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.
Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, S78 via Hylan said:

I like that you guys are fighting for better service because this redesign is FAR from successful. 

We have to because if people on this board think they're going to be get off unscathed they're sadly mistaken. Byford may mean well (I believe he does) but until he gets competent people working around him, it will be difficult to him to get much done. They've called this a success and now they're off to the races to Brooklyn to go screw that up too. Don't get me wrong, some people have stated that their commutes have improved, but it is nowhere near close to representing a majority of riders and the fact that they've essentially lied to commuters is an insult on our intelligence. These are people with families just like the rest of us and they are being forced into commutes of HELL while this agency sits around and says, we gave them what they wanted... Nobody asked for all of these missing scheduled trips or lines around the corner or waits of almost 45 minutes. NOBODY. This is what is pissing me off because I'm concerned that they're going to try this same sh** with the other boroughs (they already are with all of these missing scheduled trips) and sell it as a success as well. You folks need to get out to these workshops and see just what they have in store for you.

This has nothing to do with liking or not liking someone. I consider this a CRISIS for thousands of commuters until this agency shows otherwise and people need to wake up and stop kissing their @ss.@sssick

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
  • Confused 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@trife86 Not sure what’s so confusing, but I’ll clarify. You as a B/O and a veteran one at that should be able to see very clearly that this redesign was RUSHED, and poorly put together. Quite frankly I believe that the planners should all be fired. We had occasional SRO buses on Staten Island, but since this redesign we see not only SRO buses on a daily basis but people literally being left stranded because the buses are so crowded that they can’t get on and so many missing scheduled buses too. Every day people are writing to me about how they waited 20-40 minutes with no bus coming.  Now they’re saying we’re tweaking it and we still see the same exact thing every day. Looking at this plan on paper it IS a good plan. We should have buses serving Midtown directly and Downtown directly, but the execution was HORRIBLE. To run all of the buses down 5th Avenue with no enforcement of the bus lanes was just stupid. Anyone with half a brain could see that wouldn’t work because you have too many buses down one corridor and buses are all fighting to use those two little bus lanes with cars and everything else in them. If you want to have the system that the (MTA) wants to employ, you need off-board payment and boarding through ALL doors, FULL enforcement of bus lanes, etc. 

I lived in a city without a subway in Europe and they already had most of what the (MTA) still hasn’t implemented yet over a DECADE ago, so this agency is severely behind. As I noted to Ms. Trottenberg at the (MTA) board meeting, we need MORE bus lanes AND we need them enforced AND we need traffic signal priority.  You guys are fighting more and more traffic despite having these bus lanes, so it isn’t making things better for you because congestion is WORSE under this plan AND the boarding is painfully slow because we’re using an antiquated payment system (the Metrocard). With the old system you had enough coverage to give riders options, so that when 5th Avenue turned into a parking lot or buses were MIA, riders could simply go to another line that was working, but with fewer lines now it’s either all in or bust. Then on top of that they aren’t giving drivers enough time to do their second trips which likely explains why there are so many missing buses. I’ve been talking with the B/Os out there and they are all frustrated because they’re being expected to work miracles and do their first trip in the City, deadhead and then do a second trip in record time.  Not happening... At least not with our current configuration of street layouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We have to because if people on this board think they're going to be get off unscathed they're sadly mistaken. Byford may mean well (I believe he does) but until he gets competent people working around him, it will be difficult to him to get much done. They've called this a success and now they're off to the races to Brooklyn to go screw that up too. Don't get me wrong, some people have stated that their commutes have improved, but it is nowhere near close to representing a majority of riders and the fact that they've essentially lied to commuters is an insult on our intelligence. These are people with families just like the rest of us and they are being forced into commutes of HELL while this agency sits around and says, we gave them what they wanted... Nobody asked for all of these missing scheduled trips or lines around the corner or waits of almost 45 minutes. NOBODY. This is what is pissing me off because I'm concerned that they're going to try this same sh** with the other boroughs (they already are with all of these missing scheduled trips) and sell it as a success as well. You folks need to get out to these workshops and see just what they have in store for you.

