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Via Garibaldi 8

Bronx Redesign Draft Released

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6 minutes ago, Deucey said:

I don’t get why?

Other places use transit buses - even with back doors - for express service. Why’s it different here? 

We had RTS buses as express buses before with cushioned seats.  Eventually the (MTA) went with coach buses, as they are more suitable for express bus service.  The (MTA) considers express bus service to be a premium service and they want all express bus lines to use coach buses.There are a number of reasons... Supposedly RTS buses didn't perform that well on the expressways.  Regardless the coach buses are governed at higher speeds and move better.

I had a conversation with them about this when they were using those old Orions on the QM4. My understanding is when that occurred, passengers were not charged for the trip.  In any event, we immediately asked that coach buses be used for ALL QM4 trips.  A transfer was made to address the problem.  For $6.75 or $13.50 round trip, we should have coach buses and not have to stand. They also posted signage on the lines that were using the old Orions years ago letting customers know that they were getting new MCI coach buses which were roomier. 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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42 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Supposedly RTS buses didn't perform that well on the expressways.  Regardless the coach buses are governed at higher speeds and move better.

That's probably why.

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14 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

We had RTS buses as express buses before with cushioned seats.  Eventually the (MTA) went with coach buses, as they are more suitable for express bus service.  The (MTA) considers express bus service to be a premium service and they want all express bus lines to use coach buses.There are a number of reasons... Supposedly RTS buses didn't perform that well on the expressways.  Regardless the coach buses are governed at higher speeds and move better.

I had a conversation with them about this when they were using those old Orions on the QM4. My understanding is when that occurred, passengers were not charged for the trip.  In any event, we immediately asked that coach buses be used for ALL QM4 trips.  A transfer was made to address the problem.  For $6.75 or $13.50 round trip, we should have coach buses and not have to stand. They also posted signage on the lines that were using the old Orions years ago letting customers know that they were getting new MCI coach buses which were roomier. 

I understand how it's supposed to be a "Premium" service, but operationally -- from no-tell-motel interiors to HVAC not working to actually delivering service (close to scheduled time as well as all trips operating DAILY) -- it is in no way representative of "Coach Bus"-style service. In fact, the Express bus fleet appears to be maintained WORSE than the local fleet, when in fact it should be the exact opposite. But, obviously, the MTA does not care except for fleecing customers.

I don't see how the RTSes could have been performing that much worse, outside of the MTA and predecessor agencies being stupid enough to govern them so low. And that shouldn't have occurred anyway, being that those buses in the fleet were specifically equipped for "suburban" service. If you keep blowing out engines and transmissions because of specifically causing them to fail, that's not the bus' fault, that's the "experts'" fault.

By the reasoning given ("Premium" service means customers deserve Greyhound-level buses/amenities), then I guess Westchester customers should be demanding OTR coaches only from Bee-Line for BxM4C service when paying $7.50, right? Bee-Line certainly qualifies as an agency that could operate OTRs with their long-ass routes that would qualify for "Premium" fares.

The "snootiness" approach toward Express bus service really needs to end because it's quite apparent that the MTA does NOT want to treat its bus customers the same way as its MNR/LIRR customers. The railroad customers have their localities and the counties themselves (which all pay into the MTA's coffers) on their side to hold the MTA to some sort of accountability, whereas all city-dwellers are beholden to whatever the MTA wants to dish out.

There should be some sort of test anyways of Xcelsiors with suburban-style seating (as well as the "creature comforts" of WiFi and USB ports), especially on Express routes (like in the Bronx) that serve facilities used by seniors/disabled customers. It's not that hard for the MTA, with all of its overhaul facilities, to switch-out seats from a suburban-fleet to a local-fleet for mileage purposes, and vice-versa. Also by bringing more "standardization" to the overall fleet, the depots would be able to meet maintenance goals better.

Standees should always be a no-no, but that it simply solved by righting the schedules, not due to the type of bus being used.

