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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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10 hours ago, BM1 Rider said:

I'm a longtime BM1 rider. The service has never been great but in the past year or so its gone completely off the rails. Constant lates and no-shows. I ride off-hours and take the last bus out of Midtown home. I can't even count the number of times the bus just didn't show and stranded me in Manhattan. It's getting to the point where I have to consider moving out of Bergen Beach because I really can't take it anymore.

Wow... It's pretty much as I expected, which is that express bus service Citywide has gone to the dogs. I don't know if you're on Facebook or not, but please feel free to join my group  - Express Bus Advocacy Group. We follow all express bus lines Citywide and have been closing monitoring the BM express bus lines as well.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Wow... It's pretty much as I expected, which is that express bus service Citywide has gone to the dogs. I don't know if you're on Facebook or not, but please feel free to join my group  - Express Bus Advocacy Group. We follow all express bus lines Citywide and have been closing monitoring the BM express bus lines as well.

As I'm not sure about the outside link postings on this site. Why haven't you posted a link to it in here? You can still keep postings private on there I believe might help get some more exposure. Not everyone is searching on FB for these issues you are trying to resolve...

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34 minutes ago, trife86 said:

As I'm not sure about the outside link postings on this site. Why haven't you posted a link to it in here? You can still keep postings private on there I believe might help get some more exposure. Not everyone is searching on FB for these issues you are trying to resolve...

It's pretty easy to find, but sure:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1141362679344618/

As for exposure, we're doing just fine.  Over 600 members in the first few months (we started the group on October 1st) and we haven't been actively looking for folks.  This was not carefully planned.  When me and a few other express bus commuters met years ago, we thought about doing this then and thought it wouldn't take off the way that it has.  When we start revving that up, it'll increase more.  It's a closed group, and we aggressively screen anyone who requests entrance to avoid any trolls, etc. We have the majority of the express bus lines covered more or less, from Neponsit all the way to City Island.

I am also am not interested in teaming up with other alliance groups. Only local express bus groups at the moment because I've found that the so called "transit advocates" really don't give a damn about express bus service.  I had a heated exchange with this guy about how we were supposed to "sacrifice" our service so that more local bus service could run.  I told him forget it in not such nice terms either. Not happening... He saw himself out without me giving him the boot.

I spoke on Staten Island on Monday and quite a few folks recognized the name and clapped, so they know who I am. The (MTA) certainly knows who I am, that's for sure. 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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We’ve been out and about today and service has been appalling. We waited almost an hour for a QM15 to Lindenwood. The 02:40 was a no-show. Just about everybody at 57th and 3rd gave up. Two people stayed and waited and seven opted to leave. We’ve seen several BMs start 20 minutes late to start their trip, and one BM1 trip took over two hours from Midtown to Mill Basin.

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7 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We’ve been out and about today and service has been appalling. We waited almost an hour for a QM15 to Lindenwood. The 02:40 was a no-show. Just about everybody at 57th and 3rd gave up. Two people stayed and waited and seven opted to leave. We’ve seen several BMs start 20 minutes late to start their trip, and one BM1 trip took over two hours from Midtown to Mill Basin.

I just missed the 1:30 PM SIM3C to Port Richmond. However 15 minutes later, another SIM3C showed up. (Weird since the next SIM3C is scheduled to leave at 2:00 PM not 1:45 PM. The bus behind that "1:45 PM" trip left a hour later. Headways on the SIM3C at this time is supposed to be ever 30 minutes.

Edited by Lil 57

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1 minute ago, Lil 57 said:

I just missed the 1:30 PM SIM3C to Port Richmond. However 15 minutes later, another SIM3C showed up. (Weird since the next SIM3C is scheduled to leave at 2:00 PM not 1:45 PM. The bus behind that "1:45 PM" trip left a hour later. Headways on the SIM3C at this time is supposed to be ever 30 minutes.

Weekends service has been HORRIBLE. We’ve seen express buses bunching on hourly headways. A QM15 is now just making its way up to 57th street and it started almost 10 minutes late. For anyone that works on weekends and needs the express bus you better give yourself extra time. 

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I’ll add this one:

Southbound BxM3s left Getty Square at ~5:15  (missed it because I wasn’t expecting it) and 5:35 (caught at 6pm). The former tracked on the transit app until it hit the Deegan, vanished until 125, reappeared then vanished again by 62 st. (I should have gotten the bus number from the MTA app) and the latter is the actual run. There’s nothing tracking on the s/b 6:35 run and 2 n/b buses coming up Madison now. not really sure how this happened but if it’s true we’re looking at a 2 hour south bound service gap.

