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Express Bus Advocacy Group


Via Garibaldi 8
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Sorry posted this in the wrong thread earlier...

-Tonight, at CB8s Transportation & Traffic Meeting, I spoke on behalf of Ruth Mullen, a member of the advocacy group that was struck & killed by a BxM1 express bus, noting my formal written request to the DOT for a traffic signal at Kappock & Johnson, as well as a formal written request to the MTA calling for more training measures to be implemented for bus operators going forward.

-An investigation continues, but the Bronx DOT noted some improvements (i.e. repainting of street, upgrading the pedestrian ramps, working w/ MTA to confirm that proper training of bus operators is completed, along w/lighting improvements).

-Henry Hudson Parkway East is finally supposed to be repaved sometime this month from Kappock St up to West 238th St and should be done overnight.

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58 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Sorry posted this in the wrong thread earlier...

-Tonight, at CB8s Transportation & Traffic Meeting, I spoke on behalf of Ruth Mullen, a member of the advocacy group that was struck & killed by a BxM1 express bus, noting my formal written request to the DOT for a traffic signal at Kappock & Johnson, as well as a formal written request to the MTA calling for more training measures to be implemented for bus operators going forward.

-An investigation continues, but the Bronx DOT noted some improvements (i.e. repainting of street, upgrading the pedestrian ramps, working w/ MTA to confirm that proper training of bus operators is completed, along w/lighting improvements).

-Henry Hudson Parkway East is finally supposed to be repaved sometime this month from Kappock St up to West 238th St and should be done overnight.

Excellent updates!

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The afternoon run times of the QM2/20 buses along Northern Blvd during the PM rush is absolutely abysmal now.   I've been tracking them this week and it frequently takes 90-120 mins from its Manhattan terminal departure to when it makes its first stop at Linden Place.  On the schedule, it should be getting to Bay Terrance 75 minutes or so after its first departure.  It's going to be no surprise to see these lines hemorrhaging riders with horrible run times, which will lead to the bus redesign cutting these routes even further.

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28 minutes ago, 7-express said:

The afternoon run times of the QM2/20 buses along Northern Blvd during the PM rush is absolutely abysmal now.   I've been tracking them this week and it frequently takes 90-120 mins from its Manhattan terminal departure to when it makes its first stop at Linden Place.  On the schedule, it should be getting to Bay Terrance 75 minutes or so after its first departure.  It's going to be no surprise to see these lines hemorrhaging riders with horrible run times, which will lead to the bus redesign cutting these routes even further.

Wrote the (MTA) about it yesterday. Awaiting a response. Sent some alternative routings for them to consider.

As for 59th St, DOT was firm about wanting them along that route and the (MTA) has been claiming that using that route is more direct, so no success in getting them to budge on that. I haven't brought it up to them since a meeting we had in 2019.

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

Wrote the (MTA) about it yesterday. Awaiting a response. Sent some alternative routings for them to consider.

As for 59th St, DOT was firm about wanting them along that route and the (MTA) has been claiming that using that route is more direct, so no success in getting them to budge on that. I haven't brought it up to them since a meeting we had in 2019.

Thanks for the update.  It seems like the main source of the bottleneck these days is Northern Blvd.  Today's 1600 QM20 left the city around on time at 1630 but then got stuck for about 45 minutes on Northern Blvd, mainly the Jackson Heights/Corona area.  It only made it to Linden Place around 1730...just plain terrible.  I know the city is trying to make driving a PIA for everyone to get them onto mass transit but it's killing buses.

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13 minutes ago, 7-express said:

Thanks for the update.  It seems like the main source of the bottleneck these days is Northern Blvd.  Today's 1600 QM20 left the city around on time at 1630 but then got stuck for about 45 minutes on Northern Blvd, mainly the Jackson Heights/Corona area.  It only made it to Linden Place around 1730...just plain terrible.  I know the city is trying to make driving a PIA for everyone to get them onto mass transit but it's killing buses.

It is because the DOT has totally reconfigured Northern Blvd. Now, sometimes the DOT can be very firm about not changing things, even if the (MTA) asks, so we shall see.

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16 hours ago, 7-express said:

The afternoon run times of the QM2/20 buses along Northern Blvd during the PM rush is absolutely abysmal now.   I've been tracking them this week and it frequently takes 90-120 mins from its Manhattan terminal departure to when it makes its first stop at Linden Place.  On the schedule, it should be getting to Bay Terrance 75 minutes or so after its first departure.  It's going to be no surprise to see these lines hemorrhaging riders with horrible run times, which will lead to the bus redesign cutting these routes even further.

