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Express Bus Advocacy Group


Via Garibaldi 8
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On 6/28/2021 at 5:07 PM, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

There's nothing on the Academy website that indicates a change in routing. 

Also, is that park and ride pedestrian accessible (from the neighborhood)? There's a gated entrance at Pleasant Plains Avenue, but from what it looks like, it may only be accessible by NYSDOT employees or something. 

Academy announced it right away when they were asked to do it.

It is also in their schedule on http://www.academybus.com.

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On 7/3/2021 at 8:35 AM, JAzumah said:

Academy announced it right away when they were asked to do it.

It is also in their schedule on http://www.academybus.com.

He's referring to the SIM22 replacing the SIM24 at Outerbridge Park & Ride. There's nothing on either website (Academy or MTA) that indicates that such a service pattern was ever proposed or implemented.

And Academy took their sweet time coming up with that plan. Their first major change in November 2018 was to move the SIM23/24 to 34th Street, then in March 2019 they proposed having the SIM24 run up Woodrow and the SIM23 run across Woodrow and up Huguenot...a horrible plan that rightfully received tons of backlash so in September 2019 they proposed the current service pattern, which was finally implemented in January 2020. (With an extra stop at Poillon Avenue added the following week)

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3 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

He's referring to the SIM22 replacing the SIM24 at Outerbridge Park & Ride. There's nothing on either website (Academy or MTA) that indicates that such a service pattern was ever proposed or implemented.

I did not hear about such a plan, but that would be similar to the X22 Super Express buses that ran out of there beforehand. I would support such a proposal over the existing SIM24 tag.

 

 

3 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

And Academy took their sweet time coming up with that plan. Their first major change in November 2018 was to move the SIM23/24 to 34th Street, then in March 2019 they proposed having the SIM24 run up Woodrow and the SIM23 run across Woodrow and up Huguenot...a horrible plan that rightfully received tons of backlash so in September 2019 they proposed the current service pattern, which was finally implemented in January 2020. (With an extra stop at Poillon Avenue added the following week)

Historically, the private operators used 34 Street because it made more Midtown jobs walkable from their buses. 

It sounds like Academy wanted to implement a variation of their historic routes. In the past, that worked fine, but today's service patterns would make such a route challenging.

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50 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

I did not hear about such a plan, but that would be similar to the X22 Super Express buses that ran out of there beforehand. I would support such a proposal over the existing SIM24 tag.

I wouldn't...that would result in a reduction in SIM26 service. Bloomingdale Road north of the Richmond Parkway has a whopping 4 stops. Assuming you have the super-express stop at Arthur Kill Road like the old X22A did, you're doing all that backtracking and complicating the scheduling to skip 2 stops and get a couple of extra miles of highway mileage for the group of people (Tottenville residents) who already have more options than those at the northern end of Bloomingdale Road.

The old X22A was scheduled for 22 minutes between Hylan & Page and 440 & Arthur Kill. The SIM26 is scheduled for 22-26 minutes to 440 & Bloomingdale. So for the handful of people that benefit, you're saving them about 5 minutes. (And then in the evening, it will take them longer because there would have to be some "local" SIM26 buses diverting to the park & ride so that people aren't stranded after missing a 5:45pm super-express)

It's fine the way it is. Offhand it's about 17 minutes from the Outerbridge Park & Ride to "Checkpoint" via Drumgoole & Huguenot. The frequency of the SIM24 (and of course SIM23) should be improved and that's it, call it a day.

50 minutes ago, JAzumah said:

Historically, the private operators used 34 Street because it made more Midtown jobs walkable from their buses. 

It sounds like Academy wanted to implement a variation of their historic routes. In the past, that worked fine, but today's service patterns would make such a route challenging.

They were trying to appease the people who complained. There were complaints about how people from 34th Street had to make their way up to 42nd Street, and as soon as they switched it, there were a bunch of complaints from those who preferred 42nd Street (But the numbers were roughly even between the two corridors, so it was pretty much a toss-up...in the end, they figured that those who really needed 42nd Street could make their way to an NYCT route on Staten Island and call it a day).

For the proposed March 2019 changes, it was the same thing...a small number of riders along Woodrow complained about having to take the "local" SIM8, so Academy proposed restructuring the SIM23/24 to accommodate them (and also increase the amount of billable revenue miles)...then a much larger group of riders who preferred the August 2018 arrangement (running straight down Arden and straight down Huguenot) bombarded them with complaints, so they went back to the drawing board and came up with the current arrangement (SIM24 to Outerbridge Park & Ride via Huguenot, SIM23 to Hylan & Luten via Arden). And myself and a few other riders pushed to get a stop added at Hylan & Poillon so that residents of that immediate area could access the SIM23 without having to take a local bus (or walk in an area with no sidewalk and high-speed traffic).

