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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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Some updates:

-We started our Social Media group on October 1st. In 10 days we have almost 300 members.  I never imagined we'd grow so quickly, but part of this is because people around the City are extremely angry and frustrated with how rapidly express bus service has declined.

-We are very happy to be arranging our first in person meeting with an elected official to discuss ways to make express bus service better. We worked previously to restore the X27 and X28 on weekends, and we have been fielding feedback for the X27, X28, X37 and X38.  We've also been put in touch with folks at the (MTA) that should be able to facilitate such a meeting, so we're optimistic in finalizing a meeting in the next few weeks.

-We are also scheduled to have another conference call very soon discussing express bus service around the City.  We hope this will be an ongoing dialogue to find ways to improve service and that we can work to fix what has become a crisis for thousands of commuters now who don't know when a bus will come or when they'll get to work or get home.  

-We continue to evaluate on-time performance at random and create polls on how to improve various express bus routes.  If there are any other comments or ideas, feel free to leave them here.  That's it for now.

P.S. A reminder that we'll at the meeting in Riverdale next Thursday from 6pm-8pm to answer any questions folks may have about express bus service.

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When there's not a lot of passengers on an express route, the driver should take short cuts to the specific stops that the passngers need.

Example, if nobody is using Inwood on a Riverdale bound BxM1, the driver should skip Inwood.

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2 hours ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

When there's not a lot of passengers on an express route, the driver should take short cuts to the specific stops that the passngers need.

Example, if nobody is using Inwood on a Riverdale bound BxM1, the driver should skip Inwood.

Your day example has happened, but of course the driver needs to ask passengers as they board.

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The 7 pm QM1 to Queens continues to never show up. I didn't see it even once this week.

 

Last night was especially bad since the 7 pm QM5 and 7:03 QM6 also did not show up

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27 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

The 7 pm QM1 to Queens continues to never show up. I didn't see it even once this week.

 

Last night was especially bad since the 7 pm QM5 and 7:03 QM6 also did not show up

Looks like it's time to have step up our random rides... Should be speaking with a contact today and will inquire about these missing trips.

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56 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Looks like it's time to have step up our random rides... Should be speaking with a contact today and will inquire about these missing trips.

As always, much appreciated!

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5 hours ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

When there's not a lot of passengers on an express route, the driver should take short cuts to the specific stops that the passngers need.

Example, if nobody is using Inwood on a Riverdale bound BxM1, the driver should skip Inwood.

Im not sure if this is the case with MTA as well, but when I was on the 91 B-L route, it was just me and the driver so instead of doing that whole route from Playland to Getty Square, he just took a shortcut and when we got to Getty Square a supervisor showed up and started yelling at him for skipping the whole route, saying that there could have been people to pick up even though the route is drop-off only.

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28 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Im not sure if this is the case with MTA as well, but when I was on the 91 B-L route, it was just me and the driver so instead of doing that whole route from Playland to Getty Square, he just took a shortcut and when we got to Getty Square a supervisor showed up and started yelling at him for skipping the whole route, saying that there could have been people to pick up even though the route is drop-off only.

That is something I may bring up with road ups later today during our conference call. I have a number of issues I need to talk with my contact about. We have to get service sped up.  This agency was audited in 2015 and on-time performance then was a paltry 31% overall.  These buses aren't just out here to show up whenever. We need them on-time and we need them MOVING.  Elongating the run times is not the solution, as that has been done already, and we don't want these trips going any longer.  I'm doing to do a tally of all of the trips that I've logged on my iPad in a minute to see just how bad it's been. If I actually logged all of the trips, I'd put money on it that on-time performance would be even lower than the 31%, and this is with a lot of these trips being off-peak at times that should favor the (MTA), with less traffic, etc.

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1 hour ago, Lawrence St said:

Im not sure if this is the case with MTA as well, but when I was on the 91 B-L route, it was just me and the driver so instead of doing that whole route from Playland to Getty Square, he just took a shortcut and when we got to Getty Square a supervisor showed up and started yelling at him for skipping the whole route, saying that there could have been people to pick up even though the route is drop-off only.

Right, even if we're running empty on drop off section we are told to do the whole route just in case there is a breakdown or unforseen event of the busses ahead of you.

