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SIMplicity

More major express bus changes coming: New routes and stops, extended service

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3 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I happen to agree with you and the SIM2 will be on my agenda for the next meeting that I have with the (MTA) . It isn't enough to say that it had low ridership. I'd like specifics.

The BM4 and BM5 are "Very low off-peak ridership routes", Saying almost half of what the BM4 averages Saturdays were on that 1:20 PM SIM2 trip, it probably doesn't have that low off-peak ridership. Instead of cutting off-peak service, they could make a more reasonable span and have buses run every 60 minutes off-peak. I also think that an off-peak Midtown extension would do well since that's where the masses are traveling to off-peak.

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7 hours ago, SIMplicity said:

The first SIM2 from Manhattan (possibly) leaves at 3:05?? Tell that to the 21 people who took the 1:20 bus with me today (including several elderly people). Sure, portions of it will be covered by the SIM4C, but: 7 or 8 got off at Victory in Travis, 4 at Arthur Kill (checkpoint), 5 in Huguenot, 1 in Princes Bay and 1 in Tottenville — none of which will be served by the SIM4C, and will lose off peak service. Granted, the bus was nowhere near completely full, but there are off peak and early/late rush hour buses on other express routes in the city that aren’t near full either. And when they said “very low ridership” it sounded like buses were near empty (which they are at some times of the day, but not all). And I’m curious to know how SIM3C off-peak ridership is, and whether it’s high enough that two parallel north shore off peak routes will get enough ridership. But I at least think the SIM2 should start at 2:00 like the X19, if not 1:00.

Of course, though, I am only venting because I am biased about this, and there are much bigger issues right now than the loss of SIM2 off peak service. (i.e. financial crisis, fare hikes, BM/QM/BxM service cuts, missing trips, unreliability etc etc etc)

Along Watchogue Road, there's barely any people. Maybe you get like 2-3 at Livermore and that's about it. There's a couple of people at the Victory Blvd stops but (especially outbound) those stops are a few blocks from Gannon anyway. Honestly, the SIM3C should be in the same boat as the SIM2 (a Downtown-only route and put the savings towards off-peak SIM2 service) since the only "established" areas covered are Concord/Arrochar and Port Richmond (and Arrochar already has the SIM1C). 

In any case, I hope you're letting your fellow SIM2 riders know of the changes (so they can plan alternate routes and also contact the MTA with their concerns). My SIM4C was missing tonight so I hopped on the SIM2 to Travis to catch the S62. As we were walking over the West Shore Expressway, I asked another passenger (Travis resident) if she knew the off-peak service was being eliminated, and she didn't (so I told her who to contact with her complaint). Sadly, a lot of riders are in for an unpleasant surprise on January 13th.

6 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I happen to agree with you and the SIM2 will be on my agenda for the next meeting that I have with the (MTA) . It isn't enough to say that it had low ridership. I'd like specifics.

They said most of the riders were in Arden Heights (which is going to be served by the SIM4C extension). So even if buses saw good ridership they figured they could accommodate them with the SIM4C. Also, some idiots in Community Board 3 complained about "too many buses down Craig Avenue" (and when I called, they said "Those buses are running back and forth all day between Hylan & Amboy". Maybe change the deadhead route back to the depot so buses turn around and use Hylan back to Page, but still what a stupid reason). It's a public street and the MTA has the right to send buses down it to serve its riders. Same with the S59/78 that run through there (and all the rush hour buses on the SIM2/25/26)

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8 hours ago, SIMplicity said:

The first SIM2 from Manhattan (possibly) leaves at 3:05?? Tell that to the 21 people who took the 1:20 bus with me today (including several elderly people). Sure, portions of it will be covered by the SIM4C, but: 7 or 8 got off at Victory in Travis, 4 at Arthur Kill (checkpoint), 5 in Huguenot, 1 in Princes Bay and 1 in Tottenville — none of which will be served by the SIM4C, and will lose off peak service. Granted, the bus was nowhere near completely full, but there are off peak and early/late rush hour buses on other express routes in the city that aren’t near full either. And when they said “very low ridership” it sounded like buses were near empty (which they are at some times of the day, but not all). And I’m curious to know how SIM3C off-peak ridership is, and whether it’s high enough that two parallel north shore off peak routes will get enough ridership. But I at least think the SIM2 should start at 2:00 like the X19, if not 1:00.

Of course, though, I am only venting because I am biased about this, and there are much bigger issues right now than the loss of SIM2 off peak service. (i.e. financial crisis, fare hikes, BM/QM/BxM service cuts, missing trips, unreliability etc etc etc)

Unfortunately, I triple checked and could not find any additional trips. I live in the SIM2 service area, use the bus off-peak and now dread using the SIM4c. Usually there are 7-10 passengers per trip at various times between 13:00 - 15:30 to Manhattan during weekdays; I haven't used the service on weekends as I work, but I could definitely concede that ridership is extremely low, if not non-existent (late afternoons on weekends to Manhattan).

Personally, I would be happy if we had :30 headways off-peak on weekdays until 11:00 and hourly service until 17:00. I would be OK with an elimination of weekend service, but increase the weekend service on the SIM4c to end at around midnight (which, to the surprise of no-one, the last trip leaves Central Park still leaves at 20:50, leaving the SIM1c to get pounded with folks to the Eltingville Transit Center.)

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36 minutes ago, 161 New York said:

Unfortunately, I triple checked and could not find any additional trips. I live in the SIM2 service area, use the bus off-peak and now dread using the SIM4c. Usually there are 7-10 passengers per trip at various times between 13:00 - 15:30 to Manhattan during weekdays; I haven't used the service on weekends as I work, but I could definitely concede that ridership is extremely low, if not non-existent (late afternoons on weekends to Manhattan).

