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Lawrence St

How are readings programmed to allow customers to understand where buses are going?

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Hey everyone! I have a question about bus signage and the way how MTA does them. For example, why is the M101 like this?

Quote

M101| FT GEORGE/193 ST

M101| via 3 AV

Why does the M101 only say "via 3 Av"? Why doesn't it also say "via 125 St" or "via Amsterdam Av"? How come some routes have no "via _____" sign at all and just display the destination? Or how the Bx12 local displays "via FORDHAM RD" "via PELHAM PKWY" while the Bx12 SBS does not?

Same question for express routes. Are the via's on the express routes programmed for the road that express buses pick up or drop off only?

I hope you guys can understand my question, I'm bad at explaining things. 

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I get your question.....

To sum it up, I don't know why there are inconsistencies when it comes to the displaying on one route over the other, but it's still something they need to continue to address....

Using the M101 example, I can understand why it doesn't display "via 125th", but I don't understand why it doesn't display "via Amsterdam"... See, the M101 is a longitudinal route that covers more mileage separately on 3rd (and separately on Amsterdam) than it does 125th..... It's uncommon to display 3 "via's" on a destination sign (at that point, it starts to get ridiculous IMO)... Quiet is as kept, destination signs are used as advertising tools (which could explain the Bx12 SBS & routes that only display the neighborhood it terminates in [which I personally hate, esp. for urban areas]).....

Destination signs for routes that have no "via", but still display the street{s} it terminates in & the neighborhood along with it, tells me that route doesn't spend any significant amt. of mileage on any one roadway (in comparison to the route's overall length).... Usually reserved for meandrous routes.... This is the main area that needs addressing; IMO, there are too many routes that don't display a "via" but perhaps should, or as you point out, routes that should perhaps have more than 1 "via" in the destination sign.....

Pickup only or Dropoff only has much of nothing to do with it.... Again, think of destination signs as advertising tools.

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1 hour ago, B35 via Church said:

I get your question.....

To sum it up, I don't know why there are inconsistencies when it comes to the displaying on one route over the other, but it's still something they need to continue to address....

Using the M101 example, I can understand why it doesn't display "via 125th", but I don't understand why it doesn't display "via Amsterdam"... See, the M101 is a longitudinal route that covers more mileage separately on 3rd (and separately on Amsterdam) than it does 125th..... It's uncommon to display 3 "via's" on a destination sign (at that point, it starts to get ridiculous IMO)... Quiet is as kept, destination signs are used as advertising tools (which could explain the Bx12 SBS & routes that only display the neighborhood it terminates in [which I personally hate, esp. for urban areas]).....

Destination signs for routes that have no "via", but still display the street{s} it terminates in & the neighborhood along with it, tells me that route doesn't spend any significant amt. of mileage on any one roadway (in comparison to the route's overall length).... Usually reserved for meandrous routes.... This is the main area that needs addressing; IMO, there are too many routes that don't display a "via" but perhaps should, or as you point out, routes that should perhaps have more than 1 "via" in the destination sign.....

Pickup only or Dropoff only has much of nothing to do with it.... Again, think of destination signs as advertising tools.

This is exactly it. It's about marketing where the bus goes and trying to note areas of routes where it will attract the most riders. For example, the BxM2 gets a significant amount of its ridership in South Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil. Since it makes so many turns in Manhattan, it basically differentiates the "via Kappock St" buses from the "via Riverdale Av" buses that skip Kappock Street. Those buses see heavy usage in North Riverdale, Riverdale and Central Riverdale. They know that people are very familiar with Penn Station and that it's the West Side of Manhattan so they expect the rider to look and see all of the important spots it hits along the way (Mount Sinai, Central Park, Museum Mile, Lincoln Center, etc.) all very important stops by the way.

 

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3 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Hey everyone! I have a question about bus signage and the way how MTA does them. For example, why is the M101 like this?

Why does the M101 only say "via 3 Av"? Why doesn't it also say "via 125 St" or "via Amsterdam Av"? How come some routes have no "via _____" sign at all and just display the destination? Or how the Bx12 local displays "via FORDHAM RD" "via PELHAM PKWY" while the Bx12 SBS does not?

Same question for express routes. Are the via's on the express routes programmed for the road that express buses pick up or drop off only?

I hope you guys can understand my question, I'm bad at explaining things. 

They're actually improving that on some lines. The X10 used to just say "PT RICHMOND". Now it says things like via Broadway, and shows parts of Staten Island that it travels through to attract and inform more riders.

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They should add to the B14 “via Sutter av” and “via pitkin av.”

Also, the B17 needs “via Remsen av” and “via Ave L” for trips to East 80 st.

