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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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8 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Latest news:

- Met with the (MTA) this morning regarding express bus service and the Bronx express bus proposals.

-It has been stressed that these are proposals and that they have received A LOT of feedback about several of them and they are trying to see how they can address some of them.

- We made it clear that the spans are not acceptable. The (MTA) continues to argue that they cannot run empty buses and that the ridership isn’t there to justify the service.

-We argued that service is poor during off-peak periods and that discounts should be offered to entice people to ride more.

-We will be providing feedback in writing as well.

-Other topics covered:

-BusTime and Wi-Fi: If you cannot use WiFi, they would like to know the bus# and they will look into it. Same goes with BusTime.

-Customers who are being overcharged... The Metrocard is dated technology, and so currently, there is no fix to splitting up payments so that customers are charged no more than $6.75. I hope to have more particulars on this as they continue to investigate, but I can confirm that OMNY will allow such a set up and the plan is to have it fully implemented on express buses by late next year.

-Bus stops and bus shelters are still being looked at.

-Discussed particular trips that have been problematic.

-We have an interview lending with Bronx News 12.

Moreto come...

 

What is the best way to communicate to them the buses that don't have WiFi? I've repeatedly emailed them about it, but get idiotic canned responses from whatever dimwit answers those emails. 

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5 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

What is the best way to communicate to them the buses that don't have WiFi? I've repeatedly emailed them about it, but get idiotic canned responses from whatever dimwit answers those emails. 

Post the bus numbers here and I can communicate with them directly. In other words, don’t bother e-mailing.

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:44 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Post the bus numbers here and I can communicate with them directly. In other words, don’t bother e-mailing.

Excellent. As you know, my big complaint is that CP buses 3000-3124 never got WiFi installed, but I don't know if the MTA would ever remedy that with the new Prevost order coming in  

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8 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Excellent. As you know, my big complaint is that CP buses 3000-3124 never got WiFi installed, but I don't know if the MTA would ever remedy that with the new Prevost order coming in  

I am happy to follow-up to see what the story is. Also keep me posted on the evening QM1s. The last few nights now they have been running a QM1 on the QM5, so they must be short or short drivers or both. Either way, we keep track of it daily. I was promised that if they did that, the QM5s would run via Fresh Meadows, and on bus time you can’t tell, but the sign on the bus will often say “Glen Oaks via Fresh Meadows” when you see it in person. 

If we need to reach out to elected officials again to remedy that situation, we will, but supposedly part of the issue is the run times that they have in place have not changed in DECADES, and they can’t change them! I almost fell out of the chair in the conference room when I heard that one. They inherited the run times from the private companies, and due to a series of issues (one being budgetary constrains) they’ve got things like buses having 10 minutes to go from 34th to 57th Street at all times. I mention this because we were talking about that express bus audit from 2015 and them having realistic schedules and runtimes.

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24 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I am happy to follow-up to see what the story is. Also keep me posted on the evening QM1s. The last few nights now they have been running a QM1 on the QM5, so they must be short or short drivers or both. Either way, we keep track of it daily. I was promised that if they did that, the QM5s would run via Fresh Meadows, and on bus time you can’t tell, but the sign on the bus will often say “Glen Oaks via Fresh Meadows” when you see it in person. 

If we need to reach out to elected officials again to remedy that situation, we will, but supposedly part of the issue is the run times that they have in place have not changed in DECADES, and they can’t change them! I almost fell out of the chair in the conference room when I heard that one. They inherited the run times from the private companies, and due to a series of issues (one being budgetary constrains) they’ve got things like buses having 10 minutes to go from 34th to 57th Street at all times. I mention this because we were talking about that express bus audit from 2015 and them having realistic schedules and runtimes.

Thank you! Please let me know what you find out about those WiFI-less buses! 

I've been catching the 5:30 and 6:00 pm QM1s most recently, and they have been generally fine (sometimes 10 mins late or so, but that seems to be due to increased traffic overall...seems like holiday traffic may be starting early this year).

Meanwhile, this morning at about 7:30 am, a QM1 (bus 2907) gets to the stop I was at (a different one than usual, this one was by Union Tpke and 153rd Street), we flag him down, he pulls up to the curb, slows down, and then hits the gas and flies away without stopping! There were definitely empty seats I could see in the windows, so that doesn't explain it. We were all looking at each other going "what the hell was that??". Thankfully a QM6 was right behind him. It did look like the B/O was talking to a standing passenger so I wonder if he got distracted or something was happening. 

