Jump to content


Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
Via Garibaldi 8

MTA’s bus action plan should focus on neighborhoods with no subway stops, pols say

Recommended Posts

MTA’s bus action plan should focus on neighborhoods with no subway stops, pols say

Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic say improving off-peak service is crucial for commuters.

image.jpeg

Comptroller Scott Stringer rides a Q34 bus, calling for the MTA's bus action plan to prioritize neighborhoods that have little-to-no subway options. Photo Credit: Vincent Barone

 

By Vincent Barone

vin.barone@amny.com  @vinbaroneUpdated May 1, 2018 6:54 PM

PRINT SHARE 

The MTA’s bus action plan must prioritize areas of the city not served by the subway, elected officials say.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic recently caught a ride on the Q34 to praise elements of the plan, announced last week, and to highlight issues with local service during the trip between Hillcrest and Flushing.

“I don’t have a single subway stop in my entire assembly district. So we’re wholly dependent on bus service,” said Rozic. “It’s not unlike southeast Brooklyn or the outer reaches of the Bronx — that’s where [bus improvements] are really critical for New Yorkers.”

Rozic said the Q34 and Q25, which serve as key connections to several schools, including Queens College, are typically unreliable, slow and too often arrive at stops several at a time — bunching that creates larger gaps in service. She said she supported items in the plan like all-door boarding, transit signal priority at intersections, route redesigns and increased off-peak service for the routes in her district.

Only 38 percent of Q25 buses and 45 percent of Q34 buses arrive at what the MTA considers “on time” — between one minute early and five minutes late — and one out of every seven Q25 buses arrives bunched next to another, according to data from the Bus Turnaround Coalition.

In addition to the poor service, commuters are left with few choices. The Q25 has experienced an increase in ridership, from 17,336 average daily riders in 2011 to 20,083 in 2016. The ridership on the Q34, while experiencing slight dips and upticks over the years, has remained fairly stagnant — from 6,880 average weekday riders in 2011 to 6,941 in 2016.

Stringer said the MTA bus action plan’s goal to improve off-peak service would be vital, referencing a March report from his office that detailed the MTA’s failure to keep up with an increasing number of commuters who do not work traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts.

The number of subway and bus commuters departing for work outside of the typical morning rush hour — 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. — has increased by 39 percent, from 253,922 to 355,019, in the last 25 years according to Stringer’s report. At the same time, rush hour commuters rose 17 percent, making up about 53 percent of subway and bus riders (down from 61 percent in 1990).

“We have to re-imagine bus service for the 21st century,” said Stringer. “We need the bus lanes. We need new routes and better off-peak service to deal with the changing economy in Queens and other places. And you need better technology and enforcement to get these buses running on time and in a much more robust way.”

As a testament to just how frustrating the system can be for riders, Queens College student Japneet Singh said his commute from South Ozone Park to school required riding two bus routes during a commute, often taking more than an hour. Eventually Singh started driving. That same trip takes him 15 to 20 minutes.

“In morning and afternoon hours, these buses get packed,” said Singh, the college’s student president. “A lot of people rely on these buses in the mornings and afternoons. And, especially with all these schools letting out throughout the day, the buses get delayed, Queens College students have to wait and sometimes miss their classes.”

Many bus improvements sought by the city and the MTA, specifically bus lanes, are often fiercely contested — especially in some of the city’s transit deserts.

Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr., who represents neighborhoods in the South Bronx poorly served by the subway, has railed against the city for its use of bus lanes in his district. At a Council hearing last month, he criticized local bus lanes for being poorly designed and reasoned that the city should be expanding roads for drivers instead of “shrinking” them for bus lanes and other safety projects.

“The problem is that congestion in the city has been done by the MTA and the way they have closed some streets to open them for buses — they’re making what used to be three-lane streets, into one,” said Diaz. “They need to open, widen the street for more cars.”

Lew Fidler, a former City Councilman who represents car-dependent neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn, said striking the balance between support for bus improvements like Select Bus Service and being mindful of constituents was a “conundrum.” Ultimately, he felt that bus lanes painted in his district were often blocked by other vehicles due to a lack of enforcement, helping shape a public sentiment that lanes were useless. “If [the city] could keep the bus lanes actually moving and for the buses, bus service — SBS and local — would improve immeasurably … and they’d gain more public support for them.”