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This was a new one...the 11:00 am QM6 to midtown today, the B/O announces at each stop in Queens that he is only going to 34th and 3rd, so some people have to wait for the next QM5 to get to 6th ave. No explanation why, and he's not communicating with the dispatcher. I'm not saying he was going rogue, but it was odd because he was not late or anything. 

At 34th and 3rd, this old guy asks him to at least go to 6th ave, but he refuses. 

The kicker is that I watched him drive down to at least 5th ave (may have gone to 6th, but I couldn't see that far) so he really could have taken people at least to 5th ave. Whether the BO went rogue, or he was told to do this, it was really inconveniencing riders. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

This was a new one...the 11:00 am QM6 to midtown today, the B/O announces at each stop in Queens that he is only going to 34th and 3rd, so some people have to wait for the next QM5 to get to 6th ave. No explanation why, and he's not communicating with the dispatcher. I'm not saying he was going rogue, but it was odd because he was not late or anything. 

At 34th and 3rd, this old guy asks him to at least go to 6th ave, but he refuses. 

The kicker is that I watched him drive down to at least 5th ave (may have gone to 6th, but I couldn't see that far) so he really could have taken people at least to 5th ave. Whether the BO went rogue, or he was told to do this, it was really inconveniencing riders. 

Report him if you haven't already. No excuse for a bus that runs hourly to do short turns, especially if it's running on time.

I'm guessing he wanted a longer lunch and didn't want to get caught dumping passengers at 6th, because if he was deadheading back to Queens he would've turned right on 3rd or even Madison and would've gone right back thru the tunnel. And I don't think they drop buses off at Quill that late in the morning...

Edited by paulrivera
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

This was a new one...the 11:00 am QM6 to midtown today, the B/O announces at each stop in Queens that he is only going to 34th and 3rd, so some people have to wait for the next QM5 to get to 6th ave. No explanation why, and he's not communicating with the dispatcher. I'm not saying he was going rogue, but it was odd because he was not late or anything. 

At 34th and 3rd, this old guy asks him to at least go to 6th ave, but he refuses. 

The kicker is that I watched him drive down to at least 5th ave (may have gone to 6th, but I couldn't see that far) so he really could have taken people at least to 5th ave. Whether the BO went rogue, or he was told to do this, it was really inconveniencing riders. 

Please file a formal complaint. I am going to write my (MTA) contacts about this as well, as this was a discussion I had with the General Manager a few years back, as it was a problem that appeared to have stopped.  Unless you hear a dispatcher or see one pulling you off of the bus, then he took upon himself to do this.  I am also going to reach out to Customer Service to have this driver dealt with now.  Totally unacceptable.

10 hours ago, paulrivera said:

Report him if you haven't already. No excuse for a bus that runs hourly to do short turns, especially if it's running on time.

I'm guessing he wanted a longer lunch and didn't want to get caught dumping passengers at 6th, because if he was deadheading back to Queens he would've turned right on 3rd or even Madison and would've gone right back thru the tunnel. And I don't think they drop buses off at Quill that late in the morning...

The QMs in Midtown out of College Point are known for this and when I first started the group, I had a lot of QM riders complaining about it, so I would purposely go to the last stop just to see what would happen. A few of them had the nerve to say that I should've thanked them for going up to 57th and 3rd. LOL Called a contact and talked with him about that problem that following Monday morning.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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12 hours ago, paulrivera said:

Report him if you haven't already. No excuse for a bus that runs hourly to do short turns, especially if it's running on time.

I'm guessing he wanted a longer lunch and didn't want to get caught dumping passengers at 6th, because if he was deadheading back to Queens he would've turned right on 3rd or even Madison and would've gone right back thru the tunnel. And I don't think they drop buses off at Quill that late in the morning...

 

1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Please file a formal complaint. I am going to write my (MTA) contacts about this as well, as this was a discussion I had with the General Manager a few years back, as it was a problem that appeared to have stopped.  Unless you hear a dispatcher or see one pulling you off of the bus, then he took upon himself to do this.  I am also going to reach out to Customer Service to have this driver dealt with now.  Totally unacceptable.

The QMs in Midtown out of College Point are known for this and when I first started the group, I had a lot of QM riders complaining about it, so I would purposely go to the last stop just to see what would happen. A few of them had the nerve to say that I should've thanked them for going up to 57th and 3rd. LOL Called a contact and talked with him about that problem that following Monday morning.