That inability to change the runtime issue is crazy!! It really does not help get rid of the image of government agencies as bureaucratic nightmares where good intentions go to die because of ineptitude and laziness. 

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3 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Thank you! Please let me know what you find out about those WiFI-less buses! 

I've been catching the 5:30 and 6:00 pm QM1s most recently, and they have been generally fine (sometimes 10 mins late or so, but that seems to be due to increased traffic overall...seems like holiday traffic may be starting early this year).

Meanwhile, this morning at about 7:30 am, a QM1 (bus 2907) gets to the stop I was at (a different one than usual, this one was by Union Tpke and 153rd Street), we flag him down, he pulls up to the curb, slows down, and then hits the gas and flies away without stopping! There were definitely empty seats I could see in the windows, so that doesn't explain it. We were all looking at each other going "what the hell was that??". Thankfully a QM6 was right behind him. It did look like the B/O was talking to a standing passenger so I wonder if he got distracted or something was happening. 

That inability to change the runtime issue is crazy!! It really does not help get rid of the image of government agencies as bureaucratic nightmares where good intentions go to die because of ineptitude and laziness. 

Sounds like the 7:10 bus... No good...

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23 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

@QM1to6Ave He probably figured the QM6 would pick up the waiting passengers since it was right behind him

I've had that happen before, but the B/O of the bus flagging the stop would generally motion towards the other bus, or stay in a middle lane and speed up. This guy pulled into the shoulder lane to pick us up, slowed down nearly to a stop, and then hit the gas. It was really strange. 

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4 hours ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

Can something be done with B/Os to stop driving like 90 year old grandmas?

 

Its getting frustrating to be passed by cars left and right while the bus can clearly go much faster

 

Thats what happens when you put too much runtime in the paddles. 

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On 12/1/2019 at 12:21 AM, Jdog14 said:

 

Thats what happens when you put too much runtime in the paddles. 

They need to tighten runtimes and give longer layovers. For example...

Lets use the B1 bus

Leaves 4th Ave at 3:00pm supposed to get to Kingsborough CC at 4:00pm. The bus is supposed to leave Kingsborough CC at 4:28pm. 

They should modify it so it leaves Bay Ridge at 3:00pm, and get to Kingsborough CC at 3:50pm and leave still at 4:28pm. 

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4 hours ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

They need to tighten runtimes and give longer layovers. For example...

Lets use the B1 bus

Leaves 4th Ave at 3:00pm supposed to get to Kingsborough CC at 4:00pm. The bus is supposed to leave Kingsborough CC at 4:28pm. 

They should modify it so it leaves Bay Ridge at 3:00pm, and get to Kingsborough CC at 3:50pm and leave still at 4:28pm. 

The run times are tight enough. As far as longer layovers, that may be necessary at certain times, but often the buses are hanging out too long at the college. If they want to improve service, they should do more coordination with buses leaving ten minutes after class dismissal. It's dumb for a bus to leave the terminal with six passengers, right before 100 students arrive at the bus stop. 

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1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

The run times are tight enough. As far as longer layovers, that may be necessary at certain times, but often the buses are hanging out too long at the college. If they want to improve service, they should do more coordination with buses leaving ten minutes after class dismissal. It's dumb for a bus to leave the terminal with six passengers, right before 100 students arrive at the bus stop. 

Are you referring to the B1 specifically or buses in general? Because I can definitely think of a few routes that have excess runtime throughout the day.

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12 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Are you referring to the B1 specifically or buses in general? Because I can definitely think of a few routes that have excess runtime throughout the day.

I was only talking about the B1.

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On 11/30/2019 at 8:11 PM, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

Can something be done with B/Os to stop driving like 90 year old grandmas?