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3 minutes ago, trife86 said:

Right, even if we're running empty on drop off section we are told to do the whole route just in case there is a breakdown or unforseen event of the busses ahead of you.

I think that varies on the depot.  NYCT seems to be strict about going off route.  (MTA) Bus can vary by the depot.  They still focus on providing service as fast as possible where possible.

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11 minutes ago, trife86 said:

Right, even if we're running empty on drop off section we are told to do the whole route just in case there is a breakdown or unforseen event of the busses ahead of you.

Your a Bee Line driver?

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22 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Didn't you see his Yukon Depot logo... 

I can't see depot logos on mobile.

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3 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Im not sure if this is the case with MTA as well, but when I was on the 91 B-L route, it was just me and the driver so instead of doing that whole route from Playland to Getty Square, he just took a shortcut and when we got to Getty Square a supervisor showed up and started yelling at him for skipping the whole route, saying that there could have been people to pick up even though the route is drop-off only.

Actually, 91 that portion from New Rochelle to Yonkers is pick-up/drop-off. Anyone can get on/off between those two portions, so the supervisor was not wrong in that case. There's no boarding policy or anything publicly listed by Bee-Line which says otherwise.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyways, I noticed that the SIM4 erroneously has the SIM4C trips to Huguenot on bustime. Shouldn't it just be properly displayed on the SIM4C instead of the SIM4, because it just clutters the map for no reason. Additionally, since there now are SIM4Cs that originate in Downtown for parts of the day, They may or may not also be appearing under the SIM4 instead of the SIM4C. Has anyone seen that issue.

Also, 1:09 PM and there are three SIM3C buses within 10 or so minutes of each other towards Port Richmond. Not sure why that's happening, but if they're running every 30 minutes, somebody must have had a long wait (unless they opted for the SIM4C).

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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4 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Actually, 91 that portion from New Rochelle to Yonkers is pick-up/drop-off. Anyone can get on/off between those two portions, so the supervisor was not wrong in that case. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyways, I noticed that the SIM4 erroneously has the SIM4C trips to Huguenot on bustime. Shouldn't it just be properly displayed on the SIM4C instead of the SIM4, because it just clutters the map for no reason. Additionally, since there now are SIM4Cs that originate in Downtown for parts of the day, They may or may not also be appearing under the SIM4 instead of the SIM4C. Has anyone seen that issue.

Incorrect. Internally its pick up towards Playland, drop off towards Yonkers. There's no need for it to be both when the 42 and 7 replicate it.

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2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Your a Bee Line driver?

Nyct for me. Sorry for confusion just figured this was the new York City bus section lol.

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Here are some of the main points from my latest conference call with my contact at road ops a little earlier this afternoon:

-We agree on a number of issues, some of which aren't in the control of the (MTA) such as traffic. We both agree that more pressure has to be put on the DOT to do more to curb congestion.

-We agree about the need for more bus lanes for all types of bus service, traffic signal priority, etc., as well as the need to fix some of the bus stop issues created by the DOT with the Staten Island Express Bus Redesign.

-The agency admits that there have been some issues with missing trips, but they are trying and continue try to fill all trips where possible.  They are looking to have an ongoing relationship with us to bring reliability issues to their attention, and we intend to do that going forward for sure.  Their goal is to have the seats needed for their riders and we're going to hold them to that because as we noted during our conference call, on-time performance has stunk to be blunt.  31% overall in 2015 when they were audited and our trips show a similar trend in on-time performance at all hours (peak, off-peak, weekends, etc.).

-We also discussed shoddy maintenance. I told him we want to see maintenance improved across the board. They are also looking into the use of hybrids on the QM4 out of Baisley Park Depot.  Totally unacceptable.

-We also discussed the need for the pending contract order to be approved. This is something that we have to push the (MTA) Board to put on their radar again, and we will be doing that.

-We discussed some specific lines with missing trips. The Union Turnpike corridor came up and I was promised that more attention would be given to that corridor to address overcrowding and missing trips.  I was told starting next week that they would have folks out there checking.  We too will be looking closely so please DO tell us of any ongoing issues. We are determined to get them fixed.

-Other trips such as an earlier BxM8 trip out of Pelham Bay to address overcrowding will be looked into.

Overall it was a very productive discussion and we plan on keeping this discussion ongoing even if it's just via e-mail and when possible we will chat in person or over the phone.  We look forward to having this ongoing relationship, as it is vital to improve service.