Personally, I would be happy if we had :30 headways off-peak on weekdays until 11:00 and hourly service until 17:00. I would be OK with an elimination of weekend service, but increase the weekend service on the SIM4c to end at around midnight (which, to the surprise of no-one, the last trip leaves Central Park still leaves at 20:50, leaving the SIM1c to get pounded with folks to the Eltingville Transit Center.)

Wait, the SIM4C is still out of CPS/6th? I thought they were moving the terminal back to 57th & Lexington (since the SIM33C is going there).

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12 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Wait, the SIM4C is still out of CPS/6th? I thought they were moving the terminal back to 57th & Lexington (since the SIM33C is going there).

According to the "short schedules" we have, the full paddles are *still* not available right now, which may lead to some buyer's remorse for some of the senior folks who might find a surprise trip in their picks if they are not careful enough, the SIM4c, CPS6A, remains a terminal stop.

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9 hours ago, 161 New York said:

According to the "short schedules" we have, the full paddles are *still* not available right now, which may lead to some buyer's remorse for some of the senior folks who might find a surprise trip in their picks if they are not careful enough, the SIM4c, CPS6A, remains a terminal stop.

Ay yay yay. Keep us posted here. May have to get confirmation on this...

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5 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Draft schedules are now posted for the Winter pick and the Civic Connect website is updated as of 12/10/18

http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/bus/sisch.htm (Scroll to the bottom)

IMO the SIM33C should serve the Narrows Road instead of the SIM3C because morning weekday service to Staten Island on the SIM3C has been cut forcing narrow road riders at that time to transfer to the S93. 

I do like that they kept reverse peak service on the SIM4C for the PM rush.

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45 minute wait for the SIM2 between the last two buses on weekdays? So much for following its own guidelines.

 

Also, wasn't the SIM4C suppose to go to Hugenot SIR station? The draft schedule only has it going to Woodrow & Vineland.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven

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38 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

45 minute wait for the SIM2 between the last two buses on weekdays? So much for following its own guidelines.

 

Also, wasn't the SIM4C suppose to go to Hugenot SIR station? The draft schedule only has it going to Woodrow & Vineland.

The SIM4C also still has the 60-70 minute headways in the afternoon to Staten Island. The X17C ran 30-45 minute headways at this time towards Staten Island.

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1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

45 minute wait for the SIM2 between the last two buses on weekdays? So much for following its own guidelines.

 

Also, wasn't the SIM4C suppose to go to Hugenot SIR station? The draft schedule only has it going to Woodrow & Vineland.

 

48 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

The SIM4C also still has the 60-70 minute headways in the afternoon to Staten Island. The X17C ran 30-45 minute headways at this time towards Staten Island.

I'm not shocked that there are still gaps in service. This is where other elected officials have to start getting on the (MTA) 's @ss to provide more service. Oddo has been the one dealing with the (MTA) but he can't do it alone.  Malliotakis, Lanza, Matteo, Borrelli, Rose, Titone and others have to stand demanding more from the (MTA) . Too many constituents not getting their service.  Malliotakis has started to become more vocal recently given the litany of complaints that her office has been fielding, and she is even now willing to take some trips with passengers to see the hell folks are dealing with.

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4 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

45 minute wait for the SIM2 between the last two buses on weekdays? So much for following its own guidelines.

 

Also, wasn't the SIM4C suppose to go to Hugenot SIR station? The draft schedule only has it going to Woodrow & Vineland.


The Huguenot SIR Station P&R is completely full with people taking the SIR to Downtown (via Ferry), we even see vehicles with New Jersey license plates - they are not getting on buses. However, there may be more people now using the P&R due to miscreants who think the public parking spaces in front of their homes on public streets are theirs and causing issues for people who feel the need to drive to the bus stop - but overall that number using that specific P&R for buses is very small. (I live in the immediate area for 30+ years.)

The reversion back to Arthur Kill and Arden between Arthur Kill and Woodrow makes total sense as the various townhouse developments are where many riders originate.

Specific to the SIM4c, an off-peak extension to Woodrow & Bloomingdale could be beneficial and at minimal cost as the buses return to Charleston Depot. Going anywhere further on this route and making loops is unnecessary. But we can always converse about the scheduling.

 

Edited by 161 New York

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I’m pretty shocked by some of the changes.

Cutting all SIM10 trips between 6:40 and 8pm, turning them into SIM1Cs, and keeping the 10 minute headways?! Not to mention that the SIM1 during that time is currently also on 10 minutes headways and it only serves downtown. This will be a huge disaster. Hundreds of people who use the SIM10 will see longer commutes, and hundreds of people who use the SIM1 will be met with crowded and unreliable 1Cs from midtown. @Via Garibaldi 8 Since this is a draft schedule can you please ask them to reconsider this? One of the focal points and benefits of the redesign was splitting downtown and midtown service for increased speed and reliability, and with each schedule change they have been slowly reverting back to the way things used to be (look at how the SIM3 span was cut 2 hours in October).

Not only did they cut all SIM2 trips before 3:05pm, but they didn’t keep their promise of extending the SIM25 span to match the X22 and SIM25 (2:10-8:15). They kept the first bus at 3:10, and added two trips at 7:30 and 8:00. The X19 started at 2 and the X22 at 2:10; the SIM2 and 25 should be no different. For the SIM2, I think it should start even earlier since there are already many people using it. For the SIM25 they can easily turn one of the three SIM26 trips before 3:10 into a SIM25 and add one more bus to have half-hour headways in each route starting at 2:10. That 45 minute SIM2 gap in the evening is also concerning.

