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Lil 57

MTA express bus changes: New SIM9, South Shore extension and more

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Express bus riders can expect some major changes to the newly redesigned system coming in the first half of October.

During a Thursday meeting with the Staten Island Advance Editorial Board, the MTA, joined by Borough President James Oddo and representatives from ATU Local 726, discussed the ongoing process of optimizing the new network.

"A lot of this is anchored around moving to a truly customer-led organization, not 'the MTA knows best and will just impose something on you,' but designing the network from the customer's perspective," said MTA NYCT president Andy Byford.

All involved parties acknowledged the issues that have come with overhauling a decades-old system, but remain optimistic that the end result will be a net positive for Staten Island commuters.

The MTA, joined by Borough President James Oddo and representatives from ATU Local 726, discuss the new bus network during a meeting with the Staten Island Advance Editorial Board. (Staten Island Advance/Steve Zaffarano)

"Clearly there is a level of dissatisfaction. We wanted to have this because we wanted to be upfront and own the fact that right now, in week four, there is a level of dissatisfaction," said Oddo.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that we will get where we need to be for a number of reasons," Oddo continued. "One is I have never seen this level of attentiveness and responsiveness from the MTA... The level of cooperation between management and labor has also been unprecedented."

In response to customer feedback, collected data and observed fieldwork, the MTA has announced major additional changes to a network that received over 40 alterations prior to even launching.

"We think the vast majority of the issues that we're hearing will be fixed during that scheduling change," said Darryl Irick, senior vice president NYCT buses. "We know that they'll be some remaining issues and we'll have the chance to make those changes on the first of the year."

While the exact date the changes will be implemented has not yet been announced, the MTA is currently aiming for the first half of October.

SIM9

The MTA will implement a new route -- the SIM9 -- that will begin at Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Avenue, traveling down Hylan Boulevard and then turning right onto Midland Avenue. It will then travel along Father Capodanno Boulevard, stopping at the South Beach Park-and-Ride, before heading to the West Side of Manhattan.

This route will complement the existing SIM7 route, which runs exclusively along Hylan Boulevard before traveling to the West Side.

"Early in the process we had it (the SIM7) on Father Capodanno," said planner Jonathan Hawkins. "After public outreach we modified it to move it back to Hylan, and now I think that what's become clear is that we got that a little wrong and it really needs both Hylan and Father Capodanno service."

LATE-NIGHT SOUTH SHORE SERVICE

After previously announcing a late-night shuttle from the Eltingville Transit Center for South Shore commuters, the MTA has announced it will extend the SIM4c route farther south and later into the night.

Once the changes are implemented, the SIM4c route will be extended to Huguenot Avenue and Woodrow Road, running until 2:15 a.m.

SERVICE INCREASES

In addition, numerous routes will be receiving net increases in service, resulting in more total trips on their daily schedules.

The SIM1, SIM2, SIM22, SIM31, SIM32 and SIM34 will receive increased service on Manhattan-bound trips.

The SIM1, SIM2, SIM3, SIM4, SIM22, SIM31, SIM33 and SIM34 will receive increased service on Staten Island-bound trips.

REALIGNMENTS

Routes that won't be receiving increased service will have their schedules realigned to optimize their existing resources.

For example, the SIM10 has experienced overcrowding during the early morning rush between 4 and 5 a.m. However, some SIM10 trips later in the day have been underutilized. As a result, the schedule will be reconfigured to address existing conditions.

Contrary to popular belief that the redesigned network represented a service cut for Staten Island commuters, significantly more trips are available now than under the previous configuration, with 68 additional weekday trips, 62 additional Saturday trips and 60 additional Sunday trips.

"For some people the perception is that there is less service because for their particular route, on the particular time when they want to travel, a bus may not be there that previously was. We're not deaf to that, but I reiterate, you cannot please everyone," said Byford.

With 60,000 seats available on a daily basis for approximately 33,000 Staten Island express bus riders, changes like the ones outlined above will allow the MTA to better allocate its resources to alleviate the overcrowding still occurring on a regular basis.

"We've got to get these buses in the right places at the right time, so that will mean some shifting of resources," said Irick.

Source: https://www.silive.com/news/2018/09/mta_express_bus_changes_new_si.html

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IMO I would have the SIM7 travel up Father Capodanno and the SIM9 stay on Hylan. The SIM9 is a short-turn of the SIM7.

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This new SIM9 will basically be the old X6 (albeit truncated to Hylan/Richmond). 

I agree they should swap the SIM7 and SIM9 (since they should maintain the old pattern of New Dorp via Hylan, ETC via Father Capodanno) and the SIM9 and SIM10 should both be truncated to New Dorp as well. 

Also, I'm currently making my own version of the express bus network. Stay tuned for more. 

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2 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

IMO I would have the SIM7 travel up Father Capodanno and the SIM9 stay on Hylan. The SIM9 is a short-turn of the SIM7.

