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Union Tpke

Select Bus Service Discussion Thread

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Most of Brooklyn and Bronx Division buses run HOT during overnight hours. I could name you Brooklyn routes for days. However, the (MTA) big brother could be spying on these pages as we speak.

I can assure you that the (MTA) big brother and at least 75% of the overnight ridership in Brooklyn knows about, and has known about, this situation since at least 1967 at least. My next door neighbor was a bus dispatcher back then and a B/O for years before he took that job. It's been my personal experience that many things posters believe are "secrets" or unique to their situations are known by and discussed in house by many members of the (MTA) Surface, RTO, and railroad families. It's very hard to keep things secret these days because of social media but "word of mouth" did the job back in the day. Don't think for a minute that an incident at East New York Bus Depot or the train yard above it wouldn't be known at a bus depot or train yard in the Bronx, for instance, within minutes. Carry on.

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I can assure you that the (MTA) big brother and at least 75% of the overnight ridership in Brooklyn knows about, and has known about, this situation since at least 1967 at least. My next door neighbor was a bus dispatcher back then and a B/O for years before he took that job. It's been my personal experience that many things posters believe are "secrets" or unique to their situations are known by and discussed in house by many members of the (MTA) Surface, RTO, and railroad families. It's very hard to keep things secret these days because of social media but "word of mouth" did the job back in the day. Don't think for a minute that an incident at East New York Bus Depot or the train yard above it wouldn't be known at a bus depot or train yard in the Bronx, for instance, within minutes. Carry on.

A better question why hasn't it been addressed? It's going on that long and STILL occurs and people wonder why bus ridership keeps tanking... lol

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No abbreviation. Hot means buses running early. I'm not sure why they refer to them as running hot though.

 

As the saying goes, they're going so fast, they're burning the rubber on the tires.

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As the saying goes, they're going so fast, they're burning the rubber on the tires.

Interesting... They need to come up with a term for being on-time because very few buses achieve such a thing these days. I predict the (MTA) trying to SBS more of the system with the focus being on spacing and less on following a schedule, which is pathetic. The old-time drivers did it back in the day, but these days, it seems nearly impossible, even late at night.

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So cold means a bus is running late?

Running hot/X minutes up = early

X minutes down = late

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Running hot/X minutes up = early

X minutes down = late

So those are the terms, thanks

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Katy Perry would like to have a say in this discussion

 

Anyway, To be honest, I've never heard of a bus running cold or a bus being 'x' minutes "down"....

 

Interesting... They need to come up with a term for being on-time because very few buses achieve such a thing these days.it back in the day, but these days, it seems nearly impossible, even late at night.

Unemployed.....

 

That's how anomalous it is.

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Running hot/up or running down/in the hole, are internal terms that only people in the know use. With the advent of platforms such as NYCTF, you all have learned many terms that outherwise aren't used in day to day language or conversations.

 

To touch on why buses are never really on schedule is quite interesting as well. The way things are set up these days, many if not most of the bus schedules are out of date, and need to be revised. That with the fact that this is an unpredictable city, and sometimes rush hour schedules are the worse because there's a 10% everything will keep to it. Some routes are so bad, and there are multiple issues that need to be addressed with others. For example, the B49 does not have enough run time from end to end. Anyone notice how nearly every driver on that route drives with the pedal to the metal? If the don't, they will always be down/late the whole run. The forces veteran operators who could calculate the run off experience to leave the terminals a few minutes up/hot/early in order to make up for it along the run and just make it to the other end on time.

 

We have the routes that are heavy and we know they are going to end up late no matter what you do. B41, B46 local, Bx6, 60% of Queens Division, just for example have ops purpously leave early, and they still make it to the end of the line late. Bunching has been taking place since the beginning of time, and it all depends on the traffic conditions, time of year, holidays, and load factors. 90% of the transit agencies across North America can effectively implement great schedules and have on time buses. There are 75 Million Factors in NYC, and The illegal dollar vans alone are a significant cause of massive declines in Brooklyn and Queens. Flatbush and Jamaica have EXPLODED with now 24 hour dollar van and cab service, which make local and limited stops, and is much more convenient when 150,000 customers who would have otherwise dipped a Metrocard get fed up with waiting at a bus stop. I have even myself on Bitter winter nights, or 98 degree days jumped in the firs LEGAL dollar cab I saw. I have the app so if I see 6 B41 Buses, or 0 Q56 buses coming there's no need of me freezing to death or passing out from heat stroke.