Thanks! I filed a complaint on the MTA website about this issue. The guy who drove this route in the last pick was great, too bad he didn't pick it this time (ror perhaps he is on vacation this week)

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They're really desperate to keep the 29xx series in service.  2910 is still running this morning on the QM20.  Thought they would've surely been retired by now with a bunch of Prevosts in CP now.

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18 hours ago, 7-express said:

They're really desperate to keep the 29xx series in service.  2910 is still running this morning on the QM20.  Thought they would've surely been retired by now with a bunch of Prevosts in CP now.

I am new to this forum so perhaps a member with more experience may want to chime in on my answer and confirm what I believe or refute it. Preferably someone with strong knowledge of the situation at the CP depot. I simply cannot imagine who would be "really desperate to keep the 29xx series in service" and why. Possibly some bus fans/transit enthusiasts, but I highly doubt their opinion has ever mattered to anyone at the MTA or NYCT making bus retirement decisions.  And there is only one member of the 29xx series remaining, the 2910. Sadly, from what I hear the other 29xx series bus, 2936 is broken beyond repair. Are there any other 29xx series buses up someone's sleeve and up for discussion with a possibility of getting out of the retirement? If so, I'm running to open the Zinfandel bottle that has been sitting in my refrigerator since pre-COVID times.

According to the publicly available records, the CP has 1 (ONE) D4500, the 2910, 135 D4500CLs and 26 "rookie" Prevosts in service. What separates the 2910 from the rest of the MCIs at the CP is that it is the only flipdot unit and the only one with a Detroit Diesel engine. But the CP is home to many very senior MCI, the 2004/5 units as well as the 2006 ones, many of which have been retired this year: 3009 and 3042 have been mentioned in this forum, other 2021 retirees are 3017, 3034, 3038, 3041, 3047, 3051, 3059, 3064, 3088, 3091, 3093, 3122 and 3123. While units 3000-3005 appear to be running daily, 3006 and 3007 have not been running since Jun 11th and Jun 10th respectively. May they be heading for retirement too? 

The 2006 MCI from other depots have been retired as well 3179 (EC) and 3233 (SC). Not to mention the retirement blitz of the 2008 CTs at Castelton.

So it appears that older and more worn-out units are being retired. Is it possible that the 2910 is still running well and reliably despite its oldest chronological age? Would the Prevost rookies be simply retiring units at CP that are only "never" in terms of chronological age (than 2910), but are simply no longer reliable or simply broken? If you look at the list above (and these are only 2021 retirees) the number of the retired units is less than 26. But this changes if you begin counting units at CP retired last year. In this case will probably get the number comparable to 26, which is the number of Prevosts at CP.

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20 hours ago, 7-express said:

They're really desperate to keep the 29xx series in service.  2910 is still running this morning on the QM20.  Thought they would've surely been retired by now with a bunch of Prevosts in CP now.

It's not that they are desperate to keep them. The new express buses have serious issues. In fact a driver in my group and I were discussing the delivery delays recently. He drove a bus down from the factory that had its AC malfunctioning, and quite a few passengers have complained about the same issue, that is poor AC on the bus. Aside from that, the buses are going through ordinary issues that occur when new buses are being broken in. The result is the old buses have to stick around longer than planned. Unclear when this mess will be addressed, but we'll be monitoring it. For the cost of these express buses, so far the delivery has been a mess. The schedule was already delayed because of COVID, by several months.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TomaszSBklyn said:

I am new to this forum so perhaps a member with more experience may want to chime in on my answer and confirm what I believe or refute it. Preferably someone with strong knowledge of the situation at the CP depot. I simply cannot imagine who would be "really desperate to keep the 29xx series in service" and why. Possibly some bus fans/transit enthusiasts, but I highly doubt their opinion has ever mattered to anyone at the MTA or NYCT making bus retirement decisions.  And there is only one member of the 29xx series remaining, the 2910. Sadly, from what I hear the other 29xx series bus, 2936 is broken beyond repair. Are there any other 29xx series buses up someone's sleeve and up for discussion with a possibility of getting out of the retirement? If so, I'm running to open the Zinfandel bottle that has been sitting in my refrigerator since pre-COVID times.

According to the publicly available records, the CP has 1 (ONE) D4500, the 2910, 135 D4500CLs and 26 "rookie" Prevosts in service. What separates the 2910 from the rest of the MCIs at the CP is that it is the only flipdot unit and the only one with a Detroit Diesel engine. But the CP is home to many very senior MCI, the 2004/5 units as well as the 2006 ones, many of which have been retired this year: 3009 and 3042 have been mentioned in this forum, other 2021 retirees are 3017, 3034, 3038, 3041, 3047, 3051, 3059, 3064, 3088, 3091, 3093, 3122 and 3123. While units 3000-3005 appear to be running daily, 3006 and 3007 have not been running since Jun 11th and Jun 10th respectively. May they be heading for retirement too? 

