30th Ave if it comes before the Q18. It runs pretty empty to Queens Plaza. It picks up a few people towards Roosevelt Ave, on the island itself it’s pretty empty. When the (N) and (W) are messed up the Q102 is so infrequent it doesn’t do much to help the situation. 

 

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11 minutes ago, NewFlyer 230 said:

The Q102 I feel is useless and on top of that it’s very infrequent. The (F) is fully handicap accessible at both Roosevelt Island and 21st. The Q102 follows the (N) and (W) from Queens Plaza to 30th Ave, and it supplements the Q18 in Astoria. The few times I took the Q102 it gets usage on 30th Ave if it comes before the Q18. It runs pretty empty to Queens Plaza. It picks up a few people towards Roosevelt Ave, on the island itself it’s pretty empty. When the (N) and (W) are messed up the Q102 is so infrequent it doesn’t do much to help the situation. 

 

Not to mentioned that the RIOC Red Bus is much more frequent doesn't have that roundabout routing. 

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37 minutes ago, Brillant93 said:

Having a bus line that goes straight from broadway junction to spring creek is a good idea. 

There's no current market for that.. Only way that gets accomplished is you would have to re-work the B20 to travel direct via Penn.

 

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With the screens on the bus, I wonder how they're going to take subway connections into account and if they'll display/announce SubwayTime times for connecting routes.

It would be cool (especially during off-peak times) if you're on a bus and you need to make a connection, and say both buses are at the intersection (but yours has the red signal)you can press a "connection request" button on the BusTime app and it will alert the B/O "Connection Requested" and the B/O allows u to make the connection. 

Or as I've mentioned before, a feature like that when on the subway approaching Jamaica and the (E)(F) are delayed due to trackwork, your bus is about to leave and is on 1 hr headway, if you could make a connection request to have some satisfactory ending to an already long trip. 

Or because of similar reasons the Bus Operator can see on their screen that there are 3 (F)  and waits a few more mins

 

5 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Well let's hope that Byford isn't John Simpson 2.0..... I'd like to be optimistic, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the ultimate outcome of it all.....

It needs to be done because the bus routes are old, but I agree. I wonder how Queens would work. Riders are trying to get to Jamaica, Flushing, Jackson Heights, etc, but they also need more direct routes to get between these areas without tons of backtracking. 

53 minutes ago, Brillant93 said:

Having a bus line that goes straight from broadway junction to spring creek is a good idea. 

What's with the B20 and the B83's routing anyway? Why doesn't one of them go straight down Pennsylvania Ave? Was it because the B20 is old and existed before Spring Creek was built and they just created the B83 to serve it?

 

Edited by N6 Limited

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7 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

There's no current market for that.. Only way that gets accomplished is you would have to re-work the B20 to travel direct via Penn.

 

Where do most of Spring Creek riders go to?

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15 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Where do most of Spring Creek riders go to?

Good question: My assumption would be Broadway-East New York (A)(C)(J)(Z)(L) and New Lots & Ashford   (3)(4) + B20/B83/B84.

However, you also have the BM5 that's Spring Creek direct via Linden, Van Siclen and BM2 which stops only at Spring Creek Towers.

Since I live in Crown Heights/Canarsie and I drive 90% of the time now (MTA) services don't really appease me.

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2 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

Where do most of Spring Creek riders go to?

Depends on how one defines Spring Creek. The housing development now called Spring Creek Towers isn't near the area of the same name.  Spring Creek Park and the waterway are located east of the Gateway Mall and Fountain Avenue. Using the housing development as an origin the bus ridership heads north to Livonia for the (3) , (4) lines or Broadway Junction for the  (A) , (C)(J) or , (Z) lines or west to Rockaway Parkway for the (L) train. For at least 35 years most people used the buses heading n/b but Surface only provided 24 hour service to Canarsie at the Rockaway Parkway station.  Getting to Broadway Junction too late meant either a cab ride or re-entering the subway system for a extra trip on the (L) . At least I rode free.  Carry on. 

Edited by Trainmaster5
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4 hours ago, Trainmaster5 said:

Depends on how one defines Spring Creek. The housing development now called Spring Creek Towers isn't near the area of the same name.  Spring Creek Park and the waterway are located east of the Gateway Mall and Fountain Avenue. Using the housing development as an origin the bus ridership heads north to Livonia for the (3) , (4) lines or Broadway Junction for the  (A) , (C)(J) or , (Z) lines or west to Rockaway Parkway for the (L) train. For at least 35 years most people used the buses heading n/b but Surface only provided 24 hour service to Canarsie at the Rockaway Parkway station.  Getting to Broadway Junction too late meant either a cab ride or re-entering the subway system for a extra trip on the (L) . At least I rode free.  Carry on. 

You have a point there Trainmaster. I was only speaking on the B84 portion of the route which also goes New Lots/Ashford (3)(4). However, you are right about the Livonia stop. The (L) situation to me for Spring Creek patrons is essentially backtracking with exception to the development itself on Penn Avenue towards the Belt Parkway.

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15 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

You have remember that what comes out is only as good as the data that goes in. For years the MTA has spoken about its models, but has never revealed any of the assumptions it uses. You also need to remember that numbers only tell part of the story. You must also know passenger likes and dislikes, their tolerances, other alternatives available to them, etc. You can't plan bus routes in a vacuum by making unrealistic assumptions. The MTA must not only reveal the results of its analysis but explain how it arrived at its decisions and also just be willing to compromise. Past MTA reroutings were proposed on a take it it keave it basis. 

