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Via Garibaldi 8

Fuming residents say Staten Island bus route revamp is a disaster

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Fuming residents say Staten Island bus route revamp is a disaster

By Danielle Furfaro                                                                                      September 26, 2018 | 8:01pm | Updated

1809026-staten-island-mta.jpg?quality=90

Tim Wiencis

The MTA’s revamp of Staten Island’s bus system is a disaster — with longer wait times, overcrowding and commutes that have stretched into hours, residents griped at the agency’s board meeting Wednesday.

The transit agency recently completely changed all of its bus routes, creating 21 new express-bus paths between the borough and Manhattan.

The changes, which started Aug. 19, were meant to shorten commute times and create fewer stops around the island. But some residents say the changes have turned their commute into a nightmare.

“Buses are often missing, we are experiencing numerous missing scheduled buses at times, and we are waiting 25 to 40 minutes,” said resident Nia Kai. “It’s not even guaranteed we’re getting a seat when the bus arrives.”

The MTA also got rid of bus stops without considering whether there are sidewalks leading to the stop farther away, said some residents.

“You’re making people walk out in the middle of traffic,” said resident Brian Padera, holding up a photo of a road with no sidewalks.

Padera added that his commute has increased by about 20 minutes.

MTA officials say they are still tweaking the service according to commuter feedback.

“We’ve been making changes to improve this brand-new service on a near-daily basis in response to customer feedback and our observations on the ground,” said agency spokesman Shams Tarek. “We’re looking at every single comment and invite feedback because it’s helping us tailor this new service to our customers, and we’re encouraged by the fact that complaints are relatively few in light of the 36,000 daily users of this service.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/09/26/fuming-residents-say-staten-island-bus-route-revamp-is-a-disaster/

 

 

 

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I have to admit after reviewing the complete redesign, I'm left speechless. I've actually been left speechless by quite a few things that have been going on within the Department of Buses and when I have my sit-down with the President this month, I will be sure to address all of them.

Edited by East New York
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On 9/27/2018 at 10:32 AM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Fuming residents say Staten Island bus route revamp is a disaster

By Danielle Furfaro                                                                                      September 26, 2018 | 8:01pm | Updated

1809026-staten-island-mta.jpg?quality=90

Tim Wiencis

The MTA’s revamp of Staten Island’s bus system is a disaster — with longer wait times, overcrowding and commutes that have stretched into hours, residents griped at the agency’s board meeting Wednesday.

The transit agency recently completely changed all of its bus routes, creating 21 new express-bus paths between the borough and Manhattan.

The changes, which started Aug. 19, were meant to shorten commute times and create fewer stops around the island. But some residents say the changes have turned their commute into a nightmare.

“Buses are often missing, we are experiencing numerous missing scheduled buses at times, and we are waiting 25 to 40 minutes,” said resident Nia Kai. “It’s not even guaranteed we’re getting a seat when the bus arrives.”

The MTA also got rid of bus stops without considering whether there are sidewalks leading to the stop farther away, said some residents.

“You’re making people walk out in the middle of traffic,” said resident Brian Padera, holding up a photo of a road with no sidewalks.

Padera added that his commute has increased by about 20 minutes.

MTA officials say they are still tweaking the service according to commuter feedback.

“We’ve been making changes to improve this brand-new service on a near-daily basis in response to customer feedback and our observations on the ground,” said agency spokesman Shams Tarek. “We’re looking at every single comment and invite feedback because it’s helping us tailor this new service to our customers, and we’re encouraged by the fact that complaints are relatively few in light of the 36,000 daily users of this service.”

Source: https://nypost.com/2018/09/26/fuming-residents-say-staten-island-bus-route-revamp-is-a-disaster/

 

 

 

 

Some folks are angry because they couldn't make it to the meetings and didn't feel like submitting comments online.

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37 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

Some folks are angry because they couldn't make it to the meetings and didn't feel like submitting comments online.