This has nothing to do with liking or not liking someone. I consider this a CRISIS for thousands of commuters until this agency shows otherwise and people need to wake up and stop kissing their @ss.@sssick

Essentially? Some of the things that they've said were bold-faced lies. They specifically promised that buses wouldn't be bunched and that people wouldn't have to stand anymore. When I asked the planner "Are you sure you're going to run enough service on the SIM4C which combines the busiest portions of the X10 & X17?" he specifically told me that yes, they would run plenty of service. We were specifically promised that if a neighborhood has express service running until a certain time, their new route/routes would run at least until the old times (what they did in Arden Heights was especially disgusting. Not only did they cut their evening express service, but in doing so, they literally left people stranded and some had to buy cars to drive to the Eltingville Transit Center and fight for a parking space. The local service there ends even earlier than the express bus did)

And the communication is so poor, it's ridiculous. That new SIM8 shuttle (that's listed as an "improvement" even though it's just restoring the old service they had) isn't incorporated into the regular SIM8 schedule. You shouldn't have to rely on some random guy posting up the schedule on a Facebook page to make people aware of the changes. You shouldn't have to rely on some random lady posting up the 3-legged transfer policy (which is another lie compared to what we were told, completely different and much more restrictive). 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just Realized something. Remember when the MTA said there was 60-68 more SI Express Bus trips weekends. Well those 60 trips are all SIM2 Trips. So they did little to nothing to add service on the other off-peak routes.

  • LMAO! 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Essentially? Some of the things that they've said were bold-faced lies. They specifically promised that buses wouldn't be bunched and that people wouldn't have to stand anymore. When I asked the planner "Are you sure you're going to run enough service on the SIM4C which combines the busiest portions of the X10 & X17?" he specifically told me that yes, they would run plenty of service. We were specifically promised that if a neighborhood has express service running until a certain time, their new route/routes would run at least until the old times (what they did in Arden Heights was especially disgusting. Not only did they cut their evening express service, but in doing so, they literally left people stranded and some had to buy cars to drive to the Eltingville Transit Center and fight for a parking space. The local service there ends even earlier than the express bus did)

And the communication is so poor, it's ridiculous. That new SIM8 shuttle (that's listed as an "improvement" even though it's just restoring the old service they had) isn't incorporated into the regular SIM8 schedule. You shouldn't have to rely on some random guy posting up the schedule on a Facebook page to make people aware of the changes. You shouldn't have to rely on some random lady posting up the 3-legged transfer policy (which is another lie compared to what we were told, completely different and much more restrictive). 

Essentially because you have to remember, I didn’t attend the workshops. I say essentially because of what they’ve been posting as a success. Even today, after various SI express bus commuters told the agency how horrendous their commutes have been since this “successful redesign”, they turn around and make the following statement:

Quote

“We’re looking at every single comment and invite feedback because it’s helping us tailor this new service to our customers, and we’re encouraged by the fact that complaints are relatively few in light of the 36,000 daily users of this service.”

 

Source: http://nypost-24.com/proi-11862

The complaints are relatively “few”, but in a response to a complaint I logged for SIM3 riders about them constantly having to fight through tour buses and wait in the street and risk being run over to board their bus, I get the following response:

 

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Subject

SIM3 Bus Stop - Dangerous Boarding Conditions

Discussion Thread

Response By Email (Patricia S.) (09/26/2018 04:15 PM)

Hello Vittorio,

“This is in response to your email regarding the changes to Express Bus service on Staten Island.  We apologize for the delay in responding, but we have been experiencing a very high volume of inquiries, suggestions, comments and complaints since the launch of the Staten Island Redesign project.“

So their spokesman tells a flat out lie about how few complaints they’ve been getting, but I receive a very HONEST e-mail about how many complaints they’ve been fielding about this new redesign. If they were just honest and said hey we f-ed up the execution of this plan and we’re going to fix it, I think people would still bitch about it but they wouldn’t be as furious about how the (MTA) is trying to pretend that everyday commuters are so stupid that they don’t know what’s going on. If you tell me that I should expect to have frequent service, and then you turn around and give me the exact opposite service, I’d say that’s a damn lie and I don’t care how “complex” this system is supposed to be for the (MTA) advocates out there. This is very cut and dry. A bus is scheduled to arrive at such and such time and the buses aren’t coming at all, forget about late.  They are so many missing trips that I can’t even keep up, and I’m not kidding either.