5 hours ago, 161 New York said:


The Huguenot SIR Station P&R is completely full with people taking the SIR to Downtown (via Ferry), we even see vehicles with New Jersey license plates - they are not getting on buses. However, there may be more people now using the P&R due to miscreants who think the public parking spaces in front of their homes on public streets are theirs and causing issues for people who feel the need to drive to the bus stop - but overall that number using that specific P&R for buses is very small. (I live in the immediate area for 30+ years.)

The reversion back to Arthur Kill and Arden between Arthur Kill and Woodrow makes total sense as the various townhouse developments are where many riders originate.

Specific to the SIM4c, an off-peak extension to Woodrow & Bloomingdale could be beneficial and at minimal cost as the buses return to Charleston Depot. Going anywhere further on this route and making loops is unnecessary. But we can always converse about the scheduling.

 

For the SIM4C, extending it to the park and ride would help people living along Huguenot between Woodrow and Amboy (and the X17 ran along this stretch of Huguenot). Extending it along Woodrow to Bloomingdale is also not a bad idea. As much as I wish it were extended along the SIM2 to Tottenville I don’t see that happening. (It would add an extra 15 minutes in each direction.)

I really wish they would release ridership stats on the SIM2 and 3C. It’s not fair to cut the SIM2 off-peak on the premise of “very low ridership” without being more specific than that. Each time I’ve ridden it off-peak there were between 10 and 30 people on the bus. Ridership has visibly grown since August. People have switched to it from the ferry. Of course there are times when it is almost empty but the same is true for the SIM3C.

In place of the SIM33C, do you think they would consider a SIM2C that serves Gannon between Slosson and CSI before getting back on the SIE towards Tottenville? Richmond would lose the 33C, but it’s covered by the 3C and 4C anyway which are both more direct. Mariners Harbor would not gain off-peak service but they have robust local service and can take the S48 or 46 to the SIM3C. SIM2 travel times would increase about 15 minutes inbound and 10 minutes outbound but ridership would be greater due to serving Gannon and CSI.

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42 minutes ago, SIMplicity said:

I really wish they would release ridership stats on the SIM2 and 3C. It’s not fair to cut the SIM2 off-peak on the premise of “very low ridership” without being more specific than that. Each time I’ve ridden it off-peak there were between 10 and 30 people on the bus. Ridership has visibly grown since August. People have switched to it from the ferry. Of course there are times when it is almost empty but the same is true for the SIM3C.

It's all comes down to who's running the service. (MTA) Bus seems to be much more generous than NYCT when it comes to off-peak service, even though (MTA) Bus is running into a series of budget cuts as well. All of the NYCT express routes that run off-peak have a weekend ridership close to or over 1,000 riders. The exception is the X28 which had off-peak service brought back a few years ago and ridership on that route is rising quickly (In fact all of the NYCT routes that ran off-peak gained ridership last year). (MTA) Bus, however, has many bus routes that have weekend ridership below 500, some even in the double digits. (BM4 and BM5) I highly doubt that SIM2 off-peak ridership was like the BM4 and BM5 off-peak.  

 

Edited by Lil 57

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16 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

It's all comes down to who's running the service. (MTA) Bus seems to be much more generous than NYCT when it comes to off-peak service, even though (MTA) Bus is running into a series of budget cuts as well. All of the NYCT express routes that run off-peak have a weekend ridership close to or over 1,000 riders. The exception is the X28 which had off-peak service brought back a few years ago and ridership on that route is rising quickly (In fact all of the NYCT routes that ran off-peak gained ridership last year). (MTA) Bus, however, has many bus routes that have weekend ridership below 500, some even in the double digits. (BM4 and BM5) I highly doubt that SIM2 off-peak ridership was like the BM4 and BM5 off-peak.  

 

I’m sure that if you gave the SIM2 a couple years it would grow nicely like the X28. But it’s only been 4 months, it’s still early. It’s not like the north shore where there were already a considerable number of express riders off hours along Gannon.

I’m not sure about weekend SIM2 ridership, but I anticipate it’s low. Maybe even BM4/5 levels, I don’t know. During the weekday midday though I think ridership is decent enough to justify the trips. I’m sure if it ran to midnight like the other off peak buses more people would have used it.

As for right now, the bare minimum should be 2:00-8:15pm. 3:05 is too late a start. Frankly I think they should give it “reduced”  or “limited” off peak service on weekdays. I think it should run inbound from 4:35am until 11 am or noon and outbound from noon until around 10pm. That way you don’t run it reverse-peak during times at which ridership is very low, but you maintain trips during the times people actually use it.

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5 minutes ago, SIMplicity said:

I’m sure that if you gave the SIM2 a couple years it would grow nicely like the X28. But it’s only been 4 months, it’s still early. It’s not like the north shore where there were already a considerable number of express riders off hours along Gannon.

I’m not sure about weekend SIM2 ridership, but I anticipate it’s low. Maybe even BM4/5 levels, I don’t know. During the weekday midday though I think ridership is decent enough to justify the trips. I’m sure if it ran to midnight like the other off peak buses more people would have used it.

As for right now, the bare minimum should be 2:00-8:15pm. 3:05 is too late a start. Frankly I think they should give it “reduced”  or “limited” off peak service on weekdays. I think it should run inbound from 4:35am until 11 am or noon and outbound from noon until around 10pm. That way you don’t run it reverse-peak during times at which ridership is very low, but you maintain trips during the times people actually use it.