I've been seeing a lot of grumblings about this in the facebook group and now even on reddit this morning too.  In all likelihood this mess on Northern Blvd won't get any better any time soon and hopefully the MTA and DOT will realize that.  Having the bus go onto Astoria Boulevard doesn't seem much better since it looks like it's been getting slammed with traffic too.  The time savings will probably be almost nil depending on how they plan to get the buses onto Astoria Blvd from the city anyway.  

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7 minutes ago, ViaWaterViaChurch said:

I've been seeing a lot of grumblings about this in the facebook group and now even on reddit this morning too.  In all likelihood this mess on Northern Blvd won't get any better any time soon and hopefully the MTA and DOT will realize that.  Having the bus go onto Astoria Boulevard doesn't seem much better since it looks like it's been getting slammed with traffic too.  The time savings will probably be almost nil depending on how they plan to get the buses onto Astoria Blvd from the city anyway.  

If there's a plus, it's that at least the (MTA) has considered trying to address such issues, but the traffic situation is tough right now.

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On 10/8/2021 at 10:15 AM, ViaWaterViaChurch said:

I've been seeing a lot of grumblings about this in the facebook group and now even on reddit this morning too.  In all likelihood this mess on Northern Blvd won't get any better any time soon and hopefully the MTA and DOT will realize that.  Having the bus go onto Astoria Boulevard doesn't seem much better since it looks like it's been getting slammed with traffic too.  The time savings will probably be almost nil depending on how they plan to get the buses onto Astoria Blvd from the city anyway.  

I haven't been tracking the super express runs as closely but it seems like they're making it back to Queens in a more reasonable amount of time rather than the regular runs.  The SX runs seem to be able to start making their first stops in 60-80 mins versus 80-120 for the buses traveling on Northern.  So while Astoria Blvd isn't great, it still seems to be performing better than Northern.

I remember when Astoria Blvd was great 8 years ago but it has been nerfed since the DOT re-timed the signals there around 2016.  Northern Blvd will just keep getting worse with this new project to eliminate the third rush hour lane against the curb and to build out bus bulbs for the Q66, effectively creating a bunch of one lane bottlenecks everywhere.  Unless a better route east can be found, I can't see how NE Queens express buses on the current schedule can be sustained at this rate.  QM2/20 are better off cutting the Midtown stops and becoming all SX between 1600 and 1900 and the QM3 may just die a terrible death without any good viable options east.

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For SIM riders that use the pitch black SIM5/SIM6 pick-up bus stop at Brandis Av & East Armstrong Av. Good news... The DOT evaluated the location and has agreed to install additional lighting. Thank you for patiently waiting, as I know it has taken some months, but I just received word today.

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Traffic now is about as bad as it usually gets during the holiday season in the city...I'm worried to think about what it will look like during the actual holiday season. I imagine tourism will be back strongly this year for the holidays. I am so sick of commuting in this traffic every day

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42 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Traffic now is about as bad as it usually gets during the holiday season in the city...I'm worried to think about what it will look like during the actual holiday season. I imagine tourism will be back strongly this year for the holidays. I am so sick of commuting in this traffic every day

You can blame all of the people that have stopped taking public transit and are now driving into their offices. We are still work from home where I work, but I went into my office last week and was shocked to see my colleague there (one of our Accountants). Apparently our internet went out or something and knocked him off of his remote connection, so he came in to see what was going on. He was telling me how uncomfortable he felt on public transit (I think he takes an express bus from New Jersey) and how he really wanted to drive in to avoid the crowded bus.  He normally always took the express bus in pre-COVID, but everyone is doing this now. It's crazy. I really feel for the people that are going in regularly. Since I am work from home, I can pick and choose when I go in and what time to avoid the congestion.

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2 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Traffic now is about as bad as it usually gets during the holiday season in the city...I'm worried to think about what it will look like during the actual holiday season. I imagine tourism will be back strongly this year for the holidays. I am so sick of commuting in this traffic every day

It will most certainly get worse over the next two months, as it seems like a lot more companies are ramping up return to work plans in the next few weeks after postponing from the original Labor Day date.  I was in Midtown this morning and while it's definitely not as busy as normal, there's definitely a noticeable uptick in foot traffic from office workers.

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This don't make no sense...these are the late morning off peak buses...SIM1C, SIM3C, SIM4C, and SIM33C. I only have data for SIM1C, SIM3C, and SIM33C. I forgot to check the SIM4C but its affected as well. 