It’s the same BS they’ve been pulling in my neighborhood. I come to get a bus scheduled at such and such time and wait and wait and wait and the bus never comes. Day one, day two, day three, same bus is a no show. Then you contact your elected official, and they inquire and the (MTA) says, oh we didn’t cut service. Really? Well where in the hell has my bus been for the last three days??  It’s total BS.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

I just Realized something. Remember when the MTA said there was 60-68 more SI Express Bus trips weekends. Well those 60 trips are all SIM2 Trips. So they did little to nothing to add service on the other off-peak routes.

This is the other problem I have with this redesign. They’re going to keep upselling this as service improvements when they slashed several routes from the North Shore. The agency has never been generous when it comes to NYCT because they don’t have a blank check like they do with (MTA) Bus. If you really study their schedules, often times when they claim that they’ve added service along another corridor, they usually cut service somewhere else to essentially redistribute those resources. They don’t want their operational costs going up constantly. No agency does, but really, this is no shock to me (that most of the new weekend trips are SIM2 trips).

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

This is the other problem I have with this redesign. They’re going to keep upselling this as service improvements when they slashed several routes from the North Shore. The agency has never been generous when it comes to NYCT because they don’t have a blank check like they do with (MTA) Bus. If you really study their schedules, often times when they claim that they’ve added service along another corridor, they usually cut service somewhere else to essentially redistribute those resources. They don’t want their operational costs going up constantly. No agency does, but really, this is no shock to me (that most of the new weekend trips are SIM2 trips).

ALL of those trips are SIM2 trips. The 3C is literally the X10 schedule copy-pasted and the 4C is literally the X17 schedule copy-pasted.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

ALL of those trips are SIM2 trips. The 3C is literally the X10 schedule copy-pasted and the 4C is literally the X17 schedule copy-pasted.

Ok, so all of them are. Shoot me. I think we agree that the schedules need SERIOUS upgrades, so stop arguing for the sake of arguing. We both have enough on our plates right now. Instead of nitpicking about what trips are what, keep working with your folks to deliver the service that is needed, as I am as best as I can. I have about 20 different things I’m looking to address right now and likely with fewer folks than you’re working with as a team. You’re focusing on Staten Island. I am focusing on express bus service Citywide. Big difference. We have people in Queens as well that are on SRO buses at hours that they shouldn’t be, and on and on.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The 3C is literally the X10 schedule copy-pasted

The 3c has less service to Staten Island on Sundays. (Used to be every 30 mins until 7:45 PM than 8:30, 9:30, 10:00 and 10:30) Now it's every 55-60 mins after 5:30 PM until 10:20 PM.

Edited by Lil 57

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

The 3c has less service to Staten Island on Sundays. (Used to be every 30 mins until 7:45 PM than 8:30, 9:30, 10:00 and 10:30) Now it's every 55-60 mins after 5:30 PM until 10:20 PM.

I'll let you two argue about the schedules... This isn't a pissing contest about who knows more about which trips were cut. It's important yes, but as I said, I am looking at just about all of the express bus lines in the system and trying to see what's wrong.  Not easy to do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Via Garibaldi 8 what are your current opinions on the QMs? There is no clear way to really understand how these routes work. You have 3/6 avenue branches in midtown plus the downtown routes. It also doesn't help that there is no Manhattan inset for the QMs which makes identifying these routes a lot harder.

I'm speaking as a person who dosen't know express routes well (so in a way I'm also speaking from a tourist pov) but I did try a few recently to get an idea.

  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

@Via Garibaldi 8 what are your current opinions on the QMs? There is no clear way to really understand how these routes work. You have 3/6 avenue branches in midtown plus the downtown routes. It also doesn't help that there is no Manhattan inset for the QMs which makes identifying these routes a lot harder.

I'm speaking as a person who dosen't know express routes well (so in a way I'm also speaking from a tourist pov) but I did try a few recently to get an idea.

I understand very well because I use them regularly. In fact I used the QM5 to a meeting I had last night in Kew Gardens, and took it (the last QM5 bus) back to Midtown afterwards.  The QM Midtown via 6th Avenue trips basically do a Midtown Loop running across 34th street, up 6th and then east along 57th or 59th depending on the route, and the Downtown QMs do a Downtown Loop covering the CBD accordingly.  The 3rd Avenue branches see a lot of usage and they are faster than the 6th Avenue branches.  Some of the QM branches used to run as far west as 8th Avenue, but they were moved to 6th Avenue.  The QM express bus lines have been suffering from the same problems that the other express buses have been dealing with. Ongoing congestion, missing trips, drivers that don't know the routes and on and on. Just a few weeks ago my QM2 bus skipped five stops leaving me and others to wait over an hour for the next bus because he didn't know the weekend routing.  Additionally, QM riders have been dealing with overcrowding on some of the first trips in the morning for quite some time on the QM5 and QM6 and there have been too many cuts across various QM lines.  