For bus riders like John Sattaur, of West Farms in the Bronx, the bus action plan could be a critical quality-of-life improvement. Sattaur, 36, relies on three buses to get from his home to his job at a public library in Van Cortlandt Village, dropping two of his children off at an elementary school along the way.

“Most time there are delays, overcrowding. Sometimes I guess things are so backed up that buses bypass stops and try to catch up. … That has me waking up earlier to start my day and try and get my kids to school,” said Sattaur, a member of the advocacy group Riders Alliance. “At least the MTA has put forward a plan. They’re more mindful to bus riders now, but we have to wait and see as plans take action to see if it works.”

Shams Tarek, an MTA spokesman, said the authority is still hashing out with the city how to roll out certain elements of the bus plan.

“We’re looking at every route in the system as part of the comprehensive network redesign,” Tarek said in an email. “The network redesign and the order in which it’s executed is being developed now and will be done in consultation with our customers, local communities, advocates, and NYC DOT.”

Source: https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-bus-plan-subway-1.18351115

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to bring up any specific routes or the issues plaguing any of them right now, but the #1 thing I want to see/notice in this supposed bus plan, is a cohesion of "NYCT" & "MTA BUS" routes in the network - instead of the two entities being treated separate, but equally......

In laymens, one unified network.

 

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

I'm not going to bring up any specific routes or the issues plaguing any of them right now, but the #1 thing I want to see/notice in this supposed bus plan, is a cohesion of "NYCT" & "MTA BUS" routes in the network - instead of the two entities being treated separate, but equally......

In laymens, one unified network.

 

One thing that I've been paying attention to over the last few years is how the schedules have NOT changed on several bus lines.  I been on the (MTA) to add or restore service that's been cut because it deters ridership and it makes traveling off-peak and on weekends much more painful.  It's sad to say it but a lot of schedules have not seen changes in almost 10 years aside from a minor change here and there.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really would like to see them focus the buses on feeding subway and railroad stations, since a lot of delays could be solved if the system operated as a circulator for the majority of lines/routes, and fewer crosstowns.

With that, I'd also love it if the single fare were abolished in favor of an unlimited daily pass so folks can get to/fro and transfer as necessary without having all the MetroCard fare depleted for a 3 bus trip.

I mean, it's kinda the norm everywhere else but here (including NJ and CT)...

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

I'm not going to bring up any specific routes or the issues plaguing any of them right now, but the #1 thing I want to see/notice in this supposed bus plan, is a cohesion of "NYCT" & "MTA BUS" routes in the network - instead of the two entities being treated separate, but equally......

In laymens, one unified network.

 

  I think that if anything, the two divisions (NYCT Bus and MTA Bus) should be consolidated, and from there you could split up the bus network into 5 divisions: Express, Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx and Queens/Brooklyn. You could also unite the Brooklyn and Queens routes under a single prefix.

  Anyways, each division would have people appointed to oversee the routes and they would study the routes accordingly. Doing this allows for better review of buses and changes as rather than have two rather obsolete distinctions, the bus divisions are divided based on regions, so results and changes can be delivered quicker. I would also require that people on these divisions live in the respective districts.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather they use a "blank slate" approach. If there were zero bus service, where would you create it? Where would it come from and where would it go?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, GreatOne2k said:

Can't combine NYCT and MTA Bus completely, MTA Bus still has the blank check, thus will still be treated a bit differently.

Will that blank check last forever? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Will that blank check last forever? 

You seem to be trying to suggest that it shouldn't.  Well I've got news for you.  You benefit from it. The City agreed to allocate funding for bus service for neighborhoods like yours that lack subway access to make them more desirable.  For years people who lived in two fare zones argued that they didn't receive the same treatment transportation wise as other neighborhoods with subway access despite paying the same taxes.  The City's goal was to make the areas further away attractive to live in.  I see no reason why it shouldn't continue.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

You seem to be trying to suggest that it shouldn't.  Well I've got news for you.  You benefit from it. The City agreed to allocate funding for bus service for neighborhoods like yours that lack subway access to make them more desirable.  For years people who lived in two fare zones argued that they didn't receive the same treatment transportation wise as other neighborhoods with subway access despite paying the same taxes.  The City's goal was to make the areas further away attractive to live in.  I see no reason why it shouldn't continue.  