As I stated before if the spans made more sense, the route was extended to Midtown off-peak and off-peak service was every 60 minutes instead of every 30, the route might have survived. I think the (MTA) should have given the off-peak SIM2 at least one year to grow before eliminating it entirely.

Edited by Lil 57
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1 hour ago, SIMplicity said:

Cutting all SIM10 trips between 6:40 and 8pm, turning them into SIM1Cs, and keeping the 10 minute headways?! Not to mention that the SIM1 during that time is currently also on 10 minutes headways and it only serves downtown. This will be a huge disaster. Hundreds of people who use the SIM10 will see longer commutes, and hundreds of people who use the SIM1 will be met with crowded and unreliable 1Cs from midtown. @Via Garibaldi 8 Since this is a draft schedule can you please ask them to reconsider this? One of the focal points and benefits of the redesign was splitting downtown and midtown service for increased speed and reliability, and with each schedule change they have been slowly reverting back to the way things used to be (look at how the SIM3 span was cut 2 hours in October).

It's also like this in the AM, 8:10 AM is when the last SIM10 leaves from the ETC compared to 9:10 AM now. The first SIM1C from the ETC leaves at 8:22 AM. This is a way of the (MTA) trying to keep things "cost neutral". "We made the SIM11 and extended the SIM1 so let's convert a bunch of SIM10 trips into slow SIM1C trips in return."  Totally unacceptable.

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I'm currently working on a google doc that summarizes all of the changes of the SIM routes.

I'm very upset with what they did to Hylan Blvd service. They added the SIM11 and increased service on the SIM6 but cut service on every other Hylan route. I thought that they would reduce some SIM6 service and give that to the SIM11.

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4 hours ago, SIMplicity said:

I’m pretty shocked by some of the changes.

Cutting all SIM10 trips between 6:40 and 8pm, turning them into SIM1Cs, and keeping the 10 minute headways?! Not to mention that the SIM1 during that time is currently also on 10 minutes headways and it only serves downtown. This will be a huge disaster. Hundreds of people who use the SIM10 will see longer commutes, and hundreds of people who use the SIM1 will be met with crowded and unreliable 1Cs from midtown. @Via Garibaldi 8 Since this is a draft schedule can you please ask them to reconsider this? One of the focal points and benefits of the redesign was splitting downtown and midtown service for increased speed and reliability, and with each schedule change they have been slowly reverting back to the way things used to be (look at how the SIM3 span was cut 2 hours in October).

Not only did they cut all SIM2 trips before 3:05pm, but they didn’t keep their promise of extending the SIM25 span to match the X22 and SIM25 (2:10-8:15). They kept the first bus at 3:10, and added two trips at 7:30 and 8:00. The X19 started at 2 and the X22 at 2:10; the SIM2 and 25 should be no different. For the SIM2, I think it should start even earlier since there are already many people using it. For the SIM25 they can easily turn one of the three SIM26 trips before 3:10 into a SIM25 and add one more bus to have half-hour headways in each route starting at 2:10. That 45 minute SIM2 gap in the evening is also concerning.

For the SIM4C, extending it to the park and ride would help people living along Huguenot between Woodrow and Amboy (and the X17 ran along this stretch of Huguenot). Extending it along Woodrow to Bloomingdale is also not a bad idea. As much as I wish it were extended along the SIM2 to Tottenville I don’t see that happening. (It would add an extra 15 minutes in each direction.)

I really wish they would release ridership stats on the SIM2 and 3C. It’s not fair to cut the SIM2 off-peak on the premise of “very low ridership” without being more specific than that. Each time I’ve ridden it off-peak there were between 10 and 30 people on the bus. Ridership has visibly grown since August. People have switched to it from the ferry. Of course there are times when it is almost empty but the same is true for the SIM3C.

In place of the SIM33C, do you think they would consider a SIM2C that serves Gannon between Slosson and CSI before getting back on the SIE towards Tottenville? Richmond would lose the 33C, but it’s covered by the 3C and 4C anyway which are both more direct. Mariners Harbor would not gain off-peak service but they have robust local service and can take the S48 or 46 to the SIM3C. SIM2 travel times would increase about 15 minutes inbound and 10 minutes outbound but ridership would be greater due to serving Gannon and CSI.

The SIM3 span reduction I actually agree with, (I mean it would definitely be nice to have it run the X12 span, but I don't think the demand for direct Midtown service is there all the way from 2:00pm-7:45pm). However, I definitely agree with you on the SIM10 span reduction (and look at the schedule at the end of rush hour. 6:06pm, 6:16pm, 6:20pm, 6:38pm. Maybe they meant to say 6:26pm and confused the 6 for a 0 or something). That last SIM10 is likely to be jam-packed and after that's done, riders on the eastern end of 23rd Street either have to take the SIM6 and a local bus, or make their way to Park & 22nd for the SIM1C. They should've kept the SIM1 & SIM10 span and just run the SIM1 & SIM10 a little less frequently (maybe run a few SIM1C trips to/from 14th Street or 23rd Street since the SIM7/9 end a little earlier in both the AM and PM rush).

