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Via Garibaldi 8

Express Bus Advocacy Group

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14 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

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.

I didn't even realize they only give an hour and seven mins total. On a typical weekday, it is only by Utopia and Union in an hour and seven mins. And totally agree about the kneeling issue.

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16 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I didn't even realize they only give an hour and seven mins total. On a typical weekday, it is only by Utopia and Union in an hour and seven mins. And totally agree about the kneeling issue.

Yeah keep me posted about the whole courtesy situation. I’m on the QM5 now. Just got on in Fresh Meadows. Bus was kneeled accordingly. Going to be focusing a lot on the Union Turnpike corridor...

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BxM3 signage is still missing from 262nd.

Also, some of these Bx9 drivers like to turn around and park in front of the bus stop, blocking the express bus drivers from seeing if someone wants to board. I've constantly had to throw myself in traffic in order for them to notice.

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5 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

BxM3 signage is still missing from 262nd.

Also, some of these Bx9 drivers like to turn around and park in front of the bus stop, blocking the express bus drivers from seeing if someone wants to board. I've constantly had to throw myself in traffic in order for them to notice.

Give it some more time.  It's only been but a few weeks I believe since we put in the request, and I'm sure the DOT has its hands full. If nothing comes of it in the next few weeks, we'll submit another request.  My advice in the meantime would be to use another bus stop if you can.  We're in the process of trying to coordinate a meeting with some elected officials, the (MTA) and ideally the DOT if possible, but we'd like a rep. ideally for all boroughs (a general manager of sorts) to start addressing some issues we're having.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Give it some more time.  It's only been but a few weeks I believe since we put in the request, and I'm sure the DOT has its hands full. If nothing comes of it in the next few weeks, we'll submit another request.  My advice in the meantime would be to use another bus stop if you can.  We're in the process of trying to coordinate a meeting with some elected officials, the (MTA) and ideally the DOT if possible, but we'd like a rep. ideally for all boroughs (a general manager of sorts) to start addressing some issues we're having.

Yea but are we going to do about the Bx9? They aren't suppose to swing around and park for that very reason.

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4 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Yea but are we going to do about the Bx9? They aren't suppose to swing around and park for that very reason.

Take photos and send it to me so I can see.  The other option is to ask the DOT to move the stop.  I think that's the best solution in fact.  While some express bus stops share a bus stop with local buses, others don't for this very reason.

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34 minutes ago, 78 via Stew Leonards said:

nyc buses, especially express buses should not be governed at all. unleash them and feel the power as they zoom down the highway

Did they govern the local buses down to 35 MPH? Was on the S89 today and the B/O seemed like he was flooring it and couldn't go above 35 MPH.

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1 hour ago, Lil 57 said:

Did they govern the local buses down to 35 MPH? Was on the S89 today and the B/O seemed like he was flooring it and couldn't go above 35 MPH.

Was that S89 was a LFS or MCI?

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16 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

Did they govern the local buses down to 35 MPH? Was on the S89 today and the B/O seemed like he was flooring it and couldn't go above 35 MPH.

40mph.

But, Yukon has a slew of LFSs that are ungoverned. It's probably the operator just holding back.

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Some updates:

Lots going on now, but we're setting up meetings with some elected officials and reaching out to some (MTA) contacts as well.

We're also meeting informally with other advocacy groups just to see what each group is about and to see if we can collaborate together.

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Ok, I just got off of a conference call with some (MTA) reps. After my speech last month, they have agreed to a sit down at my convenience to go over ALL express bus service around the City.  Aren't I lucky? lol  For the express bus riders out here, in order for me to address your problems, I need specific information.  For example, if certain trips are missing, I need the times that they are missing and the stops.  If there are multiple buses list that too.  Here's a format you can use:

-BxM2 @ 07:15 @XYZ stop to Midtown - Bus is always late or bus is missing or such and such days.