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1 hour ago, Q43 Floral Park said:

I’ll add this one:

Southbound BxM3s left Getty Square at ~5:15  (missed it because I wasn’t expecting it) and 5:35 (caught at 6pm). The former tracked on the transit app until it hit the Deegan, vanished until 125, reappeared then vanished again by 62 st. (I should have gotten the bus number from the MTA app) and the latter is the actual run. There’s nothing tracking on the s/b 6:35 run and 2 n/b buses coming up Madison now. not really sure how this happened but if it’s true we’re looking at a 2 hour south bound service gap.

I am FURIOUS about service today. I was out riding since this morning and I couldn’t believe what I saw. The QM15 trip that we tried to take at 02:40 never came. The 03:40 incredibly late. Anyone waiting endured a trip of almost THREE HOURS one way. There were several trips that we waited for in person or tracked that started off 20 minutes or more LATE, which doesn’t even include the Staten Island trips. Horrendous planning all around with people standing around like this in 30 degree weather. Some dispatcher at 36th and 6th or whoever the hell he was I’m guessing from CP just looked at me and waived for me to go over to a bus on standby because he likely knew who I was and I was pissed. I was waiting for them to throw passengers off of the bus at 36th and 6th with no warning and into the cold as they did during the holidays last year and I INSISTED that such a practice stop. So far it has. Putting those folks on a waiting bus to keep other buses on-time is the answer and that’s proper customer service, not throwing people off of the bus with no warning when the bus is signed up to terminate at 57th and 3rd. The other big issue is ghost buses. This morning I was yelling on my page about a missing BxM3 Southbound trip that was another ghost bus. Tonight was an absolute disaster and to have buses sitting on 6th after I was told in a conference call that they had a “contingency plan” is a joke. I have plenty of photos and video to share in my next meeting because this set up can’t continue like this. 

All I keep hearing is well the NYPD gives us the detour information. Meanwhile you have service to run and people still work during the holidays and have places to be, so somehow it’s ok to have people enduring a trip of two plus hours one way?? You can’t make this stuff up. Just about every trip I took or tracked today was severely late, even the early ones before any traffic started.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I am FURIOUS about service today. I was out riding since this morning and I couldn’t believe what I saw. The QM15 trip that we tried to take at 02:40 never came. The 03:40 incredibly late. Anyone waiting endured a trip of almost THREE HOURS one way. There were several trips that we waited for in person or tracked that started off 20 minutes or more LATE, which doesn’t even include the Staten Island trips. Horrendous planning all around with people standing around like this in 30 degree weather. Some dispatcher at 36th and 6th or whoever the hell he was I’m guessing from CP just looked at me and waived for me to go over to a bus on standby because he likely knew who I was and I was pissed. I was waiting for them to throw passengers off of the bus at 36th and 6th with no warning and into the cold as they did during the holidays last year and I INSISTED that such a practice stop. So far it has. Putting those folks on a waiting bus to keep other buses on-time is the answer and that’s proper customer service, not throwing people off of the bus with no warning when the bus is signed up to terminate at 57th and 3rd. The other big issue is ghost buses. This morning I was yelling on my page about a missing BxM3 Southbound trip that was another ghost bus. Tonight was an absolute disaster and to have buses sitting on 6th after I was told in a conference call that they had a “contingency plan” is a joke. I have plenty of photos and video to share in my next meeting because this set up can continue like this. 

All I keep hearing is well the NYPD gives us the detour information. Meanwhile you have service to run and people still work during the holidays and have places to be, so somehow it’s ok to have people enduring a trip of two plus hours one way?? You can’t make this stuff up. Just about every trip I took or tracked today was severely late, even the early ones before any traffic started.

SIM3C 9 PM on a Saturday?

9 PM on the SIM3C when buses are supposed to be running every 30 minutes. How are 4 Port-Richmond bound buses within 20 minutes of each-other?

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4 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

SIM3C 9 PM on a Saturday?

9 PM on the SIM3C when buses are supposed to be running every 30 minutes. How are 4 Port-Richmond bound buses within 20 minutes of each-other?

Weekend service is WORSE than rush hour service. It’s incredible. I even take early trips when there’s no traffic and the drivers still can’t make the schedules anymore. These schedulers need to get a clue. Not enough run time with this stupid Vision Zero now and then you have some drivers that want to sit around the damn terminal and leave 20 minutes late. For what? You’re NEVER getting back on-time leaving that late. There needs to be something implemented that if the driver is at the terminal on-time then that bus should be leaving within 5-10 minutes. Anything after that is excessive and it leads to people giving up on the service or the bus finishing even later.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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13 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Weekend service is WORSE than rush hour service. It’s incredible. I even take early trips when there’s no traffic and the drivers still can’t make the schedules anymore. These schedulers need to get a clue. Not enough run time with this stupid Vision Zero now and then you have some drivers that want to sit around the damn terminal and leave 20 minutes late. For what? You’re NEVER getting back on-time leaving that late. There needs to be something implemented that if the driver is at the terminal on-time then that bus should be leaving within 5-10 minutes. Anything after that is excessive and it leads to people giving up on the service or the bus finishing even later.