With the SIM25, that was because it was a choice between having the SIM25 & SIM26 run back-to-back in the evening, or trying to coordinate them so that people in Travis, Rossville & Tottenville have more frequent service) and they chose the latter option. That boosts ridership (it may make the difference between someone in Travis driving to Bulls Head if they know they will return at that time of the night, or someone in Rossville or Tottenville driving to the ETC, or of course they might not make the trip at all if they know service isn't as frequent as they prefer). Originally it was supposed to be a PM span extension in the evening (not the beginning of the PM rush), then I guess they decided to do it on both ends of the PM, and then I guess they decided to do it on both ends of the AM instead of the beginning of the PM. I do agree that a couple of SIM26 could be shifted around at the beginning of the PM rush and converted to SIM25 trips similar to the way they did it at the end of the PM rush.

For the early PM SIM2 span, I'm going to quote a portion of my blog:

Quote

However, they eliminated the first 3 X19/SIM2 buses of the evening (the X19 started at 2pm, while the SIM2 will start at 3:10pm). And to make matters worse, they continue to run the SIM4C once an hour around that timeframe. They must really have something against that route. First they combine the X17 with the Gannon portion of the X10 and run it once an hour. Now they separate the Gannon portion and give it to the SIM33C and they cram all of the Arden Heights riders into one bus per hour. I mean seriously look at the options to Arden Heights before 3pm under the old schedule. You had the X19 leaving Worth Street at 2pm, 2:25pm, and 2:50pm, and the X17 leaving Worth Street at 2:11pm, 2:31pm. 2:45pm, and 3pm. Now all of that gets replaced with one bus leaving Chambers Street at 2:10pm coming from Midtown. Yeah, combining 6 buses worth of people into one bus.....somehow I don't see that working out too well......

As for the SIM3C, it gets a few people on Victory (which is a few blocks from the Gannon corridor). It gets a decent amount of people once it turns onto Richmond Avenue (the Jules Drive/Armand Street stop). However, those people will have the SIM33 in January, so it'll basically be "picking up the scraps" so to speak. And worse, they didn't even coordinate the SIM3C & SIM33C so that people within walking distance of both can switch off between them. When I travel in the evenings I try to time myself for the last SIM8, but if not I use the SIM3C/4C (I specifically avoided the SIM4C before October 7th because combining the busiest portions of the X10 and X17 and running the resultant route every 30 minutes would lead to delays and overcrowding. After October 7th, I just took/take whatever came first and those are my observations for the SIM3C)

For your SIM2C idea, the only issue is that the West Shore Expressway traffic can get backed up off-peak and that would impact inbound reliability on the Gannon portion. But otherwise it's not bad.

But personally I think they should've just cut the SIM3C back to Downtown (or run the SIM34 instead of the SIM3C), run a route starting from Richmond & Victory down Gannon & Narrows to Midtown) and left the SIM2 as-is (extending the evening span because honestly ending at 8:15pm on an off-peak route is stupid)

3 hours ago, SIMplicity said:

I’m sure that if you gave the SIM2 a couple years it would grow nicely like the X28. But it’s only been 4 months, it’s still early. It’s not like the north shore where there were already a considerable number of express riders off hours along Gannon.

I’m not sure about weekend SIM2 ridership, but I anticipate it’s low. Maybe even BM4/5 levels, I don’t know. During the weekday midday though I think ridership is decent enough to justify the trips. I’m sure if it ran to midnight like the other off peak buses more people would have used it.

 As for right now, the bare minimum should be 2:00-8:15pm. 3:05 is too late a start. Frankly I think they should give it “reduced”  or “limited” off peak service on weekdays. I think it should run inbound from 4:35am until 11 am or noon and outbound from noon until around 10pm. That way you don’t run it reverse-peak during times at which ridership is very low, but you maintain trips during the times people actually use it.

Reverse-peak service is dirt cheap to provide because the buses are heading in that direction anyway to start their peak trips. A woman told me that she would regularly get around 20 people on the trips around 2-3pm) (she was a former X17 rider traveling between Arden Heights & Midtown but was much happier with the SIM2 service compared to the X17. She was able to shift her work schedule to start later so she could pick her kids up after school and then go start her afternoon shift). Now she'll have to sit through the extra stops along Richmond Avenue and end up transferring to the subway anyway because the trip was extended on the Staten Island end.

But yeah I do agree that given time, the SIM2 would've filled up.

3 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

As I stated before if the spans made more sense, the route was extended to Midtown off-peak and off-peak service was every 60 minutes instead of every 30, the route might have survived. I think the (MTA) should have given the off-peak SIM2 at least one year to grow before eliminating it entirely.

Extending it to Midtown would've just made it more unreliable. It was good having a reliable option Downtown (I've used it in the early evening since those first couple of SIM3C & SIM4C buses of the evening are always delayed coming from Midtown, so I grabbed the SIM2 to the S62 and beat those buses home)

1 hour ago, Lil 57 said:

I'm currently working on a google doc that summarizes all of the changes of the SIM routes.

I'm very upset with what they did to Hylan Blvd service. They added the SIM11 and increased service on the SIM6 but cut service on every other Hylan route. I thought that they would reduce some SIM6 service and give that to the SIM11.

It makes more sense to reduce the frequency on the SIM10 since most of the riders are coming from the northern part of Hylan). But yeah, those AM headways on the SIM6 are overkill. I would've thought they would reduce the SIM10 frequency but keep the span (and as I said at the Queens public hearing, it seems there's a ton of overlap at the beginning of the AM and PM rush, and then gaps towards the end, especially in the PM rush). 

Also my blog might help in making the Google Doc: http://checkmatechamp1.blogspot.com/

Edited by checkmatechamp13
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6 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Reverse-peak service is dirt cheap to provide because the buses are heading in that direction anyway to start their peak trips.

I agree. Why is the SIM1C running every hour reverse peak while other routes are still running every 30 minutes? Makes no sense to me.