 

Its getting frustrating to be passed by cars left and right while the bus can clearly go much faster

We're aware that this is a problem with a handful of express bus drivers.  What bus line and what time?  We've had this on the BxM10 before. (MTA) was made aware of the problem and our understanding is that it was addressed.  The problem is technically they are following how they were trained.  Safety is supposed to be put before the schedule and they are told to go at least below the speed limit, so 15 mph in as opposed to 25 mph on the local streets. Excessive I know.. There's a guy that racks up complaints.  He usually drivers the BxM1, BxM2 or BxM18.  I know he's been talked to because I've had him a few times since and he now checks his run sheet to see what time it is versus where he is at, but he still drives quite slow. 

We were on 3rd Avenue one Saturday and I had groceries with me.  I thought I wouldn't make it with some of my frozen items because we had cars going by us on either side. Then when we reached the drop-off segment, I realized who the driver was from the announcements. <_< There's an older black driver who I always thought was new, but I was told by a few other regulars that ride the BxM2 with me sometimes in the morning when he was driving a particular trip earlier this year that he is not new and has been around for some time, which makes it even worse. To show you how bad he is, one morning I got off at 72nd & Columbus because he was driving so slow and I wanted to get breakfast. I walked to Blue Bottle on 73rd and Amsterdam, sat and had coffee and a pastry, hopped on the express at 72nd, took it to 42nd, walked out of the station, and who is at the light at 7th & 41st but him.  I couldn't help but laugh, because I had to have spent a good 20 - 30 minutes just relaxing there.  Pretty pathetic.  There's another guy that drives the 8am that some people in the advocacy group have been complaining about. One person that I take the bus with sometimes was messaging me saying she was getting into her office and I got on the express bus 45 minutes after her! lol

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:54 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We're aware that this is a problem with a handful of express bus drivers.  What bus line and what time?  We've had this on the BxM10 before. (MTA) was made aware of the problem and our understanding is that it was addressed.  The problem is technically they are following how they were trained.  Safety is supposed to be put before the schedule and they are told to go at least below the speed limit, so 15 mph in as opposed to 25 mph on the local streets. Excessive I know.. There's a guy that racks up complaints.  He usually drivers the BxM1, BxM2 or BxM18.  I know he's been talked to because I've had him a few times since and he now checks his run sheet to see what time it is versus where he is at, but he still drives quite slow. 

We were on 3rd Avenue one Saturday and I had groceries with me.  I thought I wouldn't make it with some of my frozen items because we had cars going by us on either side. Then when we reached the drop-off segment, I realized who the driver was from the announcements. <_< There's an older black driver who I always thought was new, but I was told by a few other regulars that ride the BxM2 with me sometimes in the morning when he was driving a particular trip earlier this year that he is not new and has been around for some time, which makes it even worse. To show you how bad he is, one morning I got off at 72nd & Columbus because he was driving so slow and I wanted to get breakfast. I walked to Blue Bottle on 73rd and Amsterdam, sat and had coffee and a pastry, hopped on the express at 72nd, took it to 42nd, walked out of the station, and who is at the light at 7th & 41st but him.  I couldn't help but laugh, because I had to have spent a good 20 - 30 minutes just relaxing there.  Pretty pathetic.  There's another guy that drives the 8am that some people in the advocacy group have been complaining about. One person that I take the bus with sometimes was messaging me saying she was getting into her office and I got on the express bus 45 minutes after her! lol

 

It's easier to list the trips that dont have a super slow run.  

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41 minutes ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

It's easier to list the trips that dont have a super slow run.  

.....huh!?

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3 hours ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

It's easier to list the trips that dont have a super slow run.  

It’s actually not. We keep a log of certain lines during parts of the day, so if you want us to look into a trip, you’ll provide the time that the BxM1 leaves 261st or 34th. I believe that’s the line you referenced before. We have several Yonkers Depot drivers in the group. There are also dispatchers and superintendents. Dispatcher posted BxM info in the group yesterday. For example, the 4pm and 4:15 trips to Riverdale have been problems. The (MTA) has been trying to work to get those trips to start on-time. 

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

It’s actually not. We keep a log of certain lines during parts of the day, so if you want us to look into a trip, you’ll provide the time that the BxM1 leaves 261st or 34th. I believe that’s the line you referenced before. We have several Yonkers Depot drivers in the group. There are also dispatchers and superintendents. Dispatcher posted BxM info in the group yesterday. For example, the 4pm and 4:15 trips to Riverdale have been problems. The (MTA) has been trying to work to get those trips to start on-time. 

