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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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2204 tracks once again. Thank you guys for putting the pressure on the MTA to make sure they keep the transponders in working order..

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4 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

2204 tracks once again. Thank you guys for putting the pressure on the MTA to make sure they keep the transponders in working order..

Our pleasure. We had a discussion about BusTime and there are definitely fewer ghost buses...

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I caught the 6:30 QM1 on Wednesday and the 7 pm on Thursday. Both ran right on time. The Thursday 7 pm bus actually had a trainee B/O who drove quickly but had no clue how to use any of the bus' controls lol. 

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8 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I caught the 6:30 QM1 on Wednesday and the 7 pm on Thursday. Both ran right on time. The Thursday 7 pm bus actually had a trainee B/O who drove quickly but had no clue how to use any of the bus' controls lol. 

That's good, but that 5:30 is still missing. I spoke with David Weprin again the other day. He's going to write a letter to Darryl Irick about what in the hell is going on with the QM1 at night.  I showed him various posts from QM1 riders in the group too.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

That's good, but that 5:30 is still missing. I spoke with David Weprin again the other day. He's going to write a letter to Darryl Irick about what in the hell is going on with the QM1 at night.  I showed him various posts from QM1 riders in the group too.

I just want to say that you're doing an excellent job helping express bus riders get the service they deserve. We need more individuals like you to stand up and fight for what's right. Things aren't perfect, but your efforts have and are making an impact. Keep it up! 

Edited by S78 via Hylan
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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, S78 via Hylan said:

I just want to say that you're doing an excellent job helping express bus riders get the service they deserve. We need more individuals like you to stand up and fight for what's right. Things aren't perfect, but you I will say that your efforts have much a huge impact. Keep it up! 

We have a ways to go to be honest, but yes, everyone keeps telling me to keep pushing. I fear that the "progress" being made (I put progress in quotes because some days, the "service" is a disaster like this morning - my bus was a no-show) will be set back with these redesigns, so our next course of action is to continue to make people aware of the group and grow it.  I know that the (MTA) is not pleased with me right about now.  Let's just say it wasn't all smiles at the last meeting, but I really don't care.  I intend to keep pushing until we get the service that we're paying for, and the idea that buses can't show up regularly that are on the schedule is something that the (MTA) MUST fix.  If anyone thought this is just happening with the express buses, they are wrong. I see the same nonsense going on with the subways too.  Specific trains are not sent out resulting in longer waits and overcrowding (something I had suspected years ago, and is clearly happening).  The (MTA) is going to get away with whatever they can unless the public holds them accountable, as they are public agency.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Posted (edited)

The ongoing service issues along Union Turnpike remain UNACCEPTABLE, and we will continue to press until these trips are filled and filled regularly.  A special thanks to Assemblyman David Weprin for his assistance in this matter:

53628907_10216099196605133_1498257594127

@QM1to6Ave Please DO report back if you continue to have issues with your service.  Thanks!

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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5 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The ongoing service issues along Union Turnpike remain UNACCEPTABLE, and we will continue to press until these trips are filled and filled regularly.  A special thanks to Assemblyman David Weprin for his assistance in this matter:

53628907_10216099196605133_1498257594127

@QM1to6Ave Please DO report back if you continue to have issues with your service.  Thanks!

Absolutely! RIght now I am on a QM6 which is running smoothly. I didn't see the 5:30 QM1 when I was starting to track buses, but to be honest I forget exactly what time I started tracking. I do see 3 QM1s on the map right now at various points en-route to Queens. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Absolutely! RIght now I am on a QM6 which is running smoothly. I didn't see the 5:30 QM1 when I was starting to track buses, but to be honest I forget exactly what time I started tracking. I do see 3 QM1s on the map right now at various points en-route to Queens. 

No 5:30 PM QM1 and the 4:30 PM and 5 PM buses are bunching so I don't expect a 7 PM QM1 either.

Edited by Lil 57
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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Absolutely! RIght now I am on a QM6 which is running smoothly. I didn't see the 5:30 QM1 when I was starting to track buses, but to be honest I forget exactly what time I started tracking. I do see 3 QM1s on the map right now at various points en-route to Queens. 

Yeah there was no 5:30. Everything else has come so far. Just waiting on the 7pm... We'll keep monitoring it.  I don't think Irick is going to want to keep getting those letters so they'll have to fix it otherwise I'll go before the board and bring it up.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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15 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah there was no 5:30. Everything else has come so far. Just waiting on the 7pm... We'll keep monitoring it.  I don't think Irick is going to want to keep getting those letters so they'll have to fix it otherwise I'll go before the board and bring it up.

No 7 PM QM1, just how I expected it.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

No 7 PM QM1, just how I expected it.

Yeah I was promised that the QM5 would be sent via Fresh Meadows when the QM1s go missing.  It's the 19:03 trip which should have the signage changed to say via Fresh Meadows. I went over to the stop by 42nd and 6th to confirm this the other day. There's the bus right there: 53613722_10216101544823837_6795853896930

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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11 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah I was promised that the QM5 would be sent via Fresh Meadows when the QM1s go missing.  It's the 19:02 trip which should have the signage changed to say via Fresh Meadows. I went over to the stop by 42nd and 6th to confirm this the other day.