One thing at a time. We have volunteers compiling complaints line by line.  Those complaints will be presented to the (MTA) where they’ll be asked to make additional changes. I am lending a hand where I can but my help is separate from what I’m doing with my advocacy group. There is a fantastic lady leading the way for these Staten Island changes, devoting her time from her family to improve service for everyone. She should really be commended for her hard work.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

One thing at a time. We have volunteers compiling complaints line by line.  Those complaints will be presented to the (MTA) where they’ll be asked to make additional changes. I am lending a hand where I can but my help is separate from what I’m doing with my advocacy group. There is a fantastic lady leading the way for these Staten Island changes, devoting her time from her family to improve service for everyone. She should really be commended for her hard work.

It is great that the representatives are actually speaking up for the entire Island though. The North Shore is also being put into consideration.

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4 minutes ago, Coney Island Av said:

and the SIM9 and SIM10 should both be truncated to New Dorp as well. 

You would need a Father Capodanno version of the SIM10, that goes to the ETC, otherwise good idea. Also, the SIM1 should also have that type of pattern in the rush as well. 

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1 minute ago, Lil 57 said:

It is great that the representatives are actually speaking up for the entire Island though. The North Shore is also being put into consideration.

I’m compiling complaints for the SIM30 and SIM35, as well as the SIM2. Since Oddo allows this mess to go through, it’s on him to try to clean some of this up where possible. Service likely won’t be right until early next year and even then it may take more tweaking. There are still TONS of overcrowded buses and too many missing buses.

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2 minutes ago, dkupf said:

What about the weekends?

What about it? If you have issues with service, please post them in the Express Bus Advocacy Group thread. I’ll contact the people responsible for the particular lines you have issues with so that they can compile your complaints with the others.

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Maybe they should cut the SIM5x and 6x, that's about 15 trips, and use those trips for the SIM9 in the morning. It could be every 10-12 minutes between 5:30am and 8:30am. One of my concerns with this is that to add the SIM9 they might cut into the SIM7 which is already too infrequent. (Although, the SIM9 would help reduce the load of the SIM7.) Restoring the old X7/9 pattern would be the most sensible thing.

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10 minutes ago, SIMplicity said:

Maybe they should cut the SIM5x and 6x, that's about 15 trips, and use those trips for the SIM9 in the morning. It could be every 10-12 minutes between 5:30am and 8:30am. One of my concerns with this is that to add the SIM9 they might cut into the SIM7 which is already too infrequent. (Although, the SIM9 would help reduce the load of the SIM7.) Restoring the old X7/9 pattern would be the most sensible thing.

I wouldn’t say cut them, but make better use of them for sure. I think they’ll hold the line on the SIM7. Lots of angry SIM7 riders. They already have buses on standby for that line, so they know there are problems. P.S. I am fielding complaints about the SIM2. If you have any aside from wanting Midtown service on weekends, post them in the Express Bus Advocacy Group thread. Complaints are being compiled for all SIM express bus lines and will be taken to the (MTA) .

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I noticed that there is no SIM11-14, 16-21. Some of those destinations can be used for some service for the North Shore and continued service for the South Shore and Mid-Island. Instead of creating late night shuttle bus service to ETC. Expand local service levels, also create more SIMs, have more buses with service to West Side of Manhattan via West Side Highway to 57th and 42 streets to ETC, Richmond Avenue, Staten Island Mall, and Park-and Rides. The current service patterns have buses more focused on the East Side. The (MTA) really missed it's mark on the SI express re-design plan.

I think a SIM7x  Super Express can really help with the overcrowding along the current SIM7.

Also, I think the SIM4C should run all night (24 hours) to have the same treatment as the SIM1C. SIM2C and SIM3C service until 2:15AM. The current services don't match the changes made under this re-design.

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12 minutes ago, Future ENY OP said:

I noticed that there is no SIM11-14, 16-21. Some of those destinations can be used for some service for the North Shore and continued service for the South Shore and Mid-Island. Instead of creating late night shuttle bus service to ETC. Expand local service levels, also create more SIMs, have more buses with service to West Side of Manhattan via West Side Highway to 57th and 42 streets to ETC, Richmond Avenue, Staten Island Mall, and Park-and Rides. The current service patterns have buses more focused on the East Side. The (MTA) really missed it's mark on the SI express re-design plan.

I think a SIM7x  Super Express can really help with the overcrowding along the current SIM7.

Also, I think the SIM4C should run all night (24 hours) to have the same treatment as the SIM1C. SIM2C and SIM3C service until 2:15AM. The current services don't match the changes made under this re-design.