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6 hours ago, SIMplicity said:

I’m pretty shocked by some of the changes.

Cutting all SIM10 trips between 6:40 and 8pm, turning them into SIM1Cs, and keeping the 10 minute headways?! Not to mention that the SIM1 during that time is currently also on 10 minutes headways and it only serves downtown. This will be a huge disaster. Hundreds of people who use the SIM10 will see longer commutes, and hundreds of people who use the SIM1 will be met with crowded and unreliable 1Cs from midtown. @Via Garibaldi 8 Since this is a draft schedule can you please ask them to reconsider this? One of the focal points and benefits of the redesign was splitting downtown and midtown service for increased speed and reliability, and with each schedule change they have been slowly reverting back to the way things used to be (look at how the SIM3 span was cut 2 hours in October).

Not only did they cut all SIM2 trips before 3:05pm, but they didn’t keep their promise of extending the SIM25 span to match the X22 and SIM25 (2:10-8:15). They kept the first bus at 3:10, and added two trips at 7:30 and 8:00. The X19 started at 2 and the X22 at 2:10; the SIM2 and 25 should be no different. For the SIM2, I think it should start even earlier since there are already many people using it. For the SIM25 they can easily turn one of the three SIM26 trips before 3:10 into a SIM25 and add one more bus to have half-hour headways in each route starting at 2:10. That 45 minute SIM2 gap in the evening is also concerning.

For the SIM4C, extending it to the park and ride would help people living along Huguenot between Woodrow and Amboy (and the X17 ran along this stretch of Huguenot). Extending it along Woodrow to Bloomingdale is also not a bad idea. As much as I wish it were extended along the SIM2 to Tottenville I don’t see that happening. (It would add an extra 15 minutes in each direction.)

I really wish they would release ridership stats on the SIM2 and 3C. It’s not fair to cut the SIM2 off-peak on the premise of “very low ridership” without being more specific than that. Each time I’ve ridden it off-peak there were between 10 and 30 people on the bus. Ridership has visibly grown since August. People have switched to it from the ferry. Of course there are times when it is almost empty but the same is true for the SIM3C.

In place of the SIM33C, do you think they would consider a SIM2C that serves Gannon between Slosson and CSI before getting back on the SIE towards Tottenville? Richmond would lose the 33C, but it’s covered by the 3C and 4C anyway which are both more direct. Mariners Harbor would not gain off-peak service but they have robust local service and can take the S48 or 46 to the SIM3C. SIM2 travel times would increase about 15 minutes inbound and 10 minutes outbound but ridership would be greater due to serving Gannon and CSI.

 I asked about the drafts today and these are pretty much a done deal for now anyway. There may be some slight changes but only if there are things like typos. Unfortunately I have not yet finalized the next meeting with my contacts and probably won’t for a while because they are busy with the whole (L) train mess so we would be meeting when all of us can get together plus a DOT rep, and last time there was at least six or seven of us together (myself and (MTA) folks). I did follow up today to try to get a feel for dates but responses have been sporadic.  Here’s the thing. All of the runs have been picked, so there can’t be too many other changes. Too many and they’d have to have yet another pick, and I can tell you that didn’t go over so well last time. Guys had already picked and then they had to pick yet again just a few months later. 

I can tell you though that in January we will be monitoring service on Staten Island more closely. We knew what some of the issues were plaguing service so while we’ve been critical, we thought it fair to only really monitor service when they implemented what they thought were changes that can allow them to run service effectively, so now it’s time to produce. We also plan to continue to push for more lines where needed and more restorations. With 2019 coming anything is possible and if their financial standing improves then that would make it a lot easier for them to add more service. That said, they would need more buses and that likely won’t happen until 2019 at the very earliest. From what I was told there aren’t any more buses left to really enhance service more, plus the budget, so in order to create more routes, cuts have to be made elsewhere. I also wonder if any depot is at capacity. Years ago after Charleston opened, there were talks of yet another depot opening once land was found and a site was secured, but that obviously hasn’t happened. Charleston allowed the (MTA) to run a bit more service, but it also helped to alleviate the overcrowding at Castleton and Yukon, so space at Charleston was pretty much accounted for before it even opened.

I can message one of my other contacts and see if they have heard of anything, but I doubt it. I asked them if they heard anything about the proposed express bus cuts, and they couldn’t give me anything. They may be able to confirm things like deadhead time though. That should’ve been addressed (at least I hope it will be). My plan is to grill them about the SIM2 in my next meeting. I told them that we want specifics on ridership stats and what sort of marketing they did to let people in the area know that the bus ran off-peak and weekends. There are still people just finding out recently about the bus even running and now it is being cut. Crazy...

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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11 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

Here is the Google Doc with my commentary about the new SIM Service in January:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ekd03eYMoOVnjYFBORsx4T3qDN7uE2hGjklFj_SEjGk/edit?usp=sharing

I'll probably add more comments later (and as you saw, some of the same things are covered in my own blog), but here's a few comments:

On the SIM26, those 2 trips removed after 6pm were the ones used to create the 7:30pm and 8pm SIM25 trips. 

The SIM27 should operate the old X22 route (in other words, leave the SIM26 running down Bloomingdale to the end, and have the SIM27 take Bloomingdale-Woodrow-Rossville). With there being only 2 Downtown routes on the South Shore, I think it's important to try and cover as many areas as possible. (Remember the SIM2 was originally supposed to run straight down Huguenot Avenue, but was modified to swing over to Arden to be within walking distance of more residents).