I've previously told the story of John Simpson who left NY for Denver in the late 70s. He completely revamped all the bus lines into a perfect grid system, got great publicity for his ingenuity and based on that publicity was hired by NYC to be its first President in 1980. By 1982, the results were in. His plan was a complete failure because the routes no lanes ne'er went to where the people wanted to go. Instead of pretty direct service most everyone now had to walk a half mile or more to and from the buses and more people needed two buses, so ridership dropped, more decided to drive, and many route changes had to be undone. That's what can happen when you rush a change without carefully considering consequences and your prime concern is costs, bus speeds and fewer bus hours. 

There needs to be adequate consultation with cmmunities and well thought out plans. That is not possible in a few short years unless you greatly increase your planning staff. Currently each route change is studied girl three years which is also insanely slow. It will be interesting to see how Byford intends to speed up that process. 

That was 1980. This is today. A civilian like me can access census block group to census block group commute data, micro-area demographic profiles, etc. What's more, we have the capacity to run highly sophisticated computer simulations using that very data, a fact that allows us to ensure that our routes at least somewhat serve our target markets. And yes, there may be issues with that data, but it's a world of difference 1980 to today. 

FWIW, what little I know about Simpson tells me that he was planning routes for his ego -- he was a Moses type. We have no such central figure these days, a fact which should allow the agency to decouple planning from whimsy, making it more accurate. 

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2 hours ago, RR503 said:

That was 1980. This is today. A civilian like me can access census block group to census block group commute data, micro-area demographic profiles, etc. What's more, we have the capacity to run highly sophisticated computer simulations using that very data, a fact that allows us to ensure that our routes at least somewhat serve our target markets. And yes, there may be issues with that data, but it's a world of difference 1980 to today. 

FWIW, what little I know about Simpson tells me that he was planning routes for his ego -- he was a Moses type. We have no such central figure these days, a fact which should allow the agency to decouple planning from whimsy, making it more accurate. 

First of all your census block group data is at least eight years old. You also need to know that you are not always told the truth because other factors are at play that you are not aware of. That was true in 1980, and is still true today. Just because someone tells you there is a highly sophisticated accurate computer simulation does not make it so. I saw the bad assumptions that were going into the model we were using in 1978 and changed them to be more accurate. If no one who really understands the system is doing that today, you will have the same problems as there were in 1980. 

In 2006, there was a $6 million southern Brooklyn Transportation Investment study that I was a part of. The MTA claimed they had a sophisticated model. I asked that the forty bus route recommendations I developed be studied by that model. The MTA then admitted its "sophisticated model" was not sophisticated enough to study route proposals on the micro level and could only be used for broad regional approaches like where we would generally need a new subway line.

Similarly, last year DOT claimed they used models to develop the Woodhaven SBS, but revealed nothing about the model's assumptions. Later I found out that it's traffic data was gathered over a five year period which made it pretty useless since it didn't measure travel at one specific time. It was obvious to me just by looking at two traffic counts at nearby intersections that there was something wrong with the data.

I learned long ago that when someone is not answering your questions, they are hiding something. And finally, there is absolutely no comparison between Robert Moses and John Simpson.  

Edited by BrooklynBus
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On 4/26/2018 at 10:54 AM, BrooklynBus said:

First of all your census block group data is at least eight years old. You also need to know that you are not always told the truth because other factors are at play that you are not aware of. That was true in 1980, and is still true today. Just because someone tells you there is a highly sophisticated accurate computer simulation does not make it so. I saw the bad assumptions that were going into the model we were using in 1978 and changed them to be more accurate. If no one who really understands the system is doing that today, you will have the same problems as there were in 1980. 

In 2006, there was a $6 million southern Brooklyn Transportation Investment study that I was a part of. The MTA claimed they had a sophisticated model. I asked that the forty bus route recommendations I developed be studied by that model. The MTA then admitted its "sophisticated model" was not sophisticated enough to study route proposals on the micro level and could only be used for broad regional approaches like where we would generally need a new subway line.

Similarly, last year DOT claimed they used models to develop the Woodhaven SBS, but revealed nothing about the model's assumptions. Later I found out that it's traffic data was gathered over a five year period which made it pretty useless since it didn't measure travel at one specific time. It was obvious to me just by looking at two traffic counts at nearby intersections that there was something wrong with the data.

I learned long ago that when someone is not answering your questions, they are hiding something. And finally, there is absolutely no comparison between Robert Moses and John Simpson.  

The commute data is taken every year. LEHD — look it up. Similarly, the Census releases American Community Surveys every year, which are used by agencies across the country and are regarded as being reasonably accurate. 

Look, I absolutely understand that the MTA doesn’t have a good track record with this sort of thing. It’s an opaque agency steeped in its own culture to the point of total arrogance. But I think all of this is changing. Politics are forcing those in the agency to re-examine their practices, and are shaking up upper management. And sure, they may do dumb things like that Woodhaven SBS metric, but upper management these days is holding folks much more accountable than before, so I hold out hope for some change. Data driven route planning techniques have been used with much success elsewhere in the country, and given the agency’s newfound ability to look outwards, those same processes may be lifted to New York. 

I also think that this whole issue is a bit of a catch-22. Our current bus network is woefully out of date, and simply cannot serve corridors of high demand in some meaningful way, losing it ridership. If the agency remains timid, we’ll hemorrhage ridership through obsoletion. If we change, we run the risk of making the bus network unusable, but at least there’s a chance of an increase in utility. In light of that, I really think the MTA needs to pursue (responsibly, and transparently) the second option. 

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