If Express bus customers had: a] On-time schedule adherence from end-to-end, b] Clean and well-maintained buses, c] Dependable ADA/mobility-device access, and d] All trips of the schedule being filled, by an Xcelsior instead of an OTR, I don't think there'd be as much resistance as some would think.

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1 hour ago, DetSMART45 said:

I understand how it's supposed to be a "Premium" service, but operationally -- from no-tell-motel interiors to HVAC not working to actually delivering service (close to scheduled time as well as all trips operating DAILY) -- it is in no way representative of "Coach Bus"-style service. In fact, the Express bus fleet appears to be maintained WORSE than the local fleet, when in fact it should be the exact opposite. But, obviously, the MTA does not care except for fleecing customers.

I don't see how the RTSes could have been performing that much worse, outside of the MTA and predecessor agencies being stupid enough to govern them so low. And that shouldn't have occurred anyway, being that those buses in the fleet were specifically equipped for "suburban" service. If you keep blowing out engines and transmissions because of specifically causing them to fail, that's not the bus' fault, that's the "experts'" fault.

By the reasoning given ("Premium" service means customers deserve Greyhound-level buses/amenities), then I guess Westchester customers should be demanding OTR coaches only from Bee-Line for BxM4C service when paying $7.50, right? Bee-Line certainly qualifies as an agency that could operate OTRs with their long-ass routes that would qualify for "Premium" fares.

The "snootiness" approach toward Express bus service really needs to end because it's quite apparent that the MTA does NOT want to treat its bus customers the same way as its MNR/LIRR customers. The railroad customers have their localities and the counties themselves (which all pay into the MTA's coffers) on their side to hold the MTA to some sort of accountability, whereas all city-dwellers are beholden to whatever the MTA wants to dish out.

There should be some sort of test anyways of Xcelsiors with suburban-style seating (as well as the "creature comforts" of WiFi and USB ports), especially on Express routes (like in the Bronx) that serve facilities used by seniors/disabled customers. It's not that hard for the MTA, with all of its overhaul facilities, to switch-out seats from a suburban-fleet to a local-fleet for mileage purposes, and vice-versa. Also by bringing more "standardization" to the overall fleet, the depots would be able to meet maintenance goals better.

Standees should always be a no-no, but that it simply solved by righting the schedules, not due to the type of bus being used.

If Express bus customers had: a] On-time schedule adherence from end-to-end, b] Clean and well-maintained buses, c] Dependable ADA/mobility-device access, and d] All trips of the schedule being filled, by an Xcelsior instead of an OTR, I don't think there'd be as much resistance as some would think.

I don’t think it’s a snootiness factor. There should be better amenities for a premium service.

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29 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I don’t think it’s a snootiness factor. There should be better amenities for a premium service.

OK, so you've supposedly got those "amenities" now -- what exactly are they and how are they soooo much more "superior" to Local service?

--Sitting up higher above traffic: Don't know how that trade-off really impacts significantly.

--High-floor bus with steps: More opportunities for tripping, slows access for customers with mobility problems on/off the bus, and of course the lift which slows the bus when picking-up/dropping-off ADA customers significantly over a kneeling/ramp access of a low-floor.

--Reading lamps, WiFi, USB ports: With all of the complaints/pictures of dirty and disabled/broken reading lamps, that's really a non-starter. Same with WiFi and USB, as those are being incorporated on the local bus fleet.

--Cushioned, reclining seats: Given how filthy and busted these "amenities" are, no real benefit there either.

--Ride quality: OK, possibly something to crow about. But if you're sitting in a filthy environment, let alone an uncomfortable one if the HVAC isn't working right, do you really care that a few of the street imperfections aren't as perceivable as on a local bus?

--Push-button stop request: Yeah, no ugly "stop cord" to obscure your "tour bus" trip, but all those extra buttons to fail, and if the reading lamps are already falling out/busted, not really a great "amenity".