 

SIM1C...there are 6 buses stuck on the highway between Staten Island-Manhattan.

69-DFC078-3-D0-C-42-E0-A009-593-C671-AC2

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM1C runs about 10-15mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:30am according to schedule. If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started at Eltingville Transit Center at 10:35am, the bus before started at 10:20am, the bus before started at 10:07am, then 9:55am, then 9:45am, then 9:35am. The 9:35am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:43am...so the first bus alone is over an hour late. 

At time of posting: 9:35am bus arrived at first Manhattan stop at 12:05pm...about 80mins late. 

 

SIM3C...four buses stuck on the highway. 

830-CF782-ADBF-4131-B8-BD-080-FE7380382.

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM3C runs about 30mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:32am (11:35am is the schedule timepoint). If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started in Port Richmond at 11am, the bus before at 10:30am, then 10am, then 9:35am. The 9:35am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:39am...so the first bus alone is over an hour late. 

9:35am bus arrived in the city at 11:50am...75mins late. 

 

SIM33C....four buses stuck on the highway. 

830507-C6-8-BD3-46-BA-84-D4-B38186339-B3

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM33C runs about 20-30mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:34am (11:37am is the schedule time). If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started in Mariners Harbor at 10:45am, the bus before 10:15am, then 9:50am, then 9:30am. The 9:30am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:49am...at the time of screenshot, almost an hour late.

9:30am bus didn't get to first stop in the city until 11:50am. About 80mins late. 

 

 

This is absolutely insane!!!!! And look at the Google Maps screenshot...shit is backed up all the way to the bridge...and who's the culprit? That damnn BQE lane reduction! 

435-B678-D-1759-4-DBB-8-AF1-19-C39249-FC

 

Edited by XcelsiorBoii4888
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41 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

@XcelsiorBoii4888 the BQE reduction along with the BB lane reduction for that stupid bike lane has caused ENORMOUS gridlock on I287

Everyone told DOT that it was a dumb idea and they did it anyway...

@Lawrence St  

I-287 is NJ/UPSTATE. 

I-278 is the BQE.  To what you are referring to this.  Now, regarding the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel headache. Part of it has to do with the lane reductions and the the bridge. Another thing you have to factor is if there’s flooding inside the tunnel there is a FULL stop until the road is cleared up of water.  

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2 hours ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

This don't make no sense...these are the late morning off peak buses...SIM1C, SIM3C, SIM4C, and SIM33C. I only have data for SIM1C, SIM3C, and SIM33C. I forgot to check the SIM4C but its affected as well. 

 

SIM1C...there are 6 buses stuck on the highway between Staten Island-Manhattan.

69-DFC078-3-D0-C-42-E0-A009-593-C671-AC2

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM1C runs about 10-15mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:30am according to schedule. If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started at Eltingville Transit Center at 10:35am, the bus before started at 10:20am, the bus before started at 10:07am, then 9:55am, then 9:45am, then 9:35am. The 9:35am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:43am...so the first bus alone is over an hour late. 

At time of posting: 9:35am bus arrived at first Manhattan stop at 12:05pm...about 80mins late. 

 

SIM3C...four buses stuck on the highway. 

830-CF782-ADBF-4131-B8-BD-080-FE7380382.

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM3C runs about 30mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:32am (11:35am is the schedule timepoint). If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started in Port Richmond at 11am, the bus before at 10:30am, then 10am, then 9:35am. The 9:35am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:39am...so the first bus alone is over an hour late. 

9:35am bus arrived in the city at 11:50am...75mins late. 

 

SIM33C....four buses stuck on the highway. 

830507-C6-8-BD3-46-BA-84-D4-B38186339-B3

This screenshot was taken at 11:34am. The SIM33C runs about 20-30mins at this time...that means that the last bus in the screenshot was at Fingerboard around 11:34am (11:37am is the schedule time). If you do the math and work backwards, that trip started in Mariners Harbor at 10:45am, the bus before 10:15am, then 9:50am, then 9:30am. The 9:30am bus is supposed to be in the city at 10:49am...at the time of screenshot, almost an hour late.

9:30am bus didn't get to first stop in the city until 11:50am. About 80mins late. 

 

 

This is absolutely insane!!!!! And look at the Google Maps screenshot...shit is backed up all the way to the bridge...and who's the culprit? That damnn BQE lane reduction! 

