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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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39 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Please DON'T post that information. BusTrek is an internal tool for the (MTA) , not the public. I don't think drivers want their paddles exposed.  I've been assured that the situation is being addressed to the extent possible.

Sorry, my bad, I will remain from posting that in the future.

(If the (MTA) didn't want people to see B/O's paddles, I'm not sure why that website is accessible to the public.)

Back on topic: most BXM10s this morning were 20-30 minutes late. Was there alot of traffic today?

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

Sorry, my bad, I will remain from posting that in the future.

(If the (MTA) didn't want people to see B/O's paddles, I'm not sure why that website is accessible to the public.)

Back on topic: most BXM10s this morning were 20-30 minutes late. Was there alot of traffic today?

Because it's the (MTA) that's why.  Common sense isn't so logic with them. Aside from that, your average customer wouldn't care anyway, which is likely their thinking and it's easy for dispatchers, etc. to just check information as needed. They just want to get from point A to point B and as quickly as possible.  I sure as heck never knew the situation until you mentioned it.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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4 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

Sorry, my bad, I will remain from posting that in the future.

(If the (MTA) didn't want people to see B/O's paddles, I'm not sure why that website is accessible to the public.)

Back on topic: most BXM10s this morning were 20-30 minutes late. Was there alot of traffic today?

I don't know to be honest.  No one posted about it in the group and we have quite a few BxM10 riders.  I took the BxM2 and we moved fairly well.  However the Bruckner is usually backed up more times than not.  We talked about that in yesterday's Round Table. It will take probably a year to study any sort of HOV implementation but we're starting the conversations now about the various expressways.

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Someone was charging their E-cigarette/Juul/vape pen in the USB charger on the QM1 tonight. Go figure. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 2:11 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

There are bus drivers in one of the SI express bus groups heckling riders that vent. Let people vent! There are lounges and Facebook groups for (MTA) workers where (MTA) workers bitch and moan about passengers and that’s fine. People are allowed to have a place to complain.

Problem is that this "venting" could get bus operators into trouble over minor nonsense....I mean trying to get a bus operator into trouble because you didn't feel like sticking your hand out (referring to the person who made that post)....I can see why bus operators would want to share their point of view (as aggressively as the person who made the original post, and not just that topic but in general...you have people calling for the driver's head for skipping a stop when they made no motion towards the bus or when there was already another bus of the same route in the stop and everyone got a seat or opening the door while behind another bus, it's natural for the drivers to come defend their coworkers). 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Problem is that this "venting" could get bus operators into trouble over minor nonsense....I mean trying to get a bus operator into trouble because you didn't feel like sticking your hand out (referring to the person who made that post)....I can see why bus operators would want to share their point of view (as aggressively as the person who made the original post, and not just that topic but in general...you have people calling for the driver's head for skipping a stop when they made no motion towards the bus or when there was already another bus of the same route in the stop and everyone got a seat or opening the door while behind another bus, it's natural for the drivers to come defend their coworkers). 

Yeah and that's why I made a post about venting today because some people get carried away with it.  I don't want the incessant complaining in my group.  I created the group for two reasons... One primarily as an advocacy group, but two as a sort of "lounge" where express bus riders can come and vent, and crack jokes and all of that since there isn't such a place really for all express bus riders for that until I came up with that.  Looking at the other commuter pages that advocate, etc., they all have that where riders crack jokes, vent, etc. The LIRR group has it, and so do all of the subway groups out here, so this is where it is now.  It's basically inevitable.  As I said (MTA) workers most certainly complain non-stop about passengers in their groups so what's fair is fair.

If you set guidelines, people just stop automatically. I had people complaining to me about drivers and where they layover at.  If it impedes traffic and it's really causing a problem ok, maybe you look into it, but what we discuss in meetings with the (MTA) are serious problems like buses breaking down all over the place, missing buses, extremely late buses and other service issues.  Those are things that have to be addressed.  In the conference calls and meetings that I've had I think only one driver came up and only because I found his behavior absurd.  Otherwise we don't discuss drivers in meetings or any of that, nor do I generally say anything to drivers about their behavior.  I am just a passenger like always, nothing more, not unless they are disrespectful to me in some manner, then I say something, just as I normally would as a paying passenger. Sometimes some drivers recognize me from other lines. If they do and they ask or engage me, then I will talk to them about what I'm doing so they aren't freaking out, otherwise I keep it moving because I take notes in the iPad and sometimes they will ask.