On the SIM2, I think it would've been more sustainable every 30 minutes to Downtown, as opposed to every 60 minutes to Midtown. I do think the concept of "get to the edge of Manhattan and we'll have plenty of reliable buses waiting for you" would've caught on if they just stuck to it. From what I've seen, the SIM2 seemed fairly reliable off-peak (It wasn't/isn't bunching on 30 minute headways on a regular basis like your home route, the SIM3C). For Midtown, I would run the SIM26 off-peak (I would actually modify it to have a stop at Arthur Kill Road, and also run up South Avenue to Forest Avenue to serve the Teleport and Graniteville/Mariners Harbor)

Agree with everything on the Hylan routes (especially the SIM10 span reduction). I heard that ridership decreased by a couple of thousand people along that corridor so now the MTA has a chance to cut service...ugh....

With the SIM4C, remember that it also covers the SIM2, not just the SIM4 & SIM8. (So you would need to start the SIM2 around 4:15am from Tottenville to be fair to anybody who used to catch the 4:05am X17 out of Huguenot to reach Downtown. The SIM8 can remain starting at 4:15am since that's when the first X17J started anyway, and it runs down Woodrow which saves a few minutes compared to running down Arden, so those people get to Midtown even earlier than before, so no need for a 4am trip). I do agree that it's good that the SIM4C didn't lose those PM reverse-peak trips. 

On the SIM8, I didn't do a detailed look yet (I should because that's the route I take to work lol) but at a glance they added a lot of trips early in the morning, but cut a few trips after say 8am. 

For the SIM31/32/33, one way to eliminate the overlap between the SIM33C & SIM31 is to just have those SIM33C trips start at 14th Street (the same way there's SIM4C trips that start at Chambers Street even though the SIM4C was intended to be a Downtown/Midtown route). I mention more in my latest blog post. I do like your idea of extending the span of the SIM32 (especially at the end of the PM rush. At the beginning of the PM rush, I think they should just eliminate those first 2 SIM33 trips, add a 3pm SIM33C from Midtown, and push the 3:40pm SIM31 to 3:30pm)

For the SIM30/35, I think your SIM37 idea would be enough to provide that third Midtown route on the North Shore. To have a Midtown branch of the SIM35 at that point would duplicate too many other routes IMO. Remember that the SIM35 itself can also be used to access a Midtown route for those around Martling Avenue (take it to Victory for the SIM37 or to Hylan for the SIM10/11). For people along South Avenue, the thing is the SIM30 gets you directly onto the Goethals Bridge, while the X42 (and your proposed SIM35 Midtown variant) would go through local streets and then still get stuck in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. South Avenue really doesn't have too much ridership express bus-wise (and at the meetings, the few people who used the express bus in Arlington tended to work Downtown anyway). 

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6 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

I'll probably add more comments later (and as you saw, some of the same things are covered in my own blog), but here's a few comments:

On the SIM26, those 2 trips removed after 6pm were the ones used to create the 7:30pm and 8pm SIM25 trips. 

The SIM27 should operate the old X22 route (in other words, leave the SIM26 running down Bloomingdale to the end, and have the SIM27 take Bloomingdale-Woodrow-Rossville). With there being only 2 Downtown routes on the South Shore, I think it's important to try and cover as many areas as possible. (Remember the SIM2 was originally supposed to run straight down Huguenot Avenue, but was modified to swing over to Arden to be within walking distance of more residents).

On the SIM2, I think it would've been more sustainable every 30 minutes to Downtown, as opposed to every 60 minutes to Midtown. I do think the concept of "get to the edge of Manhattan and we'll have plenty of reliable buses waiting for you" would've caught on if they just stuck to it. From what I've seen, the SIM2 seemed fairly reliable off-peak (It wasn't/isn't bunching on 30 minute headways on a regular basis like your home route, the SIM3C). For Midtown, I would run the SIM26 off-peak (I would actually modify it to have a stop at Arthur Kill Road, and also run up South Avenue to Forest Avenue to serve the Teleport and Graniteville/Mariners Harbor)

Agree with everything on the Hylan routes (especially the SIM10 span reduction). I heard that ridership decreased by a couple of thousand people along that corridor so now the MTA has a chance to cut service...ugh....

With the SIM4C, remember that it also covers the SIM2, not just the SIM4 & SIM8. (So you would need to start the SIM2 around 4:15am from Tottenville to be fair to anybody who used to catch the 4:05am X17 out of Huguenot to reach Downtown. The SIM8 can remain starting at 4:15am since that's when the first X17J started anyway, and it runs down Woodrow which saves a few minutes compared to running down Arden, so those people get to Midtown even earlier than before, so no need for a 4am trip). I do agree that it's good that the SIM4C didn't lose those PM reverse-peak trips. 

On the SIM8, I didn't do a detailed look yet (I should because that's the route I take to work lol) but at a glance they added a lot of trips early in the morning, but cut a few trips after say 8am. 

For the SIM31/32/33, one way to eliminate the overlap between the SIM33C & SIM31 is to just have those SIM33C trips start at 14th Street (the same way there's SIM4C trips that start at Chambers Street even though the SIM4C was intended to be a Downtown/Midtown route). I mention more in my latest blog post. I do like your idea of extending the span of the SIM32 (especially at the end of the PM rush. At the beginning of the PM rush, I think they should just eliminate those first 2 SIM33 trips, add a 3pm SIM33C from Midtown, and push the 3:40pm SIM31 to 3:30pm)

For the SIM30/35, I think your SIM37 idea would be enough to provide that third Midtown route on the North Shore. To have a Midtown branch of the SIM35 at that point would duplicate too many other routes IMO. Remember that the SIM35 itself can also be used to access a Midtown route for those around Martling Avenue (take it to Victory for the SIM37 or to Hylan for the SIM10/11). For people along South Avenue, the thing is the SIM30 gets you directly onto the Goethals Bridge, while the X42 (and your proposed SIM35 Midtown variant) would go through local streets and then still get stuck in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. South Avenue really doesn't have too much ridership express bus-wise (and at the meetings, the few people who used the express bus in Arlington tended to work Downtown anyway). 