I can take it from there. I'd like to have all of this info in the next week or so, so the more of you that answer the better. If it is multiple trips and various buses, clarify that too. Feel free to ask me any questions. Many thanks for your help!

If buses are repeatedly dirty or lack AC note the route and times for that too. The idea here is to ensure that the service that exists is being provided, and that commuters are happy with their commutes.

I have also asked for the DOT to send a representative, so if there are intersections that you find to be a problem from a congestion standpoint list the exact location and time and what the problem is.

@QM1to6Ave @BM5 via Woodhaven @Around the Horn @WonderBread @78 via Stew Leonards @Lawrence St

 

 

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

Ok, I just got off of a conference call with some (MTA) reps. After my speech last month, they have agreed to a sit down at my convenience to go over ALL express bus service around the City.  Aren't I lucky? lol  For the express bus riders out here, in order for me to address your problems, I need specific information.  For example, if certain trips are missing, I need the times that they are missing and the stops.  If there are multiple buses list that too.  Here's a format you can use:

-BxM2 @ 07:15 @XYZ stop to Midtown - Bus is always late or bus is missing or such and such days.

I can take it from there. I'd like to have all of this info in the next week or so, so the more of you that answer the better. If it is multiple trips and various buses, clarify that too. Feel free to ask me any questions. Many thanks for your help!

If buses are repeatedly dirty or lack AC note the route and times for that too. The idea here is to ensure that the service that exists is being provided, and that commuters are happy with their commutes.

I have also asked for the DOT to send a representative, so if there are intersections that you find to be a problem from a congestion standpoint list the exact location and time and what the problem is.

@QM1to6Ave @BM5 via Woodhaven @Around the Horn @WonderBread @78 via Stew Leonards @Lawrence St

 

 

I don't need a thumbs up... I need specific info.... lol Missing trips, delayed trips... Provide what you can...

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14 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Ok, I just got off of a conference call with some (MTA) reps. After my speech last month, they have agreed to a sit down at my convenience to go over ALL express bus service around the City.  Aren't I lucky? lol  For the express bus riders out here, in order for me to address your problems, I need specific information.  For example, if certain trips are missing, I need the times that they are missing and the stops.  If there are multiple buses list that too.  Here's a format you can use:

 -BxM2 @ 07:15 @XYZ stop to Midtown - Bus is always late or bus is missing or such and such days.

I can take it from there. I'd like to have all of this info in the next week or so, so the more of you that answer the better. If it is multiple trips and various buses, clarify that too. Feel free to ask me any questions. Many thanks for your help!

If buses are repeatedly dirty or lack AC note the route and times for that too. The idea here is to ensure that the service that exists is being provided, and that commuters are happy with their commutes.

 I have also asked for the DOT to send a representative, so if there are intersections that you find to be a problem from a congestion standpoint list the exact location and time and what the problem is.

 @QM1to6Ave @BM5 via Woodhaven @Around the Horn @WonderBread @78 via Stew Leonards @Lawrence St

 

 

I'm going to compile my list later today and post it! THanks for doing this!

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18 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

I'm going to compile my list later today and post it! THanks for doing this!

Thank you. I made it clear yesterday in my conference call that there have been too many cuts to the Union Turnpike and Bay Terrace corridor and it has to stop. I’m also requesting that we have the DOT at this meeting. This is going to be a frank conversation about why we don’t have more HOV lanes or have them in place longer to speed up trips. I also stressed the importance of having trips be on-time and noted how erratic service in Queens and Staten Island has been over the years. We want the level of on-time performance to be where the LIRR and Metro-North is. As I told my contact this is a commuter service, not a luxury service where buses show up wherever and it needs to start running like that. People need these buses for doctors’ appointments, work, school and so on and they need to be there on-time. It should not take me two hours from Riverdale to reach my office. Absurd.