The incident with the driver was as follows... I see a BxM8 on layover at Pelham Bay. He is due to leave in 15 - 20 minutes. I go and get some snacks and drinks since I have time to kill.  The guy has been sitting on the bus the whole time.  I come out and wait for the bus at the stop because now he is due to leave in a few minutes.  As the time approaches, he comes out to confirm that I'm waiting for his bus and I confirm.  Then he tells me he is due a dinner break and I'm thinking well why didn't you take one before? You've been sitting there that long and NOW you're taking a break when the bus is due to leave?!?!??  I didn't say this to him directly, but this was my thought since I was out taking trips to check service and discuss said trips with the (MTA) since at that time there were still lots of late and missing buses. He goes on a 20 minute break when the bus was due to leave at 8pm, so here I am now standing in the cold waiting while he should've left already. Bus left 20 minutes late and finished almost 30 minutes late because of that.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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

Yeah and that's why I made a post about venting today because some people get carried away with it.  I don't want the incessant complaining in my group.  I created the group for two reasons... One primarily as an advocacy group, but two as a sort of "lounge" where express bus riders can come and vent, and crack jokes and all of that since there isn't such a place really for all express bus riders for that until I came up with that.  Looking at the other commuter pages that advocate, etc., they all have that where riders crack jokes, vent, etc. The LIRR group has it, and so do all of the subway groups out here, so this is where it is now.  It's basically inevitable.  As I said (MTA) workers most certainly complain non-stop about passengers in their groups so what's fair is fair.

If you set guidelines, people just stop automatically. I had people complaining to me about drivers and where they layover at.  If it impedes traffic and it's really causing a problem ok, maybe you look into it, but what we discuss in meetings with the (MTA) are serious problems like buses breaking down all over the place, missing buses, extremely late buses and other service issues.  Those are things that have to be addressed.  In the conference calls and meetings that I've had I think only one driver came up and only because I found his behavior absurd.  Otherwise we don't discuss drivers in meetings or any of that, nor do I generally say anything to drivers about their behavior.  I am just a passenger like always, nothing more, not unless they are disrespectful to me in some manner, then I say something, just as I normally would as a paying passenger. Sometimes some drivers recognize me from other lines. If they do and they ask or engage me, then I will talk to them about what I'm doing so they aren't freaking out, otherwise I keep it moving because I take notes in the iPad and sometimes they will ask.

The incident with the driver was as follows... I see a BxM8 on layover at Pelham Bay. He is due to leave in 15 - 20 minutes. I go and get some snacks and drinks since I have time to kill.  The guy has been sitting on the bus the whole time.  I come out and wait for the bus at the stop because now he is due to leave in a few minutes.  As the time approaches, he comes out to confirm that I'm waiting for his bus and I confirm.  Then he tells me he is due a dinner break and I'm thinking well why didn't you take one before? You've been sitting there that long and NOW you're taking a break when the bus is due to leave?!?!??  I didn't say this to him directly, but this was my thought since I was out taking trips to check service and discuss said trips with the (MTA) since at that time there were still lots of late and missing buses. He goes on a 20 minute break when the bus was due to leave at 8pm, so here I am now standing in the cold waiting while he should've left already. Bus left 20 minutes late and finished almost 30 minutes late because of that.  

What the hell is a dinner break?? Isn't that what the layover period is for? 

Edited by QM1to6Ave

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36 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

What the hell is a dinner break?? Isn't that what the layover period is for? 

They get one but he was supposed to start at 8, not 8:20 when he has been sitting on the bus the whole time. I’m like WTF?? I’m here standing in the cold and this guy is having dinner when he should be starting the trip.

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2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The incident with the driver was as follows... I see a BxM8 on layover at Pelham Bay. He is due to leave in 15 - 20 minutes. I go and get some snacks and drinks since I have time to kill.  The guy has been sitting on the bus the whole time.  I come out and wait for the bus at the stop because now he is due to leave in a few minutes.  As the time approaches, he comes out to confirm that I'm waiting for his bus and I confirm.  Then he tells me he is due a dinner break and I'm thinking well why didn't you take one before? You've been sitting there that long and NOW you're taking a break when the bus is due to leave?!?!??  I didn't say this to him directly, but this was my thought since I was out taking trips to check service and discuss said trips with the (MTA) since at that time there were still lots of late and missing buses. He goes on a 20 minute break when the bus was due to leave at 8pm, so here I am now standing in the cold waiting while he should've left already. Bus left 20 minutes late and finished almost 30 minutes late because of that.  