The 2006 MCI from other depots have been retired as well 3179 (EC) and 3233 (SC). Not to mention the retirement blitz of the 2008 CTs at Castelton.

So it appears that older and more worn-out units are being retired. Is it possible that the 2910 is still running well and reliably despite its oldest chronological age? Would the Prevost rookies be simply retiring units at CP that are only "never" in terms of chronological age (than 2910), but are simply no longer reliable or simply broken? If you look at the list above (and these are only 2021 retirees) the number of the retired units is less than 26. But this changes if you begin counting units at CP retired last year. In this case will probably get the number comparable to 26, which is the number of Prevosts at CP.

All of the flip dot express buses were scheduled to be retired. The retirement started as the newer Prevosts were delivered. The only reason that 2910 is around that I'm aware of is because of the issues that the new buses are having. See above.

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

Thank goodness they saved the Yonkers portion of the order for last 😄

Yeah, Eastchester is slowly getting new buses, but they are having issues.   One new bus last night had very little AC on the BxM9. 1383 I believe was the bus.

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On 7/13/2021 at 4:30 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

It's not that they are desperate to keep them. The new express buses have serious issues. In fact a driver in my group and I were discussing the delivery delays recently. He drove a bus down from the factory that had its AC malfunctioning, and quite a few passengers have complained about the same issue, that is poor AC on the bus. Aside from that, the buses are going through ordinary issues that occur when new buses are being broken in. The result is the old buses have to stick around longer than planned. Unclear when this mess will be addressed, but we'll be monitoring it. For the cost of these express buses, so far the delivery has been a mess. The schedule was already delayed because of COVID, by several months.

You know, I've been wondering about the A/C, because its been quite weak when I take those Prevosts, and its been HOT recently, so i sometimes get off the bus still sweating! 

And, the AM QM runs seem to be missing more buses more often. Had to let a QM5 bypass me because there were no seats on Monday, after a bus or two were missing so this one picked up the loads. Of course, those chains take up 3 seats, as we've discussed. 

It's interesting that they send out those "missing buses today" emails in the PM, but never in the AM

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

You know, I've been wondering about the A/C, because its been quite weak when I take those Prevosts, and its been HOT recently, so i sometimes get off the bus still sweating! 

And, the AM QM runs seem to be missing more buses more often. Had to let a QM5 bypass me because there were no seats on Monday, after a bus or two were missing so this one picked up the loads. Of course, those chains take up 3 seats, as we've discussed. 

It's interesting that they send out those "missing buses today" emails in the PM, but never in the AM

Not only do we have a driver shortage, which is more acute now because of it being Summer and drivers wanting to use their vacation time, etc., but we also have a management shortage, so Customer Service is not getting the info they should be to update passengers. There are so many trips open that they can't keep up. Scrambling to fill trips. Some get filled at the last minute, then Customer Service is not told, so the trip runs, but BusTime and other communication sources are not updated. Yesterday was a disaster. This SIM1 was packed, and passengers were posting in the group pissed that they had to stand while these seats were roped off. I've been getting more and more people complaining about it either in the group or in private, so I have to speak with the (MTA) about when this will be addressed. The permanent shields have not been installed on any express buses I have seen, and they don't seem to have any idea of what sort of timeline there is for this.

217732934_10222976395650811_282941784537

214214240_10222976395370804_520334949858

Last night we had a SIM driver that became lost on the Turnpike. Passengers yelling and going crazy because they wanted to get home. X28 rider was stuck with no bus for over an hour because the (MTA) posted no info that the bus was cancelled and the next one wasn't until 11:30pm. Sunday night we had three of the last trips of the night cancelled, and no announcement from the (MTA) , leaving passengers stranded that work overnight or were trying to get home from work or elsewhere. Been a mess of a week.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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3 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

It's interesting that they send out those "missing buses today" emails in the PM, but never in the AM

 

5 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Sunday night we had three of the last trips of the night cancelled, and no announcement from the (MTA) , leaving passengers stranded that work overnight or were trying to get home from work or elsewhere. Been a mess of a week.