--"Faster" on the expressways: Sure, possibly, but that's all dependent on the other vehicles on the same roadways. Does this factor make a difference to the customers aboard when the Service Status for the "X27-X68" gets the all-too-familiar "Delays" due to gridlock traffic, or the same on the SIM routes going over the Verrazano? This doesn't also mean a hill of beans when crawling through Manhattan or on local streets of the boroughs.

Naah, "snootiness" sure doesn't apply. *rolls eyes*

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1 hour ago, DetSMART45 said:

OK, so you've supposedly got those "amenities" now -- what exactly are they and how are they soooo much more "superior" to Local service?

--Sitting up higher above traffic: Don't know how that trade-off really impacts significantly.

--High-floor bus with steps: More opportunities for tripping, slows access for customers with mobility problems on/off the bus, and of course the lift which slows the bus when picking-up/dropping-off ADA customers significantly over a kneeling/ramp access of a low-floor.

--Reading lamps, WiFi, USB ports: With all of the complaints/pictures of dirty and disabled/broken reading lamps, that's really a non-starter. Same with WiFi and USB, as those are being incorporated on the local bus fleet.

--Cushioned, reclining seats: Given how filthy and busted these "amenities" are, no real benefit there either.

--Ride quality: OK, possibly something to crow about. But if you're sitting in a filthy environment, let alone an uncomfortable one if the HVAC isn't working right, do you really care that a few of the street imperfections aren't as perceivable as on a local bus?

--Push-button stop request: Yeah, no ugly "stop cord" to obscure your "tour bus" trip, but all those extra buttons to fail, and if the reading lamps are already falling out/busted, not really a great "amenity".

--"Faster" on the expressways: Sure, possibly, but that's all dependent on the other vehicles on the same roadways. Does this factor make a difference to the customers aboard when the Service Status for the "X27-X68" gets the all-too-familiar "Delays" due to gridlock traffic, or the same on the SIM routes going over the Verrazano? This doesn't also mean a hill of beans when crawling through Manhattan or on local streets of the boroughs.

Naah, "snootiness" sure doesn't apply. *rolls eyes*

I think that if the express fare was lowered to around $4.50, then transit buses would be acceptable. The speed of the buses is basically because the locals are governed so low (however some SI LFS buses are governed at higher speeds).

Does anyone know if the testing of 23 (the MCI with the low floor) was successful?

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1 hour ago, DetSMART45 said:

OK, so you've supposedly got those "amenities" now -- what exactly are they and how are they soooo much more "superior" to Local service?

--Sitting up higher above traffic: Don't know how that trade-off really impacts significantly.

--High-floor bus with steps: More opportunities for tripping, slows access for customers with mobility problems on/off the bus, and of course the lift which slows the bus when picking-up/dropping-off ADA customers significantly over a kneeling/ramp access of a low-floor.

--Reading lamps, WiFi, USB ports: With all of the complaints/pictures of dirty and disabled/broken reading lamps, that's really a non-starter. Same with WiFi and USB, as those are being incorporated on the local bus fleet.

--Cushioned, reclining seats: Given how filthy and busted these "amenities" are, no real benefit there either.

--Ride quality: OK, possibly something to crow about. But if you're sitting in a filthy environment, let alone an uncomfortable one if the HVAC isn't working right, do you really care that a few of the street imperfections aren't as perceivable as on a local bus?

--Push-button stop request: Yeah, no ugly "stop cord" to obscure your "tour bus" trip, but all those extra buttons to fail, and if the reading lamps are already falling out/busted, not really a great "amenity".

--"Faster" on the expressways: Sure, possibly, but that's all dependent on the other vehicles on the same roadways. Does this factor make a difference to the customers aboard when the Service Status for the "X27-X68" gets the all-too-familiar "Delays" due to gridlock traffic, or the same on the SIM routes going over the Verrazano? This doesn't also mean a hill of beans when crawling through Manhattan or on local streets of the boroughs.