 

The Q35 has gotten so bad that the no infamous summer cabs will run from the Junction to RIIS Park for a mere $3.00. Only stop is Kings Plaza, and most will be so packed they don't stop at all. That's will probably come out to about 2 million lost rides easy from what I observed and documented since 2015.

 

Katy Perry would like to have a say in this discussion

 

Anyway, To be honest, I've never heard of a bus running cold or a bus being 'x' minutes "down"....

 

 

Unemployed.....

 

That's how anomalous it is.

Lol! I have to say aver the years I really enjoy reading your posts! Lol. Always insightful, as well as thought provoking. Probably the only thing we don't agree on is SBS implementation. It always makes me feel a way cause I had my hand in the launch of it. I just hoped MTA would do more research into some of the services. My main thing when I met with the DOT was that we needed offboard payment on the heaviest of the lines in the city.

 

Even with the new SmartCard system that is coming, things will definitely speed up, but nothing will ever be as fast as offboard payment, with boarding through any door. That all being said, I'm going to contact you when I get ready for my next State of the MTA report that I have been doing semi-annually. It goes straight to Brass, the Board, and for the first time this next report will go to DOT, and the Governor. You have a lot of really great points, and I want to include them in the review. A major part of this report that's different from the ones before is it will have a detailed analysis of the current Bus crisis, and what needs to happen. MTA still for some reason has no real clue as to why the B41 is loosing customers in droves. You however, just as I do know exactly what the problem is, and throwing SBS at that line as a solution would be a disaster.

 

I also have quite a few gripes about the S79 Limited, oh, um, I mean SBS... That's a whole topic that will have its own page in my report! Lol

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Even with the new SmartCard system that is coming, things will definitely speed up, but nothing will ever be as fast as offboard payment, with boarding through any door. That all being said, I'm going to contact you when I get ready for my next State of the MTA report that I have been doing semi-annually. It goes straight to Brass, the Board, and for the first time this next report will go to DOT, and the Governor. You have a lot of really great points, and I want to include them in the review. A major part of this report that's different from the ones before is it will have a detailed analysis of the current Bus crisis, and what needs to happen. MTA still for some reason has no real clue as to why the B41 is loosing customers in droves. You however, just as I do know exactly what the problem is, and throwing SBS at that line as a solution would be a disaster.

I also have quite a few gripes about the S79 Limited, oh, um, I mean SBS... That's a whole topic that will have its own page in my report! Lol

 

This State of the MTA report sounds interesting. Is there any way you could post it here too?

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I also have quite a few gripes about the S79 Limited, oh, um, I mean SBS... That's a whole topic that will have its own page in my report! Lol

 

As much as I agree that calling it SBS was just a way to get the federal funding attached to SBS, I think the route is much better compared to when it was a local. It could be better, but I definitely don't think it's any worse than any of the other SBS routes.

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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As much as I agree that calling it SBS was just a way to get the federal funding attached to SBS, I think the route is much better compared to when it was a local. It could be better, but I definitely don't think it's any worse than any of the other SBS routes.

Definitely worse than any SBS service to date. It's nothing more than a glorified limited. It was a complete waste of money to wrap the buses and pretend it's SBS when it's definitely not. The entire point of SBS is off board payment and to speed things up quite a bit. There is no off-board payment, and it still takes nearly an hour from end to end. That's not SBS, it was just a waste of money to make Staten Islanders feel like they are part of the rest of NYC.

 

Now if they had turned into a REAL SBS they could cut the run time even further. That's money that could have been well spent somewhere else, or spent making it a real SBS. In addition to that, why retrofit all the NG's with Spectrum Full Color signs and then never use them??? Every bit of the S79SBS is a fraud!

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Definitely worse than any SBS service to date. It's nothing more than a glorified limited. It was a complete waste of money to wrap the buses and pretend it's SBS when it's definitely not. The entire point of SBS is off board payment and to speed things up quite a bit. There is no off-board payment, and it still takes nearly an hour from end to end. That's not SBS, it was just a waste of money to make Staten Islanders feel like they are part of the rest of NYC.

 

Now if they had turned into a REAL SBS they could cut the run time even further. That's money that could have been well spent somewhere else, or spent making it a real SBS. In addition to that, why retrofit all the NG's with Spectrum Full Color signs and then never use them??? Every bit of the S79SBS is a fraud!