That also. I mean I’m going to be leaving my office early and using one of my vacation days to attend the event in Riverdale. Luckily I have plenty of vacation days to use, but some people don’t or they lose pay if they take off. People wanted fewer stops, yes, but they didn’t want stops to be placed where there are no sidewalks or where they have to drive now. That was poorly planned and now it is creating a ton of congestion as people are driving to the express bus when they were previously walking.

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34 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

That also. I mean I’m going to be leaving my office early and using one of my vacation days to attend the event in Riverdale. Luckily I have plenty of vacation days to use, but some people don’t or they lose pay if they take off. People wanted fewer stops, yes, but they didn’t want stops to be placed where there are no sidewalks or where they have to drive now. That was poorly planned and now it is creating a ton of congestion as people are driving to the express bus when they were previously walking.

One of the controversial issues is that when the South Beach Park & Ride lost its West Street service some of those people ended up walking or driving to a closer spot. When I was pushing for a Father Capodanno-West Street route to be restored I was pushing for it from the perspective of someone who had no car who either got on early in the route and had to sit through the more congested Hylan routing or those who lived along Father Capodanno itself. Instead the main people that were being advocated for were those who drove to South Beach.

I cringe every time I hear it brought up that the South Beach Park and Ride is/was used from people as far as Tottenville, like c'mon let's see what the real issue is as to why those people think/feel it's necessary to drive across the island and can't use the express bus in their own neighborhood. Is it the span of their route? Is it the lack of service to a particular part of Manhattan (e.g. East 23rd Street or West Street?)

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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Just now, checkmatechamp13 said:

One of the controversial issues is that when the South Beach Park & Ride lost its West Street service some of those people ended up walking or driving to a closer spot. When I was pushing for a Father Capodanno-West Street route to be restored I was pushing for it from the perspective of someone who had no car who either got on early in the route and had to sit through the more congested Hylan routing or those who lived along Father Capodanno itself. Instead the main people that were being advocated for were those who drove to South Beach.

I cringe every time I hear it brought up that the South Beach Park and Ride is/was used from people as far as Tottenville, like c'mon let's see what the real issue is as to why those people think/feel it's necessary to drive across the island and can't use the express bus in their own neighborhood.

Yes, that is a big problem. The other major issue with this redesign is it has exacerbated quality of life issues.  Residential parking is almost impossible in some areas now because everyone is blocking up side streets or circling constantly for parking to then get to the express bus adding pollution. Then there is the added trash. Let’s face it. Some people are litter bugs and will dump their trash out into the street or on the sidewalk when exiting their car. I’d be furious if I had to deal with that as a homeowner and the added traffic and noise.

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So this maybe novice question on the topic. What prompted the redesign were people complaining about service for quite sometime with the old system?  Second what kind of input did they get to get this wrong?  I'm not sure I understand how you could sit with a certain number of people and be so far off the mark?  Where they asking the right questions or using the right metrics? Did they understand how to Disseminating information that was given or did they just supersede everything and do their own thing? Data is only as good as the measurements and goal. Perhaps Staten Island should have been last. The Other boroughs are less Complicated when it comes to the Express bus networks Definitely could have learnt from them 1st.

Edited by RailRunRob

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1 hour ago, RailRunRob said:

So this maybe novice question on the topic. What prompted the redesign were people complaining about service for quite sometime with the old system?  Second what kind of input did they get to get this wrong?  I'm not sure I understand how you could sit with a certain number of people and be so far off the mark?  Where they asking the right questions or using the right metrics? Did they understand how to Disseminating information that was given or did they just supersede everything and do their own thing? Data is only as good as the measurements and goal. Perhaps Staten Island should have been last. The Other boroughs are less Complicated when it comes to the Express bus networks Definitely could have learnt from them 1st.