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2 hours ago, XBht26 said:

They should add to the B14 “via Sutter av” and “via pitkin av.”

Also, the B17 needs “via Remsen av” and “via Ave L” for trips to East 80 st.

B41 service signs should add a "Via Avenue N" for trips going to Bergen Beach.

B46 and B47 should add "Via Broadway" to their signs alongside their via streets. It would go:

 

B46 | WILLIAMSBURG/BRIDGE PLAZA

B46 | VIA UTICA AV/VIA BROADWAY

B46 | KINGS PLAZA

B46 | VIA BROADWAY/VIA UTICA AV

 

B47 signs would be the same, but with Woodhull Hospital instead of Williamsburg, and Ralph Avenue instead of Utica Avenue.

 

P.S, where can I find an site to make your own bus destination signs and simulate them?

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9 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

I get your question.....

To sum it up, I don't know why there are inconsistencies when it comes to the displaying on one route over the other, but it's still something they need to continue to address....

Using the M101 example, I can understand why it doesn't display "via 125th", but I don't understand why it doesn't display "via Amsterdam"... See, the M101 is a longitudinal route that covers more mileage separately on 3rd (and separately on Amsterdam) than it does 125th..... It's uncommon to display 3 "via's" on a destination sign (at that point, it starts to get ridiculous IMO)... Quiet is as kept, destination signs are used as advertising tools (which could explain the Bx12 SBS & routes that only display the neighborhood it terminates in [which I personally hate, esp. for urban areas]).....

Destination signs for routes that have no "via", but still display the street{s} it terminates in & the neighborhood along with it, tells me that route doesn't spend any significant amt. of mileage on any one roadway (in comparison to the route's overall length).... Usually reserved for meandrous routes.... This is the main area that needs addressing; IMO, there are too many routes that don't display a "via" but perhaps should, or as you point out, routes that should perhaps have more than 1 "via" in the destination sign.....

Pickup only or Dropoff only has much of nothing to do with it.... Again, think of destination signs as advertising tools.

So then why do the B46 and Q44 display “via UTICA/via MAIN ST”.

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9 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

So then why do the B46 and Q44 display “via UTICA/via MAIN ST”.

For obvious reasons... They spend most of their route running down those corridors and they are marketing to people in those areas to let them know that the buses run in those areas. The B46 is likely going to get most of its usage from Utica Avenue since those are dense areas of Brooklyn where people depend on the bus. You can't put down every single street that a bus goes down, so you basically go for the biggest bang for the buck and the people in other areas that need the bus will figure it out.  I'm sure that in most cases, the planners have an idea of the demographic that they're going after.  You have to know who uses the buses otherwise you can't just market to the air.  The bus network hasn't been re-done in years, but some of these routes are still viable even if the demographics may have changed.

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11 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Hey everyone! I have a question about bus signage and the way how MTA does them. For example, why is the M101 like this?

Why does the M101 only say "via 3 Av"? Why doesn't it also say "via 125 St" or "via Amsterdam Av"? How come some routes have no "via _____" sign at all and just display the destination? Or how the Bx12 local displays "via FORDHAM RD" "via PELHAM PKWY" while the Bx12 SBS does not?

Same question for express routes. Are the via's on the express routes programmed for the road that express buses pick up or drop off only?

 

My guess is that they associate the M101 more with the M102/103 compared to with the M100 (since they use the M102/103 as locals for the M101). I agree it should mention Amsterdam on the sign.

As for the express routes, it's for the drop-off portion. That's why it's the "destination" sign: People already know where they are lol. They need to figure out if the bus will take them where they need to get off. Occasionally, you'll see a sign like "via FDR" or "via NJ" or "SUPER EXPRESS" that shows that the bus takes a quicker route to the destination than the standard variation.

7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They're actually improving that on some lines. The X10 used to just say "PT RICHMOND". Now it says things like via Broadway, and shows parts of Staten Island that it travels through to attract and inform more riders.

They got rid of that whole "via Broadway" and "via West Street" nonsense because it was stupid. As I mentioned to them way back when they started the SI express meeting, the important thing is where the bus goes on the drop-off end, not the pick-up end (I mean shoot, there's still an official X10C trip that runs via Broadway, but has it's first drop-off stop at Slosson. So you get on it thinking it'll let you off along Narrows Road, and end up with an unpleasant surprise when it stays in the HOV lane and you have to backtrack from Slosson (by car) or Manor (by the S93)).

So as soon as they got rid of the "via Broadway" & "via West Street" signs, they replaced them with "via Narrows/via Gannon", "via Gannon", and put "via Narrows/via Clove" on the X14. 