NVM the 7 PM QM1 came, 20 minutes late...

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Just now, Lil 57 said:

NVM the 7 PM QM1 came, 20 minutes late...

Yes, as I expected:

53888966_10216101576744635_6822818131111

He was late doing the 16:30 as well... I'm pretty sure that letter was received, otherwise they likely wouldn't have bothered sending that 7pm trip out.  In addition to that letter, I also e-mailed my contacts about the QM1, so the pressure is on them to start filling all of those trips.  I followed up yesterday letting them know that I would wait for a response, but I'm not going to wait forever. Either they fill that service, or I'm going before the board to make a stink.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/15/2019 at 7:16 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Yeah I was promised that the QM5 would be sent via Fresh Meadows when the QM1s go missing.  It's the 19:03 trip which should have the signage changed to say via Fresh Meadows. I went over to the stop by 42nd and 6th to confirm this the other day. There's the bus right there: 53613722_10216101544823837_6795853896930

So in these cases, they aren't actually sending another bus, they are just telling the 17:03 to do the Fresh Meadows loop, right? Really makes you wonder where the hell the QM1 and it's B/O are all those days...it's like a game of Where's Waldo LOL

Edited by QM1to6Ave

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

So in these cases, they aren't actually sending another bus, they are just telling the 17:03 to do the Fresh Meadows loop, right? Really makes you wonder where the hell the QM1 and it's B/O are all those days...it's like a game of Where's Waldo LOL

That’s correct. They just have that QM5 trip do his regular Glen Oaks trip and put up the via Fresh Meadows sign, which they weren’t even doing before I inquired about it. They were just sending all QM5 trips via H Harding Exy. Every day, reports are generated about how many buses are available for service for each depot. Road Ops gets that from maintenance. Of course the question is how real are these reports given how many buses we see supposedly “fixed” that keep breaking down. Are they REALLY fixed? You see there have been whispers that the (MTA) has been trying to cut back on maintenance costs which means fewer hours for the mechanics and they may not like that for obvious reasons, so you and I and other passengers suffer. What’s amazing is Darryl Irick is proposing FEWER overhauls for express buses (he wants buses overhauled every 6 years instead of the current four with the new fleet that is due to come in which would mean LESS maintenance), and he wants us to trust the (MTA) to make it work. <_< Meanwhile if this many buses go missing across the system regularly, clearly they have problems with the current maintenance set up, so cutting back on maintenance even more is just foolish. Keep in mind that every single (MTA) Bus is now over 10 years old, as the last buses delivered were from 2008. 

As for the missing QM1s, they are actually there, at least most of them are, as in the driver is there with the bus at 36th and 6th. I have sources to confirm. The problem is because they supposedly are short buses (and perhaps even drivers), those QM1 trips are being sent to cover other lines, so instead of doing a QM1, they may make some of those trips QM5 trips (not even via Fresh Meadows either - just have them do a Glen Oaks trip instead) or some other line.

We’ve been physically going down to 6th and 36th to see because it’s ridiculous at this point. Make no mistake about it though... You and others that have no QM1 service at night are being short changed because even if they are truly short on buses, they’ve been short now for months. That means they need more mechanics to go and fix the damn buses and get them out. Since the Winter pick started, those three infamous trips (the 5:30, the 6:30 and the 7pm) are very hit or miss. The fact that the 4:00pm and the 4:30pm come and yet there is no 6:30 and 7pm means they are choosing to not send them out to do the second trips which is what they’re supposed to do, so the driver is there, deadheading instead of doing the trip, and the only way to stop that crap is to turn the heat up on Road Ops to send those damn buses IN SERVICE. The operators aren’t going to say anything because they are being PAID, whether you get your bus or not, and they are told what to do, so they are simply doing their jobs, be it in service or out of service, and if the bus is late coming back for the second trip (or not), they may be electing to just have them go back to the depot (paid). I think it’s a cost cutting tactic because you don’t have to worry about paying any OT. Additionally, as I said before, they have been using LOTS of fillers without regular drivers for some trips now. Guys are retiring, and there’s no regular driver filling these trips, so whether intentional or not, when there’s no bus going out, that’s money that the (MTA) doesn’t have to pay in terms of getting another driver. If you see how often this goes on with the missing trips that we spot EVERY DAY across the express bus system alone, it’s A LOT of service that goes missing that saves the (MTA) money, and the bus operators here don’t have a clue because they are just doing their regular trips and being paid. 