In all fairness, the SIM3C, (the old X10) finally had its span enlongated on Saturday nights to run until 00:00, but having everyone go to the SIM1C on Hylan for 24/7 is getting old. I don’t necessarily support another branch getting 24/7 service on Staten Island just yet since no other express bus in the City has that (Co-op City is a good candidate for it despite its falling ridership or Throggs Neck on the BxM9 should get it). However, I would run both the SIM4C and SIM3C until 02:00 Monday through Saturday and until 00:00 on Sundays.  I would adjust the headway though so that the buses aren’t running at the same time.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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So it’s back to 22 routes with maybe more to come. The more routes, the better. See, this is why change was the better so that way whenever a new route is needed, they will add on to the list. This past Friday, I saw many SIM routes, mainly on the SIM 30 series that end in downtown Manhattan, with seats FILLED to the rim. So that means they will need more buses for new routes & service increases in the coming months. 

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This was also the same thing that happened back in 1991 when the old X9/11/13 Hylan Blvd corridor was renumbered to X1 through X8 with no X9. The X9 route returned three months later replacing the X1 Super Express. So now we are back at it again

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On 9/14/2018 at 11:29 PM, Future ENY OP said:

I noticed that there is no SIM11-14, 16-21. Some of those destinations can be used for some service for the North Shore and continued service for the South Shore and Mid-Island. Instead of creating late night shuttle bus service to ETC. Expand local service levels, also create more SIMs, have more buses with service to West Side of Manhattan via West Side Highway to 57th and 42 streets to ETC, Richmond Avenue, Staten Island Mall, and Park-and Rides. The current service patterns have buses more focused on the East Side. The (MTA) really missed it's mark on the SI express re-design plan.

I think a SIM7x  Super Express can really help with the overcrowding along the current SIM7.

Also, I think the SIM4C should run all night (24 hours) to have the same treatment as the SIM1C. SIM2C and SIM3C service until 2:15AM. The current services don't match the changes made under this re-design.

Or have some super express routes  in those corridors, say like SIM20 to supplement the SIM30, SIM13 to supplement the SIM3C, SIM14 to supplement the SIM1C, have the SIM18/19 to run up the east side. Eventually, more routes or super ex routes will have to be created to serve areas that are either needed and/or supplement the regular routes for faster service. Anything from SIM17-30, should run via New Jersey (no disrespect to the SIM8) or maybe a SIM36 😂😂, mind you👊🏻👊🏻

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On 9/14/2018 at 11:29 PM, Future ENY OP said:

I noticed that there is no SIM11-14, 16-21. Some of those destinations can be used for some service for the North Shore and continued service for the South Shore and Mid-Island. 

On 9/17/2018 at 7:49 AM, FLX9304 said:

Or have some super express routes  in those corridors, say like SIM20 to supplement the SIM30, SIM13 to supplement the SIM3C, SIM14 to supplement the SIM1C, have the SIM18/19 to run up the east side.

That would mess up their number scheme. Which, frankly, is kind of weak and seems piece-meal (like the schedules). SIM2 and the 20s are South Shore. Increasing from 22 to 26 you get farther south. SIM3 and 30s are North Shore. As you go up from 31 to 35 you get farther north. The rest of the numbering seems pretty random. If they add a North Shore route it would probably be a SIM36, for South Shore a SIM20 (though South Shore doesn’t need it, unless maybe it’s a second downtown bus.)

Super expresses I kinda like the “x” suffix. But I can also see something like the locals, maybe give the super expresses a number in the 40s.

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21 minutes ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

They're eliminating the 5x/6x finally, what a waste they were. 

I thought they were extending them to make a few more stops, or at least they had been....

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9 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

Perhaps the 5x/6x trips are becoming SIM9s?

Perhaps. I have so many complaints on my plate to address right now with express bus service that it isn't even funny. I'll be speaking before the board with a cane before I get through all of them. LOL

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31 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I thought they were extending them to make a few more stops, or at least they had been....

They did extend them, looks like that wasn't enough. Someone complained "what's the point of the 6x if its gonna make every stop like the regular 6 in Staten Island". Idk why a bus driver would do that, but there's no point of waitin for a 6x when to 6 runs like every 3 mins. 

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17 minutes ago, XcelsiorBoii4888 said:

They did extend them, looks like that wasn't enough. Someone complained "what's the point of the 6x if its gonna make every stop like the regular 6 in Staten Island". Idk why a bus driver would do that, but there's no point of waitin for a 6x when to 6 runs like every 3 mins. 

The other issue is the drivers (yet again) didn't know where the routes would start, so they'd then make EVERY damn stop.  Some people were driving the Super Express buses, so yes, they would say what's the point of me wasting gas if I'm just going to make the same stops as the regular express buses.  Yeah just saw this:

https://www.silive.com/news/2018/09/mta_to_discontinue_sim5x_sim6x.html#incart_push

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

The other issue is the drivers (yet again) didn't know where the routes would start, so they'd then make EVERY damn stop.  Some people were driving the Super Express buses, so yes, they would say what's the point of me wasting gas if I'm just going to make the same stops as the regular express buses.  Yeah just saw this:

https://www.silive.com/news/2018/09/mta_to_discontinue_sim5x_sim6x.html#incart_push

Good, I saw no point in having the SIM5/6x. The SIM8x based on my experience is actually pretty useful.

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