You can't blame the (MTA) for that though.  It's my understanding that Staten Islanders didn't want the machines taking up sidewalk space.  If that's the case, there isn't anything the (MTA) can do about that.  If those buses are ever moved elsewhere, the signs can be used.  I don't fault the (MTA) at all for what they did.  For starters, they need to market buses more anyway which they don't do enough of.  They took out ads at several bus shelters in Riverdale promoting Metro-North, but you won't see them do such a thing for any bus service.  Selling limited stop service as SBS and getting your average rider to buy into isn't the worse thing in the world.  They need all of the bus riders they can get, given how atrocious bus ridership is across the board in this city.  

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You can't blame the (MTA) for that though.  It's my understanding that Staten Islanders didn't want the machines taking up sidewalk space.  If that's the case, there isn't anything the (MTA) can do about that.  If those buses are ever moved elsewhere, the signs can be used.  I don't fault the (MTA) at all for what they did.  For starters, they need to market buses more anyway which they don't do enough of.  They took out ads at several bus shelters in Riverdale promoting Metro-North, but you won't see them do such a thing for any bus service.  Selling limited stop service as SBS and getting your average rider to buy into isn't the worse thing in the world.  They need all of the bus riders they can get, given how atrocious bus ridership is across the board in this city.

 

I definitely agree that marketing sucks, and could definitely be improved drastically. But here is the thing, if Staten Islanders didn't want machines, they should have just left the bus as a restructured limited. Otherwise it's still been a complete waste of money. As far as the signs go, once these buses are pulled from the S79 they will be transferred to a local line rendering them as useless as they are right now.

 

The S79SBS is painfully slow, and if nothing they could have at least had machines in Brooklyn and at the SI Mall, with on-board payment in-between. Otherwise there is no real efficiency, and it's costed more than it worth.... I have yet to meet one person who thinks the line is muchbetter than it used to.... Maybe it's 5 minutes faster now? No one is impressed. Especially the average daily riders. I use it to go to the mall sometimes because I live within walking distance from the Bay Ridge terminal now. SLOW and BORING! The only highlight of my last trip from the mall is that our Administrator Seven Eleven was driving.... And frankly I probably won't ever get on it again unless he's the operator, or they make it a real Select.

 

It takes 22-25 minutes for me to drive from 86st to the Mall. It take 58 to 64 minutes on the bus. It it were a real Select, we could get there in about 42-45 minutes. If there was a local and an SBS option we could get there in about 38-42 minutes east....

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I definitely agree that marketing sucks, and could definitely be improved drastically. But here is the thing, if Staten Islanders didn't want machines, they should have just left the bus as a restructured limited. Otherwise it's still been a complete waste of money. As far as the signs go, once these buses are pulled from the S79 they will be transferred to a local line rendering them as useless as they are right now.

 

The S79SBS is painfully slow, and if nothing they could have at least had machines in Brooklyn and at the SI Mall, with on-board payment in-between. Otherwise there is no real efficiency, and it's costed more than it worth.... I have yet to meet one person who thinks the line is muchbetter than it used to.... Maybe it's 5 minutes faster now? No one is impressed. Especially the average daily riders. I use it to go to the mall sometimes because I live within walking distance from the Bay Ridge terminal now. SLOW and BORING! The only highlight of my last trip from the mall is that our Administrator Seven Eleven was driving.... And frankly I probably won't ever get on it again unless he's the operator, or they make it a real Select.

 

It takes 22-25 minutes for me to drive from 86st to the Mall. It take 58 to 64 minutes on the bus. It it were a real Select, we could get there in about 42-45 minutes. If there was a local and an SBS option we could get there in about 38-42 minutes east....

Here's the thing though. Bus service across the city is slow with or without the full SBS service due to worsening congestion and Vision Zero.  With the speed limit being just 25 mph, most drivers are going to do 20 mph, so you can't really expect any bus to be that fast with such a ridiculous set up.  Not only that, but the lights are purposely out of sync now so buses can't get into any sort of rhythm in terms of obtaining and maintaining speed throughout a trip.  Those are factors that simply can't be overlooked.  Even late at night, trips that used to take me 35 minutes, now take MUCH longer.  The traffic situation is really out of control, and something that has to be addressed.  We've added something like 100,000 cars on the road in the last few years, not including all of the Uber cars and Lyft.  