The other day just with the QM1 and the QM21 alone, both lines that only run every half hour or less in the case of the QM21, there were about 4 or 5 buses that passengers did not receive. Now take those two lines alone for one or two weeks and add up how many buses are missing from service. It’s A LOT, not including all of the other buses that go missing. As I said, whether it is intentional or not, it needs to stop. These buses are on the schedule and should be accounted for.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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4 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The other day just with the QM1 and the QM21 alone, both lines that only run every half hour or less in the case of the QM21, there were about 4 or 5 buses that passengers did not receive. Now take those two lines alone for one or two weeks and add up how many buses are missing from service. It’s A LOT, not including all of the other buses that go missing. As I said, whether it is intentional or not, it needs to stop. These buses are on the schedule and should be accounted for.

I think one of the reasons why the (MTA)is targeting these buses is because they have an "alternative" express route that duplicates the route for a huge part of a trip. The QM1 has the QM5 and the QM21 has the X63. But what about the extra 10% that's not being covered? Totally unacceptable. Back in the summer the (MTA) would run local buses on the BP routes to cover trips, unacceptable, but still better than a bus not showing up, causing someone to have to wait another 30+ minutes for the next bus. In the long term, buses should be moved to where depots need them so there isn't any issues about missing buses.

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7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We’ve been physically going down to 6th and 36th to see because it’s ridiculous at this point. Make no mistake about it though... You and others that have no QM1 service at night are being short changed because even if they are truly short on buses, they’ve been short now for months. That means they need more mechanics to go and fix the damn buses and get them out. Since the Winter pick started, those three infamous trips (the 5:30, the 6:30 and the 7pm) are very hit or miss. The fact that the 4:00pm and the 4:30pm come and yet there is no 6:30 and 7pm means they are choosing to not send them out to do the second trips which is what they’re supposed to do, so the driver is there, deadheading instead of doing the trip, and the only way to stop that crap is to turn the heat up on Road Ops to send those damn buses IN SERVICE.

Or they could be doing a 6:30pm or 7pm trip on another route (or that general timeframe) for their second trip instead of a QM1 trip.

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3 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Or they could be doing a 6:30pm or 7pm trip on another route (or that general timeframe) for their second trip instead of a QM1 trip.

Which is what I said already.... I spoke with somebody in the know about it so I have an idea of what is going on.

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6 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

I think one of the reasons why the (MTA)is targeting these buses is because they have an "alternative" express route that duplicates the route for a huge part of a trip. The QM1 has the QM5 and the QM21 has the X63. But what about the extra 10% that's not being covered? Totally unacceptable. Back in the summer the (MTA) would run local buses on the BP routes to cover trips, unacceptable, but still better than a bus not showing up, causing someone to have to wait another 30+ minutes for the next bus. In the long term, buses should be moved to where depots need them so there isn't any issues about missing buses.

I only used those as examples. Plenty of other lines with missing scheduled service...

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Posted (edited)

Another lovely morning on Union Tpke. The 9:00 QM6 to manhattan didn't run (I dont think it was a ghostbus because I was standing at the stop when it would have come), and I'm 99% sure the 8:50 QM5 skipped the Fresh Meadows loop because he mysteriously saved 6 minutes off his trip right before he got to 188 St, which in my experience means skipping the loop

And of course this 8:50 QM5 is now SRO

Edited by QM1to6Ave

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29 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

The 9:00 QM6 to manhattan didn't run

It did run, but is bunched with the 9:30 QM6. The 9:00 bus is bus #3133.

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1 hour ago, Lil 57 said:

It did run, but is bunched with the 9:30 QM6. The 9:00 bus is bus #3133.

Lovely. I try to avoid taking the Manhattan bound QM5/6 between 9:00 am and 10:00 am because they are so often late or bunched or just never show up. 

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Posted (edited)

The Midtown bound 2:50 QM2 was 20 minutes late today, causing me to have to pay for an Uber to take the LIRR.

The guy on the current pick loves to play games with bustime, he often doesn’t show up on the tracker until he’s made it past the Clearview Expressway.

I also figured out that he does the Queens bound 1:45 pm QM2 run back to Bayside, and that was the reason he was late. He still had a bunch of stops to make on Bell Blvd by the time his bus should have been going Manhattan bound. What genius thought it would be a good idea to schedule a QM2 run with only an hour and five minutes to get back to Bayside, have a quick break, and get right back on the road to Manhattan.  Those buses usually always take at least an hour from 6th and 36th to get to 160th Street.

EDIT: Also, on my way home on Queens Blvd today there was a QM1 stopped in the left lane right before the turn for Union Turnpike that appeared to have rear ended a car. Lucky if there were 5 people on that bus, what a disgrace. That bus just can’t seem to have any luck. 

Edited by ViaWaterViaChurch
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9 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Another lovely morning on Union Tpke. The 9:00 QM6 to manhattan didn't run (I dont think it was a ghostbus because I was standing at the stop when it would have come), and I'm 99% sure the 8:50 QM5 skipped the Fresh Meadows loop because he mysteriously saved 6 minutes off his trip right before he got to 188 St, which in my experience means skipping the loop

And of course this 8:50 QM5 is now SRO

There were a litany of complaints about missing buses this morning.  Between this morning and tonight, easily a good dozen buses that we know about...

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