We will also be discussing on-time metrics. We want a clear, simplified metric in place and the goals for improving on-time performance similar to what the railroads have. 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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17 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

 For the express bus riders out here, in order for me to address your problems, I need specific information.  For example, if certain trips are missing, I need the times that they are missing and the stops.  If there are multiple buses list that too.  Here's a format you can use:

-BxM2 @ 07:15 @XYZ stop to Midtown - Bus is always late or bus is missing or such and such days.

I can take it from there. I'd like to have all of this info in the next week or so, so the more of you that answer the better. If it is multiple trips and various buses, clarify that too. Feel free to ask me any questions. Many thanks for your help!

The biggest issue I've had is with the crowding (both buses and passengers) at Broadway and Barclay during PM peak.

Other passengers have been complaining about X27s skipping the stop because the drivers can't see the waiting passengers with the SIM buses blocking the stop. (That hasn't happened to me [yet])

As for individual trips, the 5:49 and 5:58 X27 trips (to Bay Ridge from Broadway and Barclay) have a tendency to never show and the 6:07 X27 has to handle all those passengers (while weaving in between SIMs)

From now on, I'll keep notes in my phone for my express bus trips so I don't have to go from memory lol...

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4 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

The biggest issue I've had is with the crowding (both buses and passengers) at Broadway and Barclay during PM peak.

Other passengers have been complaining about X27s skipping the stop because the drivers can't see the waiting passengers with the SIM buses blocking the stop. (That hasn't happened to me [yet])

As for individual trips, the 5:49 and 5:58 X27 trips (to Bay Ridge from Broadway and Barclay) have a tendency to never show and the 6:07 X27 has to handle all those passengers (while weaving in between SIMs)

From now on, I'll keep notes in my phone for my express bus trips so I don't have to go from memory lol...

That's better.  That's what I need... Specific trips and details.  I believe the DOT is set to move some of these stops to address the issues you described, but if not, I'll be inquiring because I have a lot of questions for them anyway. I'm going to be compiling a list of bullet points to go over. Originally I was going to have just one meeting with the (MTA) reps included, but they want to meet with me separately, so I said ok fine.  One meeting with the (MTA) and another down in Bay Ridge.  Since the (R) has become so horrible, people are literally switching over in droves for the express bus which is good, but the problem is with the bunching and missing buses, we can't tell if more service is needed or if it's just that trips are going missing giving the illusion of overcrowding that is being artificially created. I'm also aware of the back-ups both in Midtown and Downtown and will be proposing ideas for the DOT and seeing how feasible they are to be implemented or at least done as a pilot.

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On 10/18/2018 at 8:08 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Thank you. I made it clear yesterday in my conference call that there have been too many cuts to the Union Turnpike and Bay Terrace corridor and it has to stop. I’m also requesting that we have the DOT at this meeting. This is going to be a frank conversation about why we don’t have more HOV lanes or have them in place longer to speed up trips. I also stressed the importance of having trips be on-time and noted how erratic service in Queens and Staten Island has been over the years. We want the level of on-time performance to be where the LIRR and Metro-North is. As I told my contact this is a commuter service, not a luxury service where buses show up wherever and it needs to start running like that. People need these buses for doctors’ appointments, work, school and so on and they need to be there on-time. It should not take me two hours from Riverdale to reach my office. Absurd.

We will also be discussing on-time metrics. We want a clear, simplified metric in place and the goals for improving on-time performance similar to what the railroads have. 

Here is my specific list:

4:00 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 4/5 weekdays each week

4:30 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

6:30 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

7:00 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

6:15 pm QM31 from 38th and 3rd to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 2/5 weekdays each week

7:00 pm QM6 to NST and 7:03 PM QM5 to Glen Oaks are often late...many times, they are both late on the same days, suggesting they are both caught in traffic and can't make it back to the Manhattan terminal in time for the runs.