Naah, "snootiness" sure doesn't apply. *rolls eyes*

To be honest most of the express buses I ride are fine because the depot does a really good job. Yonkers Depot is one of the best around. Excellent maintenance overall and the buses are generally clean.  That said, if everything was perfect, I wouldn't have started an advocacy group.  The amenities that we have are fine. Comfortable... I have been riding the express buses for over 10 years and am very happy with the buses I ride. Wouldn't change a thing to be honest. The main focus is on express bus service Citywide and improving maintenance, cleanliness, safety and reliability.  Yes the service is $6.75 but if all of the above is met it's worth it.  Not expecting the Ritz Carlton...

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On 6/9/2019 at 3:04 PM, Lex said:

That's probably why.

That wasn't really the case until about 4-5 years ago when the decision to cap the entire local fleet at 40-45 mph was made.

That said, returning to the topic, for the BxM1/2, I would do the following: 

  • Rush hours in the peak direction only (since this is along deadhead distance): add stops in the City of Yonkers to Getty Square (the BxM3 already ends at Getty Square).
    • Additional pickups on Riverdale Avenue and:
      • Prospect Street
      • Vark Street
      • Downing Street
      • Ludlow Street
      • Post Street
      • Belvedere Drive
      • Valentine Lane
      • West 263 Street
    • Additional dropoffs at:
      • Valentine Lane
      • Radford Street
      • Morris Street
      • Ludlow Street
      • Herriot Street
      • Prospect Street

Is there a height or weight restriction on the Henry Hudson Bridge that prevents MCI buses from being able to get directly on the HHE at West 232 Street southbound? If the clearance is 12 feet, MCI D-series buses at 11'5" should be able to use this easily...and Prevost X3-45s are even lower. The problem, however, is that you'd miss stops on Kappock on the BxM2.

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Surprised that the MTA didnt consider adding any new local routes. Theres some bus route proposals in the existing conditions report (e.x. Throgs Neck to Harlem) that could have potential.

Edited by R262

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On 6/11/2019 at 9:35 PM, aemoreira81 said:

That wasn't really the case until about 4-5 years ago when the decision to cap the entire local fleet at 40-45 mph was made.

That said, returning to the topic, for the BxM1/2, I would do the following: 

  • Rush hours in the peak direction only (since this is along deadhead distance): add stops in the City of Yonkers to Getty Square (the BxM3 already ends at Getty Square).
    • Additional pickups on Riverdale Avenue and:
      • Prospect Street
      • Vark Street
      • Downing Street
      • Ludlow Street
      • Post Street
      • Belvedere Drive
      • Valentine Lane
      • West 263 Street
    • Additional dropoffs at:
      • Valentine Lane
      • Radford Street
      • Morris Street
      • Ludlow Street
      • Herriot Street
      • Prospect Street

Is there a height or weight restriction on the Henry Hudson Bridge that prevents MCI buses from being able to get directly on the HHE at West 232 Street southbound? If the clearance is 12 feet, MCI D-series buses at 11'5" should be able to use this easily...and Prevost X3-45s are even lower. The problem, however, is that you'd miss stops on Kappock on the BxM2.

What a stupid proposal. There is no need to extend the BxM1 and BxM2 to Getty Square. NONE. The BxM3 runs there and serves a different ridership base, not to mention the run time of the BxM3. The BxM1 and BxM2 are roughly both an hour, sometimes more depending on the time. Getty Square is not the core ridership of the BxM1 or BxM2, and there is a booming need for express bus service from Getty Square, though there is some ridership. The BxM3 has about an hour or so of run time, so having to run to Getty Square to pick up a more folks isn’t such a big deal, not to mention the whole subsidy issue and it serving Westchester with City resources.

The other absurd idea of having the BxM1 and BxM2 skip Kappock Street... I am so tired of you guys coming up with these asinine ideas. Most of the ridership for the BxM2 is right along Kappock Street. #2, the pick-up segment is not a problem at all, so you wouldn’t be saving that much time anyway. 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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