Our goal with the QM lines is to first add some trips to alleviate some of the overcrowding at various times and try to restore some trips that have been cut that shouldn't have been like the last QM2 trip to Bay Terrace (the 00:10 was recently eliminated).  It's a fast trip and keeps riders from facing expensive Uber costs or numerous transfers from the subways to the local buses which are not as frequent that late at night.  Second, during the redesign, we're interested in providing riders with more off-peak service and more weekend service as well, ideally 30 minute headways during parts of the day.  The QM lines are expensive to run because Queens is so damn big, but the express buses cover a lot of territory because so much of the Eastern parts are basically transit deserts with no subways and limited LIRR service.  There's no question that some of them need to be more streamlined and make fewer stops.  I wouldn't eliminate too many stops on the Queens side because they are pretty well spaced out, but I would eliminate one or two stops in Manhattan. I don't see a need to have a stop at 41st then another one at 44th for example.  I think structurally, the lines that go to Lake Success or Glen Oaks should be making their first stops much further east than they currently do during the rush.  Make more use of those QM1 trips that start up in Fresh Meadows by that large co-op complex.  We want to see more Super Express trips aside from the Super Express trips that pick-up at 36th and 6th and go directly to Queens.  We also support finally giving the Rockaways weekend express bus service. They have been asking for it for years and they should have it.  We would also like the (MTA) to revisit giving Maspeth express bus service, at least during rush hour.  They have requested it since they have no subway, and have to make their way to Middle Village to get service along Eliot Avenue. Mr. Irick said that trips would take too long to run through Maspeth, but we believe that some QM24 trips could be tweaked to give them coverage.  

I had started working with a Senator covering that area some months ago prior to me starting the Advocacy Grup, but it didn't go very far, likely because he is going to be out of office soon anyway, so with this being an election year, we're going to be testing elected officials just to see how committed they are to improving the commutes of their constituents.  Lots of them talk a good game, but get nothing done in the end.  That's one of the reasons I formed an Advocacy Group because we can keep on issues that are problems. For example, I have learned a lot about disabled passengers in the last few days. Many of them would like to use the express buses but become so frustrated that they give up.  A lady who I've been speaking with has been a rider for over 14 years (met her at the Board meeting the other day when I spoke) and stopped because all of the headaches involved, and most of the subways in her area are not ADA accessible leaving with few options.  She likes the freedom of being able to use the express bus and I understand why.  She and many of her friends have stopped using them as well, which is unfortunate.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I noticed is even though SI has the biggest Express Bus Network and most heavily used in the City. It has the least routes running off-peak. (Except on Sundays when the BM's don't run.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

One thing I noticed is even though SI has the biggest Express Bus Network and most heavily used in the City. It has the least routes running off-peak. (Except on Sundays when the BM's don't run.)

Staten Island isn't like the other boroughs in that a lot of people drive to the express bus or a dropped off on weekends. I have never had direct express bus service when I lived on Staten Island, so either I took car service, or on really nice days when I wanted to take a 20 - 30 minute walk, I'd walk to or from the express bus.  I'd always get smiles when walking along Slosson Avenue as if to say it's a nice day for a walk huh, and I'd just nod and keep walking because most folks don't walk unless they are walking their dogs in certain areas. lol  I used to use all of the express buses on weekends depending on where I was going... X1, X10 and X17... One call for car service and most trips were roughly the same to reach whatever express bus I wanted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Queens Express Bus Riders:  If you can take some photos of the overcrowding on the buses when you see it, that would be great.  We want to address that problem ASAP and get service added.  We have been encouraging Staten Island Express Bus riders to do the same thing.  One Staten Island Express bus rider that spoke at the most recent board meeting blew up several photos to show before the board so that they could see the mess that they've created, with SEVERE overcrowding at the bus stops and on the actual buses.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Around the Horn said:

Speaking of the most recent board meetings, have they put it up on youtube yet?