I’m assuming you’re separating Arlington from Mariners Harbor. If so then I agree about ridership. It is more so on the old X30 if anything and south of South Avenue which is not Arlington.

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9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

On the SIM26, those 2 trips removed after 6pm were the ones used to create the 7:30pm and 8pm SIM25 trips. 

I know, people that live in Tottenville have 15-minute headways now because the SIM25 and SIM26 were coordinated. (Why couldn't they do this with the SIM3C and SIM33C?)

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The SIM27 should operate the old X22 route (in other words, leave the SIM26 running down Bloomingdale to the end, and have the SIM27 take Bloomingdale-Woodrow-Rossville). With there being only 2 Downtown routes on the South Shore, I think it's important to try and cover as many areas as possible. (Remember the SIM2 was originally supposed to run straight down Huguenot Avenue, but was modified to swing over to Arden to be within walking distance of more residents).

I agree.

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

On the SIM2, I think it would've been more sustainable every 30 minutes to Downtown, as opposed to every 60 minutes to Midtown. I do think the concept of "get to the edge of Manhattan and we'll have plenty of reliable buses waiting for you" would've caught on if they just stuck to it. From what I've seen, the SIM2 seemed fairly reliable off-peak (It wasn't/isn't bunching on 30 minute headways on a regular basis like your home route, the SIM3C). For Midtown, I would run the SIM26 off-peak (I would actually modify it to have a stop at Arthur Kill Road, and also run up South Avenue to Forest Avenue to serve the Teleport and Graniteville/Mariners Harbor)

I somewhat agree with your statement. It's either more reliable service or direct Midtown service. However, if you ever needed to transfer between express routes in Manhattan off-peak all of the off-peak routes (except the SIM2) share one place, Midtown. With the exception of the SIM2, you can get anywhere in the off-peak express bus network by transferring in one place, Midtown. Maybe the (MTA) could have a 3-way transfer with the SIM2, any subway or bus (including express buses) below Worth Street and an express route in Midtown.

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Agree with everything on the Hylan routes (especially the SIM10 span reduction). I heard that ridership decreased by a couple of thousand people along that corridor so now the MTA has a chance to cut service...ugh....

I go to school in the New Dorp area and around 7:00 AM I see SIM7 and SIM10 buses with only a few people on. I think they fill up when they go further north though.

People must love driving their cars now. Or taking the Ferry. Or the S79 to the (R) train. Wonder if anyone took the S79 to the X28/38 yet.

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

With the SIM4C, remember that it also covers the SIM2, not just the SIM4 & SIM8. (So you would need to start the SIM2 around 4:15am from Tottenville to be fair to anybody who used to catch the 4:05am X17 out of Huguenot to reach Downtown. The SIM8 can remain starting at 4:15am since that's when the first X17J started anyway, and it runs down Woodrow which saves a few minutes compared to running down Arden, so those people get to Midtown even earlier than before, so no need for a 4am trip). I do agree that it's good that the SIM4C didn't lose those PM reverse-peak trips. 

On the SIM8, I didn't do a detailed look yet (I should because that's the route I take to work lol) but at a glance they added a lot of trips early in the morning, but cut a few trips after say 8am. 

8

I agree that the SIM2 should start earlier. (See the doc for more information). I agree with the SIM8 also. Looking at your blog post, I do agree that the SIM4C serving both Gannon and Richmond would be good for an overnight route, running every 60 minutes. Richmond Ave has no overnight bus service north of the ETC and below the ETC doesn't have good public transportation options.

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

For the SIM31/32/33, one way to eliminate the overlap between the SIM33C & SIM31 is to just have those SIM33C trips start at 14th Street (the same way there's SIM4C trips that start at Chambers Street even though the SIM4C was intended to be a Downtown/Midtown route). I mention more in my latest blog post. I do like your idea of extending the span of the SIM32 (especially at the end of the PM rush. At the beginning of the PM rush, I think they should just eliminate those first 2 SIM33 trips, add a 3pm SIM33C from Midtown, and push the 3:40pm SIM31 to 3:30pm)

I can see where you're going. But remember that the SIM33 serves West Street while the SIM33C doesn't.

9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

For the SIM30/35, I think your SIM37 idea would be enough to provide that third Midtown route on the North Shore. To have a Midtown branch of the SIM35 at that point would duplicate too many other routes IMO. Remember that the SIM35 itself can also be used to access a Midtown route for those around Martling Avenue (take it to Victory for the SIM37 or to Hylan for the SIM10/11). For people along South Avenue, the thing is the SIM30 gets you directly onto the Goethals Bridge, while the X42 (and your proposed SIM35 Midtown variant) would go through local streets and then still get stuck in traffic near the Verrazano Bridge. South Avenue really doesn't have too much ridership express bus-wise (and at the meetings, the few people who used the express bus in Arlington tended to work Downtown anyway). 

I agree with your SIM37 comment. However, I've seen people get on an X42 along Forest Ave instead of taking the X30 across the street to midtown. Most likely because the X42 also served 23rd Street to 42nd Street.

Edited by Lil 57

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