8:25 and 8:55 QM35 from Glen Oaks to Midtown: Runs are missing approximately 1/5 weekdays, and are often 30-40 minutes late on other days. I have seen it come 1 hour+ late on occasions

 

General issues:

In general, the morning runs to Manhattan have been slow due to delays on Union Turnpike. This seems to be an effect of the recent Q46 cuts. The lines for Q46 are dangerously long (e.g., at Union Turnpike and 150th Street), which leads to very long dwell times for the Q46 buses. In turn, this slows the EXP runs because they have to switch out of the parking lane that is open to traffic during rush hours. I know your meetings focus on express issues, but if you can bring up the Q46 as well, I would greatly appreciate it. It seems to have a direct effect on the express lines. I think people are switching to the QM1/5/6 from the Q46 because of these cuts. 

 

The QM5/35 runs often have been SRO morning and evening, even outside of peak hours (e.g., the 7:05, 7:13, and 7:20 am QM5 runs from Glen Oaks, and the 7:26, 7:35, 7:45 am QM35 runs from Glen Oaks. If any Union Tpke line gets increased services, it should be the QM5/35. If any Union Tpke EXP service gets increased, it should be the QM5. The QM1 seems to be the redheaded stepchild of the corridor, as it is the most likely to not show up. 

 

None of the 30XX buses at CP have WiFi installed, presumably because the buses will be replaced “soon,” even thought 30XX buses at other depots have WiFi. The new buses, as far as I know, will not be delivered for at least a year (correct me if I am wrong), and this is ridiculous. And the 2XXX buses are the biggest POS buses, with broken handrails and broken seats. They need to be retired ASAP, or at least retrofit the older buses with WiFi. Of course, I care more about having runs filled than WiFi, but WiFi does make my life easier so I can work on my laptop without tethering issues, and if they are spending the money to install the service and advertise it, at least get it to work right!

 

DOT Issue:

There is a utility repair project on 2nd ave between 36th and 35th street. I can’t understand why they need to do this work during peak travel times—it causes backups all the way into the HOV lane and Midtown tunnel. Ridiculous.

 

Thanks again for doing this!

 

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10 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Here is my specific list:

4:00 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 4/5 weekdays each week

4:30 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

6:30 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

7:00 pm QM1 from 36th and 6th to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 3/5 weekdays each week

6:15 pm QM31 from 38th and 3rd to Fresh Meadows: Run is missing approximately 2/5 weekdays each week

7:00 pm QM6 to NST and 7:03 PM QM5 to Glen Oaks are often late...many times, they are both late on the same days, suggesting they are both caught in traffic and can't make it back to the Manhattan terminal in time for the runs.

8:25 and 8:55 QM35 from Glen Oaks to Midtown: Runs are missing approximately 1/5 weekdays, and are often 30-40 minutes late on other days. I have seen it come 1 hour+ late on occasions

 

General issues:

In general, the morning runs to Manhattan have been slow due to delays on Union Turnpike. This seems to be an effect of the recent Q46 cuts. The lines for Q46 are dangerously long (e.g., at Union Turnpike and 150th Street), which leads to very long dwell times for the Q46 buses. In turn, this slows the EXP runs because they have to switch out of the parking lane that is open to traffic during rush hours. I know your meetings focus on express issues, but if you can bring up the Q46 as well, I would greatly appreciate it. It seems to have a direct effect on the express lines. I think people are switching to the QM1/5/6 from the Q46 because of these cuts. 

 

The QM5/35 runs often have been SRO morning and evening, even outside of peak hours (e.g., the 7:05, 7:13, and 7:20 am QM5 runs from Glen Oaks, and the 7:26, 7:35, 7:45 am QM35 runs from Glen Oaks. If any Union Tpke line gets increased services, it should be the QM5/35. If any Union Tpke EXP service gets increased, it should be the QM5. The QM1 seems to be the redheaded stepchild of the corridor, as it is the most likely to not show up. 