What people asked for was more direct service and fewer stops. What the (MTA) did was remove stops in such a way that it created more congestion, and the fewer stops have not made the commutes quicker. The buses just sit in the stops longer and create more traffic and congestion. They shouldn’t have combined so many routes. That’s the real problem. Take the routes that work and keep them, and take others that are too long and tweak them so that they are more direct. The execution of this plan was horrible which the (MTA) doesn’t get. You don’t just move stops that worked where people could walk to them and then have new stops that are inaccessible. Each stop should’ve been thought out if they needed to be removed.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 hour ago, RailRunRob said:

So this maybe novice question on the topic. What prompted the redesign were people complaining about service for quite sometime with the old system?  Second what kind of input did they get to get this wrong?  I'm not sure I understand how you could sit with a certain number of people and be so far off the mark?  Where they asking the right questions or using the right metrics? Did they understand how to Disseminating information that was given or did they just supersede everything and do their own thing? Data is only as good as the measurements and goal. Perhaps Staten Island should have been last. The Other boroughs are less Complicated when it comes to the Express bus networks Definitely could have learnt from them 1st.

The study started way before Andy Byford or his Fast Forward plan came into the picture (October 2015 and Byford started over 2 years later)

The main thing is that, despite having almost 3 years to get it right, there were so many things they missed. They didn't show any calculations as to how many people would benefit (or lose) and the extent to which they were affected. I mean, copy-pasting pieces of the old schedules instead of at least doing an estimate of how much service each route requires (and publishing their calculations and assumptions)...no wonder this thing was a failure....that's one of the most basic things to consider...

One of the things that really screwed everything up is that the underlying local system is still inadequate. There's areas on the South Shore where the express service runs later than the local service (notably any express route near the S56 in Arden Heights or Princes Bay), so when they reduced the span on some routes, some people were literally stranded.

That's the problem...they messed up so much that now they have to look through all of the complaints and see which ones were valid and which are too much trouble to resolve (for example I don't think the lack of 34th Street service would receive this much attention if the whole thing wasn't so screwed up overall). I truly believe 42nd was the better street, but they never published anything saying how the Dyer Avenue bus lanes save X amount of time or how the subway connections are easier on 42nd for those who need them.

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1 hour ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

What people asked for was more direct service and fewer stops. What the (MTA) did was remove stops in such a way that it created more congestion, and the fewer stops have not made the commutes quicker. The buses just sit in the stops longer and create more traffic and congestion. They shouldn’t have combined so many routes. That’s the real problem. Take the routes that work and keep them, and take others that are too long and tweak them so that they are more direct. The execution of this plan was horrible which the (MTA) doesn’t get. You don’t just move stops that worked where people could walk to them and then have new stops that are inaccessible. Each stop should’ve been thought out if they needed to be removed.

Gotcha..I've been on Staten Island more in the last six months than I have probably in the last 25 years It definitely has unique characteristics and issues.Being it doesn't have rapid transit access to the business Districts in Manhattan it's almost like the Express routes are all but local on the Island. You see it on Hylan and Richmond with the Limited and SBS routes outpacing their express counterparts because of the densities of stops. But the other part of the coin is I kinda understand why everyone needs coverage and access to Manhattan I definitely would not be paying that toll every day. You do have to balance both. I wonder why they didn't look it like maybe the process of converting a route to limited status or even semi-limited leave the routes as you say that works and combine 2-3 stops. What about a distance based system SIM1 and SIM1a? SIM1 via Hyland to New Dorp.With the 1a  Non-Stop to New Dorp and all stops to the Transit Center. kinda spits people based on proximity. They kinda do this with SIM4x ect already correct. SIR operates this way as well for Rush. What are there options at this point? Seem beyond minor tweaks.. Might take years to get it right.

Edited by RailRunRob

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45 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The main thing is that, despite having almost 3 years to get it right, there were so many things they missed. They didn't show any calculations as to how many people would benefit (or lose) and the extent to which they were affected. I mean, copy-pasting pieces of the old schedules instead of at least doing an estimate of how much service each route requires (and publishing their calculations and assumptions)...no wonder this thing was a failure....that's one of the most basic things to consider...

That's super unacceptable You have people tweaking and changing a bus network that probably don't even use maybe have never used or ridden on. I do think they probably should have taken on a challenge like Queens first. I'll almost feel like they shouldn't be redesigning any other Borough until they fix this. Being that a lot of people in the Bronx don't drive and have no other means of travel there's a lot riding on that redesign as well. 