P.S. @BM5 Glendale and Middle Village were brought up as well as examples about overcrowding and missing trips.  Do keep me posted on that. I'll try to take some trips over there when time permits to assess things.

 

 

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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For the past few days I've been seeing the Hylan buses bunching in threes, mainly on the SIM1 an SIM10 routes.

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1 minute ago, Lil 57 said:

For the past few days I've been seeing the Hylan buses bunching in threes, mainly on the SIM1 an SIM10 routes.

Yeah we watched at 23rd street on Columbus Day and saw SIM buses running in packs even then which is absurd because that is usually a light traffic day.

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44 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

For the past few days I've been seeing the Hylan buses bunching in threes, mainly on the SIM1 an SIM10 routes.

During peak am rush the headway at one point is every 4 minutes... Bunching is inevitable, I'd say.

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3 minutes ago, trife86 said:

During peak am rush the headway at one point is every 4 minutes... Bunching is inevitable, I'd say.

That's true. Even with the old X1 it didn't take much during rush hour for buses to bunch then.  Hylan Blvd can become a mess very quickly.

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8 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Here are some of the main points from my latest conference call with my contact at road ops a little earlier this afternoon:

-We agree on a number of issues, some of which aren't in the control of the (MTA) such as traffic. We both agree that more pressure has to be put on the DOT to do more to curb congestion.

-We agree about the need for more bus lanes for all types of bus service, traffic signal priority, etc., as well as the need to fix some of the bus stop issues created by the DOT with the Staten Island Express Bus Redesign.

-The agency admits that there have been some issues with missing trips, but they are trying and continue try to fill all trips where possible.  They are looking to have an ongoing relationship with us to bring reliability issues to their attention, and we intend to do that going forward for sure.  Their goal is to have the seats needed for their riders and we're going to hold them to that because as we noted during our conference call, on-time performance has stunk to be blunt.  31% overall in 2015 when they were audited and our trips show a similar trend in on-time performance at all hours (peak, off-peak, weekends, etc.).

-We also discussed shoddy maintenance. I told him we want to see maintenance improved across the board. They are also looking into the use of hybrids on the QM4 out of Baisley Park Depot.  Totally unacceptable.

-We also discussed the need for the pending contract order to be approved. This is something that we have to push the (MTA) Board to put on their radar again, and we will be doing that.

-We discussed some specific lines with missing trips. The Union Turnpike corridor came up and I was promised that more attention would be given to that corridor to address overcrowding and missing trips.  I was told starting next week that they would have folks out there checking.  We too will be looking closely so please DO tell us of any ongoing issues. We are determined to get them fixed.

-Other trips such as an earlier BxM8 trip out of Pelham Bay to address overcrowding will be looked into.

Overall it was a very productive discussion and we plan on keeping this discussion ongoing even if it's just via e-mail and when possible we will chat in person or over the phone.  We look forward to having this ongoing relationship, as it is vital to improve service.

P.S. @BM5 Glendale and Middle Village were brought up as well as examples about overcrowding and missing trips.  Do keep me posted on that. I'll try to take some trips over there when time permits to assess things.

 

 

 

That's great! Ill keep an extra eye out on the Union Tpke corrider throughout the week and report any issues. 

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5 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

That's great! Ill keep an extra eye out on the Union Tpke corrider throughout the week and report any issues. 

We’re going to be taking some unannounced trips yet again. We were out there last Sunday and as I said, one of the trips finished over 20 minutes late (QM5 to Glen Oaks). I think the schedules for the QMs are so tight because they have to go so far that any little hiccup screws up service.  6th and 36th ti Union Turnpike and 260th in an hour an seven minutes, WITH it going via Fresh Meadows. They have to haul @ss to make that time otherwise they’ll be late. I suspect some of the 19:00 trips may have trips before then or aren’t given enough time to get to their first stops, or they simply aren’t filling them and could be prioritizing other trips, which is not good.

I also brought up the fact that we want to see all customers treated equally. This nonsense with drivers only kneeling for women is going to stop. It’s a form of discrimination and I told road ops we want the buses kneeled for all customers. I’ve been seeing more drivers kneeling those express buses out of College Point, and we’re going to continue to track that too.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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