 

None of the 30XX buses at CP have WiFi installed, presumably because the buses will be replaced “soon,” even thought 30XX buses at other depots have WiFi. The new buses, as far as I know, will not be delivered for at least a year (correct me if I am wrong), and this is ridiculous. And the 2XXX buses are the biggest POS buses, with broken handrails and broken seats. They need to be retired ASAP, or at least retrofit the older buses with WiFi. Of course, I care more about having runs filled than WiFi, but WiFi does make my life easier so I can work on my laptop without tethering issues, and if they are spending the money to install the service and advertise it, at least get it to work right!

 

DOT Issue:

There is a utility repair project on 2nd ave between 36th and 35th street. I can’t understand why they need to do this work during peak travel times—it causes backups all the way into the HOV lane and Midtown tunnel. Ridiculous.

 

Thanks again for doing this!

 

My meeting will focus on the entire express bus network, but also what traffic issues are causes these buses to run so poorly, so yes, I wrote to my contacts yesterday and requested that the DOT be present (and they have agreed to invite them) because I am going to be asking them A LOT of questions regarding traffic.  There are a lot of DOT problems at play causing this mess and they need to start addressing them.  That Q46 issue you mentioned is just one of my things that I am adding to my list.  I suspect that the meeting will easily last two hours or more, and we will likely be having subsequent meetings because there is no way all of this will be addressed at once.  I've also been monitoring the bus lanes on 5th, 6th and Madison which is where most of the express buses run, and it is absolutely amazing how many cars park in them and sit there. The express buses don't have a chance in hell because they still have to fight through traffic.  

This is what I see every day now on the main avenues that are supposed to be "bus only" lanes. Ridiculous... There's even a DOT car parked in the bus only lane that sat there for over 20 minutes!! 

IMAG0015_zpscvsnqwxr.jpg

 

IMAG0015_zpscvsnqwxr.jpg

IMAG0015_zpscvsnqwxr.jpg

 

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On 10/18/2018 at 8:08 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Thank you. I made it clear yesterday in my conference call that there have been too many cuts to the Union Turnpike and Bay Terrace corridor and it has to stop. I’m also requesting that we have the DOT at this meeting. This is going to be a frank conversation about why we don’t have more HOV lanes or have them in place longer to speed up trips. I also stressed the importance of having trips be on-time and noted how erratic service in Queens and Staten Island has been over the years. We want the level of on-time performance to be where the LIRR and Metro-North is. As I told my contact this is a commuter service, not a luxury service where buses show up wherever and it needs to start running like that. People need these buses for doctors’ appointments, work, school and so on and they need to be there on-time. It should not take me two hours from Riverdale to reach my office. Absurd.

We will also be discussing on-time metrics. We want a clear, simplified metric in place and the goals for improving on-time performance similar to what the railroads have. 

All BxM3 stops between Getty Square and 242nd St, often times Bee Line or Bx9 buses will block the stop, blocking express driver's vision from seeing if someone want's to board. I've mainly had this issue at 262nd St, as I've told you before, along with the missing bus stop signage. 

DOT also needs to reconfigure the Jerome Av/Bainbridge Av because the BxM4 is currently operating up to 30 minutes late because of the pipe line construction. Parking spots on SB Jerome between Bainbridge and 213th St should be temporarily removed to allow traffic to utilize that lane and make two lanes available NB near the train station. Delays can occur up to 45 minutes on the BxM4/Bx16/Bx34/W4/W20.

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2 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

All BxM3 stops between Getty Square and 242nd St, often times Bee Line or Bx9 buses will block the stop, blocking express driver's vision from seeing if someone want's to board. I've mainly had this issue at 262nd St, as I've told you before, along with the missing bus stop signage. 

DOT also needs to reconfigure the Jerome Av/Bainbridge Av because the BxM4 is currently operating up to 30 minutes late because of the pipe line construction. Parking spots on SB Jerome between Bainbridge and 213th St should be temporarily removed to allow traffic to utilize that lane and make two lanes available NB near the train station. Delays can occur up to 45 minutes on the BxM4/Bx16/Bx34/W4/W20.