16 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

So then why do the B46 and Q44 display “via UTICA/via MAIN ST”.

I think when a relatively straight route (like the Bx12) has a destination sign with no "via", they want it to stand out that it is in fact a Bx12, but it doesn't operate the full length (so people don't blindly get on and expect the bus to end up in PBP or Inwood). Then again, on the other hand, you have routes like the S62, where the CSI short-turn still displays "via Victory", or the S46 short-turns to Forest Avenue reading "Mariners Hbr/via Castln"

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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2 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

They got rid of that whole "via Broadway" and "via West Street" nonsense because it was stupid. As I mentioned to them way back when they started the SI express meeting, the important thing is where the bus goes on the drop-off end, not the pick-up end (I mean shoot, there's still an official X10C trip that runs via Broadway, but has it's first drop-off stop at Slosson. So you get on it thinking it'll let you off along Narrows Road, and end up with an unpleasant surprise when it stays in the HOV lane and you have to backtrack from Slosson (by car) or Manor (by the S93).

So as soon as they got rid of the "via Broadway" & "via West Street" signs, they replaced them with "via Narrows/via Gannon", "via Gannon", and put "via Narrows/via Clove" on the X14. 

Generally speaking, I don't think it's stupid at all actually, because the X10 has several branches, so I actually thought that the "via Broadway" and "via West Street" signage made sense originally when I saw it (without thinking about that quirky Staten Island drop-off arrangement), BUT if we're talking about which is more important, I happen to agree with you. In this case, given how the X10 works, it makes more sense to emphasize the Staten Island portion of the route.  I think originally they did they whole Manhattan set up to clarify, but because of what you mentioned, you still can be confused during the drop-off segment.  If they didn't have that set up, showing the Manhattan signage wouldn't be that bad.  You're thinking about the passengers, but if we're thinking about from a pure marketing perspective, someone that doesn't look at the schedules and sees those different signs may become intrigued or may realize that the X10 has different branches that they didn't know about that then works for them.  You'd be surprised at how DENSE people are.

There's a lady that I occasionally ride the BxM18 with.  I say occasionally because I don't use it as much now with my work location and schedule.  Anywho, she works right on Madison Avenue and she had no clue that the BxM18 runs steps from her office. She told me she was walking to the BxM1 one night when she saw a "BxM18 - Riverdale" bus stop and that's when she looked closer and realized that the bus was a much better alternative.  There's a lot of people like her.  One night I was waiting for the BxM2.  I told this lady about the BxM18 (I had walked from one of the BxM18 stops because at that time there was no Bus Time and no bus was coming), and she had no idea about the BxM18.  People are very stuck in a routine.  They know one bus and stick with it.  

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

So then why do the B46 and Q44 display “via UTICA/via MAIN ST”.

Why wouldn't they....

1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

I think when a relatively straight route (like the Bx12) has a destination sign with no "via", they want it to stand out that it is in fact a Bx12, but it doesn't operate the full length (so people don't blindly get on and expect the bus to end up in PBP or Inwood)......

....Then again, on the other hand, you have routes like the S62, where the CSI short-turn still displays "via Victory", or the S46 short-turns to Forest Avenue reading "Mariners Hbr/via Castln"

Yeah, one of many inconsistencies you'll find when it comes to what's displayed how on one route vs. some other route on the destination signage....

There's no uniformity to speak of.

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13 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Hey everyone! I have a question about bus signage and the way how MTA does them. For example, why is the M101 like this?

Why does the M101 only say "via 3 Av"? Why doesn't it also say "via 125 St" or "via Amsterdam Av"? How come some routes have no "via _____" sign at all and just display the destination? Or how the Bx12 local displays "via FORDHAM RD" "via PELHAM PKWY" while the Bx12 SBS does not?

Same question for express routes. Are the via's on the express routes programmed for the road that express buses pick up or drop off only?

I hope you guys can understand my question, I'm bad at explaining things. 

 

It's a trade-off. You want a good amount of relevant information, but not so much information that you miss the bus while trying to read all of it. 

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You'd think with the (MTA) Bus takeover in 2006, there would be more uniformity with the signs. It happened when the LIB signs were redone a decade ago. (Too soon?)  I also agree the M101 should say via Amsterdam, the M102 should say via Lenox and the 5/Madison routes. 

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Another thing that annoy's me is how the Bx7 only says "via Broadway" in one direction as well.

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

Another thing that annoy's me is how the Bx7 only says "via Broadway" in one direction as well.