The last QM15 (7:40 PM) is still on the LIE as of now. Today wasn't a good day for the express buses.

I would be surprised if this was a plot made by the (MTA) in order to deter ridership and have an excuse to cut more service.

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18 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

The last QM15 (7:40 PM) is still on the LIE as of now. Today wasn't a good day for the express buses.

I would be surprised if this was a plot made by the (MTA) in order to deter ridership and have an excuse to cut more service.

I wouldn’t be surprised either. Everyone that I’ve met so far within the (MTA) is far from stupid, but I have even heard bus drivers talk about how they don’t need to run these buses. Had an X27 driver say this while he’s driving. He goes oh not that many people use these buses when a passenger asked me if we would keep the service that currently exists when we push for weekend service (this was prior to the latest news from the (MTA) facing a budget crisis). This is your bread and butter and you don’t support the service. When they lose their jobs, some of them complain. Well this is what it is... I mean even if you have seniority, there’s only so many runs to pick from so you can’t be that stupid not to realize that when service is cut, you may very well be negatively impacted and the union can’t do anything about it. The types of service cuts they’re talking about aren’t just a few trips here and there either.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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22 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I wouldn’t be surprised either. Everyone that I’ve met so far within the (MTA) is far from stupid, but I have even heard bus drivers talk about how they don’t need to run these buses. Had an X27 driver say this while he’s driving. He goes oh not that many people use these buses when a passenger asked me if we would keep the service that currently exists when we push for weekend service (this was prior to the latest news from the (MTA) facing a budget crisis). This is your bread and butter and you don’t support the service. When they lose their jobs, some of them complain. Well this is what it is... I mean even if you have seniority, there’s only so many runs to pick from so you can’t be that stupid not to realize that when service is cut, you may very well be negatively impacted and the union can’t do anything about it. The types of service cuts they’re talking about aren’t just a few trips here and there either.

If that B/O was driving the same route but based out of JG, I'm pretty sure he would be singing a different tune. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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1 minute ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

If that B/O was driving the same route but based out of JG, I'm pretty sure he would be singing a different tune. 

Some of these guys don’t think or rather they think OH, that’ll be more money for the (MTA) to use for the local buses. The (MTA) will turn around and cut that too and leave NOTHING. People need to wake up. It has nothing to do with it being some big conspiracy. It’s just about dollars and cents to the (MTA) , and they legally have to balance their budget. When they talk about “cost savings “, more times than not it is through cutting service. 

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A few observations that are my opinion:

1. The Gowanus Expressway bus lane should be extended to operate until 3 PM, because traffic into the city can still be bad, affecting the return outbound trips.

2. Based on traffic conditions, operators should have the option of using Third and Hamilton Avenues through Brooklyn, especially when traffic is bad (both roads have a speed limit of 30 mph when running under the Gowanus). 

3. The governor should be using state troopers in Manhattan to enforce those bus lanes. A permanent troop station in the city can't come soon enough...Riverbank State Park could be a good location, with a primary focus on enforcing bus lanes, and protecting MTA revenue at turnstiles and on proof-of-payment routes.

4. Why is the BM5 so unreliable, especially on evening Saturday return trips? In my opinion, as well as for College Point routes, drivers should have the option of using the Queensboro Bridge instead of the Queens Midtown Tunnel.

Edited by aemoreira81

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We are considering a holiday gathering for express bus riders somewhere in Midtown close to various express buses depending on the interest. If we get enough people wanting one, we'll pick a spot at a later date.  B/Os and other (MTA) personnel are welcome as well since we have a number of them in the group. 

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In today's express bus fun, my QM5 in the morning was a ghost bus (one of the 22XX buses--no Bustime gps, usb ports, or wifi installed. It's like it was sitting in storage somewhere for the last 5 years). And tonight's 8:10 QM5 is almost SRO. Lady ahead of me said the 7:40 never showed up, but i can't confirm that. 

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7 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

In today's express bus fun, my QM5 in the morning was a ghost bus (one of the 22XX buses--no Bustime gps, usb ports, or wifi installed. It's like it was sitting in storage somewhere for the last 5 years). And tonight's 8:10 QM5 is almost SRO. Lady ahead of me said the 7:40 never showed up, but i can't confirm that. 