No, I was suggesting a political reality: We have a Mayor who hates (1) buses, (2) trains, and (3) funding buses and trains, so it is very realistic to think that the blank check might not last forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

No, I was suggesting a political reality: We have a Mayor who hates (1) buses, (2) trains, and (3) funding buses and trains, so it is very realistic to think that the blank check might not last forever.

He'd be a fool to do such a thing and the political backlash would be strong.  I think he understands how important transportation is general hence why he's running the Ferry service in areas that needs it and is actually expanding it, and he should.  People are yelling about the cost of it, but as I said, the subway system is not cutting it and people need to get around, so run more buses (local and express), run more ferry service because if you don't, people will just clog up the streets and drive.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

He'd be a fool to do such a thing and the political backlash would be strong.  I think he understands how important transportation is general hence why he's running the Ferry service in areas that needs it and is actually expanding it, and he should.  People are yelling about the cost of it, but as I said, the subway system is not cutting it and people need to get around, so run more buses (local and express), run more ferry service because if you don't, people will just clog up the streets and drive.

Dunno why he's worried about the politics - he's termed out in 2021 and no NYC mayor has gone to higher office since NYC was just Manhattan and the Bronx.

I highly doubt he'll become the first 150 years...

  • Thumbs Up 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Deucey said:

Dunno why he's worried about the politics - he's termed out in 2021 and no NYC mayor has gone to higher office since NYC was just Manhattan and the Bronx.

I highly doubt he'll become the first 150 years...

He's always putting politics into it.  (MTA) Bus was created specifically to provide BETTER bus service rather than having several private bus companies doing their own thing.  Now, bus service could be better, but (MTA) Bus overall has been better in terms of running longer hours, newer buses etc.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GreatOne2k said:

Can't combine NYCT and MTA Bus completely, MTA Bus still has the blank check, thus will still be treated a bit differently.

They are already merging under the MTA brand, just look at the Cuomo scheme buses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GreatOne2k said:

Can't combine NYCT and MTA Bus completely, MTA Bus still has the blank check, thus will still be treated a bit differently.

 

It's silly to announce that you're redesigning the whole network from scratch, but you have to keep some routes exactly as they are, no matter what, just to preserve a funding mechanism.

The easiest thing might be to simply lay out the new network first, then assign each route to a depot. Whatever ends up at the MTAB depots gets covered by the "blank check" (for as long as it's still there). 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

It's silly to announce that you're redesigning the whole network from scratch, but you have to keep some routes exactly as they are, no matter what, just to preserve a funding mechanism.

The easiest thing might be to simply lay out the new network first, then assign each route to a depot. Whatever ends up at the MTAB depots gets covered by the "blank check" (for as long as it's still there). 

I think you're making a big to do over nothing.  The way I see it, they will be revamping some lines. Quite frankly the Bronx express bus lines and the Riverdale express bus lines are pretty good.  They don't make many stops and have simple turnarounds.  I think the revamp will come moreso with the local buses.  What they need to focus on is getting bus moving and keeping them on-time.  It's the congestion and drivers not holding the schedule that has made things horrendous.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

It's silly to announce that you're redesigning the whole network from scratch, but you have to keep some routes exactly as they are, no matter what, just to preserve a funding mechanism.

The easiest thing might be to simply lay out the new network first, then assign each route to a depot. Whatever ends up at the MTAB depots gets covered by the "blank check" (for as long as it's still there). 

I don't think it's silly - Houston and other places did it to much success recently; LA's old RTD did it in the early 80s going from hub and spoke to a grid, and they're looking at making the change again.

When you have all this data showing where MetroCards are being swiped, you should be able to see trends on who's riding Bx12 from Bay Plaza to 207th St for (A), or transferring to it from Bx15 and Third/174th to get on (4) or (2)(5) and see if it'd save time running an LTD from there to the Concourse for a (D) and reasonably guess why they're opting for roundabout trips vs a direct.

Since (MTA) hasn't really done that, maybe this revamp will force them to do that - or putting small frequent circulators in the middle of neighborhoods for runs to subway stations and turnbacks (ie routes running under 20 minutes total) and crosstowns on major thoroughfares.

I dunno, but I don't see this "it's f**ked, let's reimagine and rebuild it" as a bad thing.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I don't think it's silly - Houston and other places did it to much success recently; LA's old RTD did it in the early 80s going from hub and spoke to a grid, and they're looking at making the change again.