They are here:

I spoke at the one on 09.24.18

Jean Ryan is who I've been speaking with who spoke after me and lives in Bay Ridge.

I've also been speaking with Neal. We just chatted this morning in fact. He is a South Shore Staten Islander.  We were both fuming about these changes.  Neal is a real bulldog and we look forward to working with him where possible to straighten this mess out.

On 09.26.18 we had two excellent SI Express Bus Riders speak.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

The 3c has less service to Staten Island on Sundays. (Used to be every 30 mins until 7:45 PM than 8:30, 9:30, 10:00 and 10:30) Now it's every 55-60 mins after 5:30 PM until 10:20 PM.

I am aware of that. But at the same time, it starts a little earlier on the weekends than it used to (the first bus is 7:15am on Saturday and 7:55am Sunday as opposed to 8:30am and 8:35am respectively). The total number of trips is about the same. (I haven't counted them all up, and it may be off by 1 or 2, but still)

Technically, it's a span reduction on both Saturday and Sunday, since the last X10 trips were 12:10am and 10:30pm (Saturday/Sunday) as opposed to 12am and 10:20pm.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

One thing I noticed is even though SI has the biggest Express Bus Network and most heavily used in the City. It has the least routes running off-peak. (Except on Sundays when the BM's don't run.)

That was one of the issues I was hoping they would address as part of the redesign. I wouldn't mind a system like that of the QM buses where all the off-peak routes are Midtown-only (except for Staten Island it should be Downtown-only with maybe a couple of Midtown routes in the mix, like the 6, 8, and 26)

To me I'd much rather make the transfer on the Manhattan end than the Staten Island end because there's so many more options. Then of course there's the reliability aspect especially with all the Midtown parades.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I like the development of this group in this thread, I would also like to suggest creating a Facebook group or a twitter page. You'd get way more traction and far more people joining the cause.

Edited by Cait Sith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Cait Sith said:

As much as I like the development of this group in this thread, I would also like to suggest creating a Facebook group or a twitter page. You'd get way more traction and far more people joining the cause.

While we don't have a page yet, we have been actively on social media. We are discussing how to proceed at the moment in terms of what would work best given what we'd like to achieve. We'll have one soon. We just started this a few weeks ago, and we felt it was more important to start working and get things in place as time goes on.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As promised, we have been monitoring the performance of random express bus trips around the City, and will continue to do so. We have seen improvements along several corridors this weekend. Staten Island is a separate case of course, but we are still checking performance and listening to the issues that customers are facing. The trips that I was on today were both late but left on-time. In our meeting with road ops we will be looking at specific trips to understand their performance and see how we can improve them. On Friday for example, we discussed the performance of several trips on the BxM1, BxM2 and BxM18 during rush hours that have repeatedly been missing for days in a row.  Numerous other trips will continue to be monitored and logged. We also are aware of the hybrid situation on the QM4. We want all express bus riders to have usage of the MCI or Prevost fleet and will be inquiring about why this has been an occurrence of late out of Baisley Depot.

We also plan on contacting elected officials in the near future to see what their constituents would like to see on their express bus lines, and will be working to see if we can get these things implemented, such as later buses to Bay Ridge on weekends, improved Sunday service for various express bus lines, etc.

I will be making unannounced pop ins on lines just to see how commutes are going.

Also highly likely that petitions will be coming for various SIM express bus lines. More to come...

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We also are aware of the hybrid situation on the QM4. We want all express bus riders to have usage of the MCI or Prevost fleet and will be inquiring about why this has been an occurrence of late out of Baisley Depot.

I've heard it's because their express fleet is in bad shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

I've heard it's because their express fleet is in bad shape.

Hopefully, this is fixed when the (MTA) Bus order comes around for the new Express Buses, Who wants to pay $6.50 to ride on a local bus. Might as well take the Q64 to the subway for $3.75 cheaper. (Imagine if an NG showed up on a SIM1c, people would be fuming.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Lil 57 said:

Hopefully, this is fixed when the (MTA) Bus order comes around for the new Express Buses, Who wants to pay $6.50 to ride on a local bus. Might as well take the Q64 to the subway for $3.75 cheaper. (Imagine if an NG showed up on a SIM1c, people would be fuming.)

They actually did run an NG on the X1 once

  • LMAO! 2

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.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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