Very likely 2204. Tracker has been out for around a year.

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8 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

In today's express bus fun, my QM5 in the morning was a ghost bus (one of the 22XX buses--no Bustime gps, usb ports, or wifi installed. It's like it was sitting in storage somewhere for the last 5 years). And tonight's 8:10 QM5 is almost SRO. Lady ahead of me said the 7:40 never showed up, but i can't confirm that. 

I wrote to one of my contacts today asking that some of these buses be pulled to have their GPS systems fixed. Too many ghost buses. Tonight for whatever reason was trying on a number of lines. May just have to ask another buddy I know to give me some info on how this works. May or may not know.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Speaking of bustime, it's a shame that buses disappear from the tracker when they go off route.  If the GPS reports where the bus is, why does the bus disappear when it goes off route?  I know bus drivers aren't supposed to go off route, but for buses like the QM2 that take 57th street from 6th to Madison as opposed to 59th during the Bayside runs, it would be nice to get an idea as to where they are.  It would also be helpful to experiment with alternate routing like when the QM2 goes via the BQE service road and Astoria Blvd as opposed to Northern Blvd (rare for a non Super Express bus to do this, but it sometimes happens).

Edited by ViaWaterViaChurch
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55 minutes ago, ViaWaterViaChurch said:

Speaking of bustime, it's a shame that buses disappear from the tracker when they go off route.  If the GPS reports where the bus is, why does the bus disappear when it goes off route?  I know bus drivers aren't supposed to go off route, but for buses like the QM2 that take 57th street from 6th to Madison as opposed to 59th during the Bayside runs, it would be nice to get an idea as to where they are.  It would also be helpful to experiment with alternate routing like when the QM2 goes via the BQE service road and Astoria Blvd as opposed to Northern Blvd (rare for a non Super Express bus to do this, but it sometimes happens).

I’m not sure but this is something that I will bring up when I meet with them again. The (MTA) can certainly see all of their buses in real time using BusTrek regardless of where if the bus is is isn’t taking its regular route.

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1 hour ago, ViaWaterViaChurch said:

Speaking of bustime, it's a shame that buses disappear from the tracker when they go off route.  If the GPS reports where the bus is, why does the bus disappear when it goes off route?  I know bus drivers aren't supposed to go off route, but for buses like the QM2 that take 57th street from 6th to Madison as opposed to 59th during the Bayside runs, it would be nice to get an idea as to where they are.  It would also be helpful to experiment with alternate routing like when the QM2 goes via the BQE service road and Astoria Blvd as opposed to Northern Blvd (rare for a non Super Express bus to do this, but it sometimes happens).

It would also be useful when buses run up Madison or 3rd ave during detours for summer parades, street fairs, etc

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Latest developments:

-Finalized meeting with Assembly Dinowitz to start discussions about possible HOV lanes on expressways in his district

-Started discussions with Senator-elect Gounardes to meet about express bus service on the X27, 28, 37, and 38. 

-Meeting still pending with the DOT and (MTA) .

-Will remain contact with Comptroller’s Office regarding express bus service. If we don’t see more improvements on Staten Island when the new schedules come out, we will go out on an all blitz to have an audit performed to see what in the hell is going on at those depots. That also includes Ulmer Park Depot, which continues to be a problem.

-Overall, there have been some improvements in Queens, in the Bronx and on some Brooklyn BM lines. Far from perfect, but far more trips being filled regularly than before which is a start. More trips roughly starting on-time as well.

-Cleanliness, Wi-Fi, and maintenance remain on our list of things to start addressing once service is stabilized.

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Latest developments:

-Finalized meeting with Assembly Dinowitz to start discussions about possible HOV lanes on expressways in his district

-Started discussions with Senator-elect Gounardes to meet about express bus service on the X27, 28, 37, and 38. 

-Meeting still pending with the DOT and (MTA) .

-Will remain contact with Comptroller’s Office regarding express bus service. If we don’t see more improvements on Staten Island when the new schedules come out, we will go out on an all blitz to have an audit performed to see what in the hell is going on at those depots. That also includes Ulmer Park Depot, which continues to be a problem.

-Overall, there have been some improvements in Queens, in the Bronx and on some Brooklyn BM lines. Far from perfect, but far more trips being filled regularly than before which is a start. More trips roughly starting on-time as well.

-Cleanliness, Wi-Fi, and maintenance remain on our list of things to start addressing once service is stabilized.

Stupid iPad... 

Apologies for the typos... It should read Assemblyman Dinowitz

and we will remain in contact with the Comptroller's Office...

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