Edited by RailRunRob

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4 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

SIM1 via Hyland to New Dorp.With the 1a  Non-Stop to New Dorp and all stops to the Transit Center.

In an earlier post, I proposed having the New Dorp via Hylan and the ETC via F. Cap pattern for the Hylan routes, which makes much more sense. (The SIM9 should really stay on Hylan and the SIM7 should be the route that uses F. Cap)

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2 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

In an earlier post, I proposed having the New Dorp via Hylan and the ETC via F. Cap pattern for the Hylan routes, which makes much more sense. (The SIM9 should really stay on Hylan and the SIM7 should be the route that uses F. Cap)

How full are buses by the time they get to New Dorp/Midland? 

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9 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

Gotcha..I've been on Staten Island more in the last six months than I have probably in the last 25 years It definitely has unique characteristics and issues.Being it doesn't have rapid transit access to the business Districts in Manhattan it's almost like the Express routes are all but local on the Island. You see it on Hylan and Richmond with the Limited and SBS routes outpacing their express counterparts because of the densities of stops. But the other part of the coin is I kinda understand why everyone needs coverage and access to Manhattan I definitely would not be paying that toll every day. You do have to balance both. I wonder why they didn't look it like maybe the process of converting a route to limited status or even semi-limited leave the routes as you say that works and combine 2-3 stops. What about a distance based system SIM1 and SIM1a? SIM1 via Hyland to New Dorp.With the 1a  Non-Stop to New Dorp and all stops to the Transit Center. kinda spits people based on proximity. They kinda do this with SIM4x ect already correct. SIR operates this way as well for Rush. What are there options at this point? Seem beyond minor tweaks.. Might take years to get it right.

The SIM4X is a bad example, because the SI Mall is in the middle of the route (not halfway up, but maybe like 1/3 of the way up the line). The regular SIM4 starts in a residential section of Annadale, makes a major stop at the ETC, and then goes up Richmond Avenue, loops behind the mall at Marsh Avenue, and heads back to Richmond Avenue before getting on the highway about 3 miles down.

But yeah, a properly executed SIM4X/8X would start down on the South Shore (I would personally extend the SIM4 to Arden & Drumgoole, since that area isn't covered by the SIM2/X19 anymore for Downtown service) and make all stops up to the SI Mall, and then go nonstop while the regular SIM4/8 pick up the rest of the route. Run it that way at the height of rush hour, and then at the beginning and end of rush hour, have the regular SIM4/8 making the full route to the South Shore.

The idea I had originally proposed was having the SIM4X/8X bypass the mall and go straight up Richmond Avenue, while the SIM4/8 start at Marsh Avenue & Windham Loop and also go up Richmond Avenue. So South Shore riders at least get to bypass the mall (which requires you to physically head east and then back west to Richmond Avenue in addition to making the actual stops), but with that, nobody really gets a super-quick ride since everything is making all stops after Richmond Hill Road. But honestly, it's not that long. From the SI Mall to Lamberts Lane is maybe 15-20 minutes.

9 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

That's super unacceptable You have people tweaking and changing a bus network that probably don't even use maybe have never used or ridden on. I do think they probably should have taken on a challenge like Queens first. I'll almost feel like they shouldn't be redesigning any other Borough until they fix this. Being that a lot of people in the Bronx don't drive and have no other means of travel there's a lot riding on that redesign as well. 

That's not my issue. I don't care where the planners come from. It should be common sense that you don't leave giant gaps in the peak/off-peak transition. It should be common sense that you don't take a corridor that ran 12 buses per hour, cut it down to 4-5 buses per hour, and expect to fit everybody on. It should be common sense that if you promise a neighborhood that their span of service will be at least what it currently is, you double-check the schedules to make sure you're sticking to that promise.

You know the saying "It might work on paper but it doesn't work in real life". Certain aspects of this plan don't even work on paper, so how can they possibly work in real life? Before we get into the issues of "all the buses on one corridor" or any of that, the fact that they couldn't even get an idea of how frequently the buses needed to run (when they had the data right there in front of them) says a lot.

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