435-B678-D-1759-4-DBB-8-AF1-19-C39249-FC

 

I am working with the leader of a Staten Island Express Bus group who is undertaking this problem. There are a few issues:

1. HOV Lane enforcement has been non-existent, so we have a lot of single-occupancy vehicles abusing the HOV lane because they can. I agreed to create a petition to try to get more support for enforcement, as we are repeatedly told that there isn't enough manpower. There are too many people driving that previously used mass transit, which is another issue.

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/gowanus-expressway-hov-lane-enforcement.html

2. The lane reduction because of the BQE situation has also created extreme delays, so everything is worsening by the day, and some people are at risk of being fired as a result, so it is a serious problem.

We are totally aware of the issues, as they have been ongoing, but it will take time to try to get anything done unfortunately.

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

I am working with the leader of a Staten Island Express Bus group who is undertaking this problem. There are a few issues:

1. HOV Lane enforcement has been non-existent, so we have a lot of single-occupancy vehicles abusing the HOV lane because they can. I agreed to create a petition to try to get more support for enforcement, as we are repeatedly told that there isn't enough manpower. There are too many people driving that previously used mass transit, which is another issue.

https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/gowanus-expressway-hov-lane-enforcement.html

2. The lane reduction because of the BQE situation has also created extreme delays, so everything is worsening by the day, and some people are at risk of being fired as a result, so it is a serious problem.

We are totally aware of the issues, as they have been ongoing, but it will take time to try to get anything done unfortunately.

That traffic has nothing to do with the HOV lane as it is closed at the time. 

This is strictly the BQE lane reduction doing this...and today it's was extremely severe because they ended up shutting down the BQE between the Gowanus and Atlantic Ave because that straight section flooded out a bit. 

 

@Future ENY OP the Battery Tunnel doesn't flood all the time, only during super rainstorms. Regular car traffic was redirected to the tunnel today. 

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13 minutes ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

That traffic has nothing to do with the HOV lane as it is closed at the time. 

This is strictly the BQE lane reduction doing this...and today it's was extremely severe because they ended up shutting down the BQE between the Gowanus and Atlantic Ave because that straight section flooded out a bit. 

 

@Future ENY OP the Battery Tunnel doesn't flood all the time, only during super rainstorms. Regular car traffic was redirected to the tunnel today. 

Regardless, the abuse of the HOV lane has been an issue we've been working on since a lot of people complain about it every day, and the BQE situation is further exacerbating issues, so I'm mentioning it to put everything out there. 

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5 minutes ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

That traffic has nothing to do with the HOV lane as it is closed at the time. 

This is strictly the BQE lane reduction doing this...and today it's was extremely severe because they ended up shutting down the BQE between the Gowanus and Atlantic Ave because that straight section flooded out a bit. 

 

@Future ENY OP the Battery Tunnel doesn't flood all the time, only during super rainstorms. Regular car traffic was redirected to the tunnel today. 

Yikes... No wonder today was not a good day for the BQE and the Battery.

I agree with @Via Garibaldi 8 with the non-enforcement of the HOV lane.. State Police has been hanging around Staten Island as of late. However, from observations as of late Highway 2, TBTA and State police have been slipping off on their job on the Brooklyn side of the HOV lane.

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2 hours ago, Future ENY OP said:

Yikes... No wonder today was not a good day for the BQE and the Battery.

I agree with @Via Garibaldi 8 with the non-enforcement of the HOV lane.. State Police has been hanging around Staten Island as of late. However, from observations as of late Highway 2, TBTA and State police have been slipping off on their job on the Brooklyn side of the HOV lane.

Right now, we'd like two issues addressed... #1, a daily log is being created to document the issues along the Gowanus related to the BQE lane situation and then we're also looking at the ongoing HOV situation. Discussions were had about cameras being installed to enforce the HOV lane. The cameras were deemed to not be accurate enough, so that plan was dropped, so now we're back to other ways of enforcement.

Getting any movement on the BQE lane situation is going to take work, so while @XcelsiorBoii4888 may complain about it here, that won't get anything done. The idea is to document how thousands of commuters between Brooklyn and Staten Island are being inconvenienced and delayed every day, and push the issue with elected officials.

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LEG ROOM ON NEW EXPRESS BUSES: We've been fielding a ton of complaints from riders about the lack of leg room on the new express buses. People that are 5'5" and shorter have even been complaining, and rightfully so, let alone people 6'0" and over.  I am going to push to see if any modifications can be made to this current order and am asking the (MTA) to confirm how many seats are on the new express buses.  In the meantime, I would appreciate photos of your cramped conditions on the new express buses to make our case.

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