I'm sorry but if that ever happens to me I'll be quick to get the camera and record the incident so I could send it to supervision. Not just bus drivers, but most people nowadays half ass their job and make others suffer from it with a lot of "excuses".

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43 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They get one but he was supposed to start at 8, not 8:20 when he has been sitting on the bus the whole time. I’m like WTF?? I’m here standing in the cold and this guy is having dinner when he should be starting the trip.

Wow, the exp runs get long layovers and meal breaks? I went into the wrong career field

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, MysteriousBtrain said:

I'm sorry but if that ever happens to me I'll be quick to get the camera and record the incident so I could send it to supervision. Not just bus drivers, but most people nowadays half ass their job and make others suffer from it with a lot of "excuses".

I was accused by former NYCTF users of going around riding express buses acting like I’m “Supervision”. LOL In the case I mentioned, I didn’t take ANY photos, nor did I say anything to the driver in terms of any sort of reprimand. Not my place... What he asked me was if it was okay with me? I told well what I am going to do? I mean basically I’m not anybody’s boss so if he wants to take a break while passengers stand in the cold then that’s what it is. I posted in the group about it though as an example of the poor service that we get so that the (MTA) could see. I started the advocacy group primarily because of the whole buses not showing up for days in a row and people getting to work late repeatedly because of it, not to put drivers on blast, and since I started doing this, I haven’t taken a photo of a single driver, and probably never will. What I do take photos of are buses with extremely dirty interiors or overhead conditions that are dangerous because those things should be fixed and someone could be injured. My notes usually consist of when the bus comes (if at all because some trips we attempt to take are no-shows leaving people stranded) and we do want to see how widespread of a problem that is. The (MTA) is providing a service that people are paying for. They should expect their buses to show up, even if they are late. Last night I thought my bus home was a no-show. Almost 30 minutes late. Waited in the rain and cold, and was thankful when he did come because I realize traffic may have been a problem, but there have been quite a few instances where I have decided to wait for a bus at random to see what happens only to see people waiting in the feeezing cold with no bus in sight for well over an hour. That is inexcusable and there should be advocacy groups for all passengers so that their is some level of standards when it comes to service. My riding of buses is really not that frequent when I do that anyway. I did so early on to see where problems were so that when we met with the (MTA) , we could discuss them. The first thing they asked when we met was do you ride at various hours? The answer was YES because people ride at all hours. We have to ride the buses to see what the service is like around the system, which is what all advocacy groups do. What I will often do is just take notes on trips that I would take anyway either to run errands or when traveling for work. Now what we do is spot check since there have been some lines with fewer incidents, but last night was pretty bad. For example, a BM2 rider waited over 30 minutes for a bus. After he got one, later on he showed me how three buses were packed up on his line when the bus runs every 30 minutes at that time, so that means someone was waiting at least an hour with no bus after the time his bus came.

10 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Wow, the exp runs get long layovers and meal breaks? I went into the wrong career field

Iol I think what happened was he must’ve finished his last trip late (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on that one), then he was supposed to get a meal break. I get it... You need to eat, but he was hanging out on the bus all that time when he could’ve eaten then. I just thought it was crazy that he was there on-time, sitting on the bus and then pulled out 20 minutes late, and had the nerve to ask me if I didn’t mind, as if peoples’ time isn’t valuable. I mean hey if you’re going to do that, how about you let me know when I first arrived at the stop? (I arrived in advance thinking we were leaving at 8). I could’ve gone back into the store I was in and waited in the warmth, but I honestly was in shock that he would let passengers stand in the cold while he should be leaving already. There were other people further down the line that got on that likely were going to work overnight, and if I had to work at that time, I would be pissed. Never made up the time at all, and quite frankly, made no effort to get back on-time, so we left 20 minutes late and the trip ended almost 30 minutes late. I rode him down to 23rd and Madison just to see when he would finish since by then there weren’t many passengers left.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Funny Story. I was waiting for the S78 at Hylan/New Dorp Lane while a SIM11 bus pulls up to the stop. There's a lady who thinks that the bus is going farther South than Ebbitts Street and is arguing with the B/O. He closes the door and a few moments later, he opens the door again. The lady and her two kids get off. While she gets off the bus, arguing with the B/O, the B/O says, "You're a Farebeater! Next time I'll call the cops on your a**!" Guess this woman didn't pay the fare. 

The express bus B/O's tend to be much more strict when it comes to farebeating. Why can't the local B/O's be the same? 