It's likely to avoid confusion.  Northbound, putting via Broadway could confuse riders with what part of Riverdale it goes to (it doesn't terminate anywhere near Broadway but rather uphill Riverdale). Once it comes up Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale Avenue turns into Henry Hudson Parkway and then past 254th street, it becomes Riverdale Avenue again.  Because of the lack of a street grid in Riverdale, I can't tell you how many people become lost.  I've had to direct plenty of people. You can't put via Henry Hudson Parkway either because it doesn't serve the Southern portion of Henry Hudson Parkway, as that is done by the Bx10.   It works with the express buses only because of how they run. The run the entire portion of the Henry Hudson Parkway, unless they are Super Express buses coming Southbound.

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The S57 used to display 'S57 New Dorp' which was slightly confusing. Most Staten Islanders associate 'New Dorp' with the New Dorp Lane shopping area. The S57 currently displays 'S57 New Dorp Mill Road' which while not totally accurate as the S57 actually terminates on Ebbitts Avenue between Hylan Blvd & Mill Road (across from where the new Shop-Rite is under construction) , is less vague than the old 'S57 New Dorp' display. IIRC the X2 and X3 still display only 'New Dorp' though they terminate at Mill Road & Tysens Lane. Most SI local buses still display the neighborhood of destination not the actual street name.

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23 hours ago, XBht26 said:

They should add to the B14 “via Sutter av” and “via pitkin av.”

Also, the B17 needs “via Remsen av” and “via Ave L” for trips to East 80 st.

I agree with the B14 deal, that always weirded me out, just a bare minimum of information.

The B17 needs to say "via RKWY PKWY STA" for the trips to East 80th St, and "via REMSEN AV" for all trips.

Edited by Rick44

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Same thing wil the Bx12. The Bx12 local displays “BAY PLAZA” even though Bay Plaza is closed but the Bx12 select displays “BAY PLAZA/CO-OP CITY”.

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20 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

B41 service signs should add a "Via Avenue N" for trips going to Bergen Beach.

B46 and B47 should add "Via Broadway" to their signs alongside their via streets.

I think people are so used to those routes, that it isn't really a necessity. Maybe the "Avenue N" one, but most people know the deal once they read "Bergen Bch" on the sign.

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http://mtanyctransitfanon.wikia.com/wiki/MTA_Regional_Bus_Codes_(mtamaster_edition)

http://ttmg.org/transitwiki/MTA_Regional_Bus_Destination_Sign_Codes

Like I said.... Glaring inconsistencies with the usage/omission of "via" on a lot of routes....

Edited by B35 via Church

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I've been wanting the (MTA) to change the BxM1 Super Express signage because unfortunately, some B/Os don't know which way those trips go!! <_<  Southbound, after Henry Hudson Parkway West and West 239th street, they're supposed to make a left onto 239th then come down Riverdale Avenue, but some of them continue down Henry Hudson Parkway, so I guess they always use the code 5011 instead of 5015.  I have seen code 5014 used once.  The B/O must've been a rookie because that sign is never used for buses that skip Inwood.

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55 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I've been wanting the (MTA) to change the BxM1 Super Express signage because unfortunately, some B/Os don't know which way those trips go!! <_<  Southbound, after Henry Hudson Parkway West and West 239th street, they're supposed to make a left onto 239th then come down Riverdale Avenue, but some of them continue down Henry Hudson Parkway, so I guess they always use the code 5011 instead of 5015.  I have seen code 5014 used once.  The B/O must've been a rookie because that sign is never used for buses that skip Inwood.

I always found express routes to be confusing. I got super lost taking the X17 because apparently there are three branches of the route and I ended up taking the J variant instead of the C.

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

I always found express routes to be confusing. I got super lost taking the X17 because apparently there are three branches of the route and I ended up taking the J variant instead of the C.

Yeah I've used all X17 variants.  The J mainly to Manhattan, and sometimes to Staten Island if my other routes were a mess and stopped running.  X17C on weekends.  For the most part you're going to have a Midtown variant and a Downtown variant.  Most of the QM lines have a 3rd Avenue branch, a 6th Avenue brand and perhaps a Downtown branch (usually the Downtown Loop).  These are determined by the demographics.  Riverdale has a Downtown Wall Street but because there's enough people working Downtown to sustain usage, but it makes stops up to 56th street because a lot of people use the bus in Midtown and benefit from a quicker commute over the BxM1 and BxM2.

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8 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Not to mention, out of date. No mentions of the M12, 55 or Q114. I've been coming up with a tentative sign list redone from scratch

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2 hours ago, Q43LTD said:

Not to mention, out of date. No mentions of the M12, 55 or Q114. I've been coming up with a tentative sign list redone from scratch

And no mention of the Q52/53 SBS.

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