That sounds like a borough by borough thing. From what I see they're right on top of the Bronx express buses when sending those missing bus emails (I got two emails about missing BxM7's just this morning). On the other hand, sometimes the runs do get filled last minute and Bustime doesn't get updated in the Bronx too.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Not only do we have a driver shortage, which is more acute now because of it being Summer and drivers wanting to use their vacation time, etc., but we also have a management shortage, so Customer Service is not getting the info they should be to update passengers. There are so many trips open that they can't keep up. Scrambling to fill trips. Some get filled at the last minute, then Customer Service is not told, so the trip runs, but BusTime and other communication sources are not updated. Yesterday was a disaster. This SIM1 was packed, and passengers were posting in the group pissed that they had to stand while these seats were roped off. I've been getting more and more people complaining about it either in the group or in private, so I have to speak with the (MTA) about when this will be addressed. The permanent shields have not been installed on any express buses I have seen, and they don't seem to have any idea of what sort of timeline there is for this.

217732934_10222976395650811_282941784537

214214240_10222976395370804_520334949858

Last night we had a SIM driver that became lost on the Turnpike. Passengers yelling and going crazy because they wanted to get home. X28 rider was stuck with no bus for over an hour because the (MTA) posted no info that the bus was cancelled and the next one wasn't until 11:30pm. Sunday night we had three of the last trips of the night cancelled, and no announcement from the (MTA) , leaving passengers stranded that work overnight or were trying to get home from work or elsewhere. Been a mess of a week.

Wow, jeez, I guess my experience wasn't so bad relative to all of this nonsense! Yeah, I haven't seen a single shield installed on any bus (I guess all the money spent on that clear shower curtain was a waste, there's only one B/O I've seen that actually uses it)

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1 hour ago, paulrivera said:

 

That sounds like a borough by borough thing. From what I see they're right on top of the Bronx express buses when sending those missing bus emails (I got two emails about missing BxM7's just this morning). On the other hand, sometimes the runs do get filled last minute and Bustime doesn't get updated in the Bronx too.

Interesting, I guess it depends on the depot, etc. Frankly, so many of the missing trips ultimately get filled anyway (or they sent out the wrong info in the first place) that I mostly ignore the emails

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5 hours ago, paulrivera said:

 

That sounds like a borough by borough thing. From what I see they're right on top of the Bronx express buses when sending those missing bus emails (I got two emails about missing BxM7's just this morning). On the other hand, sometimes the runs do get filled last minute and Bustime doesn't get updated in the Bronx too.

Depot by depot thing, and yes, after giving them an earful about the Bronx on Sunday night, they should be sending them out. They had three last trips of the night that didn't run on Sunday... The 10pm BxM8 and the 11pm BxM7 to Midtown and the 12:15am BxM7 to Co-op City. Below was just part pf the exchange.

216128766_10227180616608213_287098487607

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5 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Interesting, I guess it depends on the depot, etc. Frankly, so many of the missing trips ultimately get filled anyway (or they sent out the wrong info in the first place) that I mostly ignore the emails

I'm assuming that they do get access to BusTrek, which does show which trips are missing, but sometimes Customer Service screws that up by posting the wrong info.

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8 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Last night we had a SIM driver that became lost on the Turnpike. Passengers yelling and going crazy because they wanted to get home. X28 rider was stuck with no bus for over an hour because the (MTA) posted no info that the bus was cancelled and the next one wasn't until 11:30pm. Sunday night we had three of the last trips of the night cancelled, and no announcement from the (MTA) , leaving passengers stranded that work overnight or were trying to get home from work or elsewhere. Been a mess of a week.

To be clear, the Turnpike Authority shut the road down on her and the MTA didn't communicate the alternative route to her (or communicate period). This is different from another incident a while back where the driver actually did get lost and ended up in Summit, NJ somehow (probably got on I-78 instead of I-278).

Geez, not running the last BxMs of the night, and I thought the 3 hour gap in SIM33C service and simultaneous 2 hour gap in SIM3C service was bad...thankfully for those they at least managed to get the last bus of the night out. 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

To be clear, the Turnpike Authority shut the road down on her and the MTA didn't communicate the alternative route to her (or communicate period). This is different from another incident a while back where the driver actually did get lost and ended up in Summit, NJ somehow (probably got on I-78 instead of I-278).

Geez, not running the last BxMs of the night, and I thought the 3 hour gap in SIM33C service and simultaneous 2 hour gap in SIM3C service was bad...thankfully for those they at least managed to get the last bus of the night out. 

 

Yeah, but she also apparently didn't call it in either. Similar to the guy on the BxM1 that drove through the flooding water on the Deegan and refused to call dispatch for an alternate route. Just kept saying he wasn't allowed to deviate from the route. I mean that one still has me shaking my head.

Them not running the last BxMs of the night has been happening a lot over the last several months, and worst off, no announcements, so passengers have no idea beforehand and are just standing around for a bus that isn't coming.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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