Jerome is a problem because of the overhead subway line.  I will ask what if anything the DOT is doing or can do. Perhaps the BxM4 can be moved elsewhere.  As for the BxM3, the solution would be to move the bus stops elsewhere.  

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Hey question I want to help out some folks from CB12 How do you get in contact with the DOT? Definitely, want to bring up some points and talk about GunHill Road. Is there a contact I should be asking for?

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There are few issues regarding late buses in my area.

Middays:

BM5 service in general depart late from the Manhattan terminal.

  • The 11:40 is okay, but the following buses (12:40 and on, into the evening) tend to be late, sometimes by up to 20+ minutes
  • The 12:35 trip from Spring Creek often has issues keeping up to its schedule (that run time was reduced a few years ago, for whatever reason)

PM rush: 

  • Bunching on the QM15 is always a problem. Usually they're in droves of 2-3 (and maybe even more at times). This usually is worse during the 5-6 PM hour
  • The 4:50 PM, 5:10 PM, and 5:30 PM BM5 is known to depart late from 57 Street
  • On occasions, there are BM5 buses late or missing during the later hours. It's random, but usually is either the 6:15 PM, 6:45 PM or 7:15 PM trips.
  • Virtually all of the QM24 buses in the afternoon/evening run late, The 7:00 PM bus may be the only one exempt from this.

 

Evening:

  • The 8:15 PM QM15 trip does gets SRO (particularly because the previous bus passes an hour earlier). 
  • The 9:15 PM trip QM15 from 34 Street tends to run late. Sometimes it'll depart from Manhattan late.

Unfortunately I don't get to see loads on AM peak buses on the QM24 and QM34 anymore, so I can't comment on those. However, I still feel that overcrowding conditions continue, since the Q38 can only hold so many people on its buses.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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7 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

There are few issues regarding late buses in may area and other stuff.

Middays:

BM5 service in general depart late from the Manhattan terminal.

  • The 11:40 is okay, but the following buses (12:40 and on, into the evening) tend to be late, sometimes by up to 20+ minutes
  • The 12:35 trip from Spring Creek often has issues keeping up to its schedule (that run time was reduced a few years ago, for whatever reason)

PM rush: 

  • Bunching on the QM15 is always a problem. Usually they're in droves of 2-3 (and maybe even more at times). This usually is worse during the 5-6 PM hour
  • The 4:50 PM, 5:10 PM, and 5:30 PM BM5 is known to depart late from 57 Street
  • On occasions, there are BM5 buses late or missing during the later hours. It's random, but usually is around the 6:15 PM, 6:45 PM, and 7:15 PM trips.
  • Virtually all of the QM24 buses in the afternoon/evening run late, The 7:00 PM bus may be the only one exempt from this.

 

Evening:

  • The 9:15 PM trip QM15 from 34 Street tends to late, on a more consistent basis.

So these issues have been happening even after there's a new pick?  

If you have any comments about the QM34, please list them as well. 3rd Avenue generally moves better with less issues, but still.  I also heard from a QM25 user in my group who has long waits and then has to sit in traffic. One of her trips took over an hour and 30 minutes to get to Queens.

Regarding the QM15, I used them for several months on Saturdays and found that each driver did their own thing. I found myself often running for it in the mornings because the drivers were constantly running hot at 57th and 3rd. I get the impression that the new traffic pattern on Woodhaven Blvd may also be impacting service.  Any comments about that or in general would be appreciated, as I have asked the DOT to attend these meetings as well.

---

On a side note, I have also been in talks with the Comptroller's Office.  We plan to meet as well.  We've thrown out a general time for now and will finalize that as we get close to that date.  One of the things that we will be discussing in these meetings is finding ways to meet on-time performance, which has been abysmal now for years.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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