 

Those redesigns covered the WHOLE system and (probably) didn't include keeping some routes unchanged at all costs. That probably will be the case here. ("Rework everything, but leave my bus alone.")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

Those redesigns covered the WHOLE system and (probably) didn't include keeping some routes unchanged at all costs. That probably will be the case here. ("Rework everything, but leave my bus alone.")

That's why I'd do it using just data science and minimal public comment on actual routings - people love the status quo over improvements.

But I'd also tie this in to a daily unlimited pass like every other transit system so folks don't have their fare drained because they have to transfer twice.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Deucey said:

That's why I'd do it using just data science and minimal public comment on actual routings - people love the status quo over improvements.

But I'd also tie this in to a daily unlimited pass like every other transit system so folks don't have their fare drained because they have to transfer twice.

It was a mistake for them to get rid of the $7 Fun Pass.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MTA bus is definitely treated differently than NYCT bus. I’ve notice this with scheduling, the lack of updated stops in Queens and the overall

Number one, bus lanes need to be enforced. The other day I was in Flushing and tons cars literally were double parked in the bus lane. Had traffic been backed up the Q44 and Q20 would have suffered. People don’t take these lanes seriously and that’s why the police need to be there to give them tickets and move them out. 

Second the MTA needs to utilize more short turns in my opinion. For example the Q25 and Q34 have pretty low reliability and that’s because when buses are bunched in 4’s and sometimes 5’s they continue to send all buses to College Point or Whitestone instead of have at least two of those buses terminate at Flushing Main Street. So if you are at Kissena and Main Street and need the bus to go to Kissena Blvd and 73rd Ave you are forced to wait longer and being that these are my home lines I experience these long waits all the time.

Third I do think some routes need to be reconstructed and some need their schedules redone. Some routes that come to mind are the B20 Ridgewood segment (think the Q39 should maybe be rerouted to cover the route to Broadway Junction), the Q102(very outdated routing ever since the 63rd Street line opened), the extremely long M101 route(cut it at 96th). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/21/2018 at 4:18 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

He'd be a fool to do such a thing

You say this like it stops people.

 

On 5/21/2018 at 8:00 PM, Deucey said:

That's why I'd do it using just data science and minimal public comment on actual routings - people love the status quo over improvements.

But I'd also tie this in to a daily unlimited pass like every other transit system so folks don't have their fare drained because they have to transfer twice.

Keep in mind that data science is only as good as the data you have.

A big black hole right now, for example, is Uber and Lyft data; they're not required to disclose O/D data in detail the way yellow and green cabs are. That's one vital piece of info that I think we're missing for starters.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 9:27 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I think you're making a big to do over nothing.  The way I see it, they will be revamping some lines. Quite frankly the Bronx express bus lines and the Riverdale express bus lines are pretty good.  They don't make many stops and have simple turnarounds.  I think the revamp will come moreso with the local buses.  What they need to focus on is getting bus moving and keeping them on-time.  It's the congestion and drivers not holding the schedule that has made things horrendous.

So do I.... He's getting worked up over a narrative I don't see being an issue anyway (that whole bit about keeping routes exactly as they are, at all costs, yada yada yada).....

 

We’re looking at every route in the system as part of the comprehensive network redesign,” Tarek said in an email. “The network redesign and the order in which it’s executed is being developed now and will be done in consultation with our customers, local communities, advocates, and NYC DOT.”

If they're to commence drawing the network from scratch, they wouldn't be looking at ANY current route.....

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More creation of bus routes beginning and ending at train stations, railroads for connections to trains to central business districts.

 The biggest revamp would be the Brooklyn and Queens bus networks. Introduce more intra-borough travel between Brooklyn/Queens, Brooklyn/Staten Island and vice versa. Also more off-peak and late night service. At least 4 to 5 buses per hour. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

If they're to commence drawing the network from scratch, they wouldn't be looking at ANY current route.....

 

They would look at populations and density and origins/destinations.

 

To use one corridor as a simplified example, there probably will still be a bus running along, say, Williamsbridge Road once everything is said and done. Its north terminal may or may not be at 225th & WPR. Its south terminal may or may not be Locust Point. It may or may not be called Bx8. But, no matter how you slice it, something will have to serve Williamsbridge Road and it will have to go to and from somewhere, presumably places where people on Williamsbridge say they want to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.