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Just now, Lil 57 said:

Funny Story. I was waiting for the S78 at Hylan/New Dorp Lane while a SIM11 bus pulls up to the stop. There's a lady who thinks that the bus is going farther South than Ebbitts Street and is arguing with the B/O. He closes the door and a few moments later, he opens the door again. The lady and her two kids get off. While she gets off the bus, arguing with the B/O, the B/O says, "You're a Farebeater! Next time I'll call the cops on your a**!" Guess this woman didn't pay the fare. 

The express bus B/O's tend to be much more strict when it comes to farebeating. Why can't the local B/O's be the same? 

$2.75 compared to $6.50? Of course express drivers would be more upright.

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4 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

Funny Story. I was waiting for the S78 at Hylan/New Dorp Lane while a SIM11 bus pulls up to the stop. There's a lady who thinks that the bus is going farther South than Ebbitts Street and is arguing with the B/O. He closes the door and a few moments later, he opens the door again. The lady and her two kids get off. While she gets off the bus, arguing with the B/O, the B/O says, "You're a Farebeater! Next time I'll call the cops on your a**!" Guess this woman didn't pay the fare. 

The express bus B/O's tend to be much more strict when it comes to farebeating. Why can't the local B/O's be the same? 

Less likely to get stabbed to death by a farebeater on an exp than a local

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1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Less likely to get stabbed to death by a farebeater on an exp than a local

That and express bus riders tend to pay the fare.  Local bus riders tend to be poor.  Not the case with express bus riders, so there is less farebeating and the thinking that people will pay as you are generally dealing with professional types with disposable income. That said, I was in a meeting tonight, but saw TWO missing QM1 buses.  I'm being told to be careful what I wish for in that if they create standby QM1 buses, they will cut from elsewhere to do it.  As you likely know by know they use those QM1 trips to cover late Glen Oaks trips.  I have a problem with that. They should have standby trips WITHOUT cutting from elsewhere. They have cut all off-peak QM1 service as it is.  There was no bus after the 4:30pm QM1 until 6pm!! I was furious! I posted in the group about it too.

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

There was no bus after the 4:30pm QM1 until 6pm!! I was furious! I posted in the group about it too.

Watch the (MTA) try to pull that missing 5:30 PM trip stuff again. They run service properly for a week or two to try to get you off of their back and then when they think that you're off of the QM1 issue, they pull the same s**t again. Totally unacceptable.

Edited by Lil 57
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Just now, Lil 57 said:

Watch the (MTA) try to pull that missing 5:30 PM trip stuff again. They run service properly for a week or two to try to get you off of their back and then when they think that you're off of the QM1 issue, the pull the same s**t again. Totally unacceptable.

I suspect that they may have buses on standby for a bit then they pull them. They definitely have them from time to time.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, that is unbelievable. The buses really aren't reliable until after 7:30 pm. Case in point, I took the 7:40 QM5 last night which was right on time. 

Edited by QM1to6Ave

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I took the 6 pm QM1 tonight, and there was someone in every single set of seats. These runs really do get good ridership when the buses run consistently

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One more question for the group--anyone know how reliable the 8:05 am QM6 to NST is? My schedule may have me taking that first bus from Manhattan to Queens on a semi-regular basis. I'm also hoping these morning runs to Queens don't get cut in the next few picks, especially since they are suppsoed to be getting all that extra congestion pricing money and need more service, not less. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/9/2019 at 7:20 AM, QM1to6Ave said:

Wow, that is unbelievable. The buses really aren't reliable until after 7:30 pm. Case in point, I took the 7:40 QM5 last night which was right on time. 

The problem with the Union Turnpike corridor is that some of these lines do multiple trips.  For example, the 4pm QM1 does the 6:30pm QM1 to Fresh Meadows, and the 4:30 QM1 does the 7pm QM1, so if they get slammed on the first trip OR slammed deadheading back to Manhattan they will be late.  The QM5 and QM6 often times will turn into one or the other and they too can be severely delayed.  Supposedly the QM1 situation with them being turned into the QM5 trips go back to the private line days.

13 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I took the 6 pm QM1 tonight, and there was someone in every single set of seats. These runs really do get good ridership when the buses run consistently

Yes they do. I use those buses as well when I have meetings for work for projects in Queens. I have another one this month and will use it, so I usually will take a QM1 in and a QM5 or QM6 back to Manhattan.

14 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

One more question for the group--anyone know how reliable the 8:05 am QM6 to NST is? My schedule may have me taking that first bus from Manhattan to Queens on a semi-regular basis. I'm also hoping these morning runs to Queens don't get cut in the next few picks, especially since they are supposed to be getting all that extra congestion pricing money and need more service, not less. 