For starters the following trips have been really slow and a problem

BxM1

 1:15pm southbound (weekdays)

1:45 pm southbound (saturdays)

11:10pm northbound (weekdays)

1:30pm southbound (sundays)

9:30pm southbound (sundays)

BxM2

3:00pm southbound (Saturdays)

7:20am northbound (weekdays)

BxM3

1:35pm southbound (weekdays)

8:35pm southbound (weekdays)

9:35pm southbound (weekdays)

11:05pm northbound (weekdays)

11:15pm northbound (saturdays)

BxM4

11:05pm northbound (weekdays)

10:45pm northbound (saturdays)

10:30pm northbound (sundays)

 

BxM4s are the worst of them all, going extra slow while carrying the least amount of passengers

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12 hours ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

For starters the following trips have been really slow and a problem

BxM1

 1:15pm southbound (weekdays)

1:45 pm southbound (saturdays)

11:10pm northbound (weekdays)

1:30pm southbound (sundays)

9:30pm southbound (sundays)

BxM2

3:00pm southbound (Saturdays)

7:20am northbound (weekdays)

BxM3

1:35pm southbound (weekdays)

8:35pm southbound (weekdays)

9:35pm southbound (weekdays)

11:05pm northbound (weekdays)

11:15pm northbound (saturdays)

BxM4

11:05pm northbound (weekdays)

10:45pm northbound (saturdays)

10:30pm northbound (sundays)

 

BxM4s are the worst of them all, going extra slow while carrying the least amount of passengers

We have been receiving a lot of complaints about the BxM4 of late and have started logging some trips to see what the main issues are.

Regarding the others, when you say that they are slow or extra slow, do they start roughly on-time?  For us, as long as the trip leaves the terminal in about 10 minutes, we count them as being roughly on-time. Anything later than that and the bus is marked as late.  If we see ongoing problems, we start to put pressure on the (MTA) to remedy the issue.

Saturday I took 1:30pm BxM2 to Manhattan and we had a wheelchair that slowed down the trip at the last stop. It took a good hour from 230th & Broadway to 98th & 5th.

I have used the 7:20 BxM2 at times.  Usually can take longer due to the Major Deegan.

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25 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We have been receiving a lot of complaints about the BxM4 of late and have started logging some trips to see what the main issues are.

Regarding the others, when you say that they are slow or extra slow, do they start roughly on-time?  For us, as long as the trip leaves the terminal in about 10 minutes, we count them as being roughly on-time. Anything later than that and the bus is marked as late.  If we see ongoing problems, we start to put pressure on the (MTA) to remedy the issue.

Saturday I took 1:30pm BxM2 to Manhattan and we had a wheelchair that slowed down the trip at the last stop. It took a good hour from 230th & Broadway to 98th & 5th.

I have used the 7:20 BxM2 at times.  Usually can take longer due to the Major Deegan.

They all start on time but they just drive down the road sooooo slooowww its a little ridiculous. I also think drivers should be advised of traffic conditions and look for ways to beat the traffic when they can.

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1 minute ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

They all start on time but they just drive down the road sooooo slooowww its a little ridiculous. I also think drivers should be advised of traffic conditions and look for ways to beat the traffic when they can.

...... This ain’t Liberty Bus lines. Sorry but not sorry. 

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13 minutes ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

They all start on time but they just drive down the road sooooo slooowww its a little ridiculous. I also think drivers should be advised of traffic conditions and look for ways to beat the traffic when they can.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of new drivers (I had one Saturday and seem to get one at least once a week now).  When you are new and on probation, they are being closely watched for everything, so they are to follow what they are told, or they can be fired, and instead of having a slow bus, you'll have no bus at all. They are taught safety first.  I have been complaining about quite a few trips and pressuring the (MTA) to fill them, and they are still struggling with a driver shortage here and there, but better than months ago.  We had a meeting with the (MTA) a few weeks ago discussing certain lines. Believe me, they are well aware.  They have promised increased supervision for certain trips that were ongoing problems. 

One other thing to note... A dispatcher posted in our group over the weekend that the BxMs Southbound are on detour until further notice.  The detour is via Lex from 79th Street down to 23rd.  This is being done to try to avoid the congestion on 5th and to try to keep buses on schedule. May not be constant, but don't be shocked if it happens.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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