I will ask one of my Queens folks about that trip. They will likely know.  Also be on the lookout for the new express bus schedules. It was posted in my group already, but in the next few weeks (April 22nd), there will be the following: 

-QM5: there will be a new 5:10 am trip leaving Union Tpke/260 street. This trip is 20 minutes earlier than the current first QM5 to Manhattan. There are also minor schedule adjustments so that buses leave Union Tpke/260 street at 5:30, 5:50, 6:10, 6:25, 6:40 instead of the current 5:30, 6:00, 6:20, 6:30, 6:40.

-QM7: there will be a new 5:40 am trip leaving 188th street/64 Avenue. This trip is 20 minutes earlier than the current first QM7 to Manhattan. There are also minor schedule adjustments so that buses will leave 188 street/64 Avenue at 6:00, 6:20, 6:40, 6:55, 7:07 instead of the current 6:00, 6:30, 6:45, 6:57, 7:07.

Regarding congestion pricing, Nily Rozic actually took money from what is called the "Outer Borough Transit Fund". That should provide more transportation to transportation deserts, so you should expect more service if all goes well. We are definitely looking into this fund to see what we can find out about it and will be pushing for more express bus service and service restorations. 

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

The problem with the Union Turnpike corridor is that some of these lines do multiple trips.  For example, the 4pm QM1 does the 6:30pm QM1 to Fresh Meadows, and the 4:30 QM1 does the 7pm QM1, so if they get slammed on the first trip OR slammed deadheading back to Manhattan they will be late.  The QM5 and QM6 often times will turn into one or the other and they too can be severely delayed.  Supposedly the QM1 situation with them being turned into the QM5 trips go back to the private line days.

Yes they do. I use those buses as well when I have meetings for work for projects in Queens. I have another one this month and will use it, so I usually will take a QM1 in and a QM5 or QM6 back to Manhattan.

I will ask one of my Queens folks about that trip. They will likely know.  Also be on the lookout for the new express bus schedules. It was posted in my group already, but in the next few weeks (April 22nd), there will be the following: 

-QM5: there will be a new 5:10 am trip leaving Union Tpke/260 street. This trip is 20 minutes earlier than the current first QM5 to Manhattan. There are also minor schedule adjustments so that buses leave Union Tpke/260 street at 5:30, 5:50, 6:10, 6:25, 6:40 instead of the current 5:30, 6:00, 6:20, 6:30, 6:40.

-QM7: there will be a new 5:40 am trip leaving 188th street/64 Avenue. This trip is 20 minutes earlier than the current first QM7 to Manhattan. There are also minor schedule adjustments so that buses will leave 188 street/64 Avenue at 6:00, 6:20, 6:40, 6:55, 7:07 instead of the current 6:00, 6:30, 6:45, 6:57, 7:07.

Your insider info is highly appreciated, as always! 

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2 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Your insider info is highly appreciated, as always! 

Something else we've been working on are more bus shelters at express bus stops. We put out a list for the DOT to consider. I'm awaiting a response from my contact.  We've requested that they look at the major express corridors along 6th, 3rd, 34th and 57th as well as specific customer requests.  

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Just now, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Something else we've been working on are more bus shelters at express bus stops. We put out a list for the DOT to consider. I'm awaiting a response from my contact.  We've requested that they look at the major express corridors along 6th, 3rd, 34th and 57th as well as specific customer requests.  

Fantastic--I was just thinking today about how I like to catch the bus to Queens at 49th and 6th because it has a shelter and bench. I notice the stops with shelters are more likely to get shoveled in winter, probably because of that private company that is contracted to maintain the shelters 

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Just now, QM1to6Ave said:

Fantastic--I was just thinking today about how I like to catch the bus to Queens at 49th and 6th because it has a shelter and bench. I notice the stops with shelters are more likely to get shoveled in winter, probably because of that private company that is contracted to maintain the shelters 

That's precisely the reason.  I inquired about it with the DOT reps at my last meeting as to who does what. For the bus shelters, they contract that out so the contractor comes and cleans and maintains those.  Other tasks the DOT handles themselves.  Of course they will say well funds are limited. In some cases it's a question of space too and what is private property versus public property, so it becomes tricky, but nevertheless we want them to consider more bus shelters specifically for express bus shelters. We're also put out requests at some stops for the new lollipop signs to be installed.  It's crazy that the old bus stops signs still are up in some locations in the outer boroughs. We have a few of them in my neighborhood as well or they were taken down and never replaced.

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