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Now that I agree with! I have been arguing for quite sometime that this 25mph cap is a disaster. Thing is in many places bus operators still push 40mph to make up for the time. The one that always due 20-25 are doomed from the beginning of each run. Our schedules aren't set up for buses to do 20-25 miles per hour unless it's a congested area like crosstown Manhattan.

Edited by East New York
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Now that I agree with! I have been arguing for quite sometime that this 25mph cap is a disaster. Thing is in many places bus operators still push 40mph to make up for the time. The one that always due 20-25 are doomed from the beginning of each run. Our schedules aren't set up for buses to do 20-25 miles per hour unless it's a congested area like crosstown Manhattan.

You're not the only one.  A lot of B/Os have complained about it.  The only thing the (MTA) has done in some cases is elongated run times, but that obviously becomes expensive over time, if you're adding an extra 20 - 30 minutes each trip in some cases.

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You're not the only one.  A lot of B/Os have complained about it.  The only thing the (MTA) has done in some cases is elongated run times, but that obviously becomes expensive over time, if you're adding an extra 20 - 30 minutes each trip in some cases.

Oh I know. I have quite a few friends who are B/O's and we talk about it all the time. I've also surveyed many that I don't know. The only ones who don't care are people who like to milk the clock and stop at green lights! Lol

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Definitely worse than any SBS service to date. It's nothing more than a glorified limited. It was a complete waste of money to wrap the buses and pretend it's SBS when it's definitely not. The entire point of SBS is off board payment and to speed things up quite a bit. There is no off-board payment, and it still takes nearly an hour from end to end. That's not SBS, it was just a waste of money to make Staten Islanders feel like they are part of the rest of NYC.

 

Now if they had turned into a REAL SBS they could cut the run time even further. That's money that could have been well spent somewhere else, or spent making it a real SBS. In addition to that, why retrofit all the NG's with Spectrum Full Color signs and then never use them??? Every bit of the S79SBS is a fraud!

 

The cost of wrapping the buses is minimal in the grand scheme of the project. Same thing with the cost of the signs. If it got them the federal funding to put in the bus lanes and (hopefully) construct that "station" at Yukon Avenue southbound (so people don't have to cross the full length of the street to catch the S55/56/79), then I'm all for it.

 

You can't blame the (MTA) for that though.  It's my understanding that Staten Islanders didn't want the machines taking up sidewalk space.  If that's the case, there isn't anything the (MTA) can do about that.  If those buses are ever moved elsewhere, the signs can be used.  I don't fault the (MTA) at all for what they did.  For starters, they need to market buses more anyway which they don't do enough of.  They took out ads at several bus shelters in Riverdale promoting Metro-North, but you won't see them do such a thing for any bus service.  Selling limited stop service as SBS and getting your average rider to buy into isn't the worse thing in the world.  They need all of the bus riders they can get, given how atrocious bus ridership is across the board in this city.  

 

The MTA said dwell times on the S79 at major stops weren't as big of an issue compared to other lines, and as a regular rider I happen to agree with them. At 86th Street, it's the terminal, so people can dip their MetroCard while the bus is waiting to leave the terminal anyway.

 

You also have the issue of people not realizing you can use an SBS ticket on the local (so they wait until the last minute to buy their ticket). 

 

I definitely agree that marketing sucks, and could definitely be improved drastically. But here is the thing, if Staten Islanders didn't want machines, they should have just left the bus as a restructured limited. Otherwise it's still been a complete waste of money. As far as the signs go, once these buses are pulled from the S79 they will be transferred to a local line rendering them as useless as they are right now.

 

The S79SBS is painfully slow, and if nothing they could have at least had machines in Brooklyn and at the SI Mall, with on-board payment in-between. Otherwise there is no real efficiency, and it's costed more than it worth.... I have yet to meet one person who thinks the line is muchbetter than it used to.... Maybe it's 5 minutes faster now? No one is impressed. Especially the average daily riders. I use it to go to the mall sometimes because I live within walking distance from the Bay Ridge terminal now. SLOW and BORING! The only highlight of my last trip from the mall is that our Administrator Seven Eleven was driving.... And frankly I probably won't ever get on it again unless he's the operator, or they make it a real Select.

 

It takes 22-25 minutes for me to drive from 86st to the Mall. It take 58 to 64 minutes on the bus. It it were a real Select, we could get there in about 42-45 minutes. If there was a local and an SBS option we could get there in about 38-42 minutes east....

 

The thing is you would basically have to have the Eagle Team posted up at those 5 stops or so, or else you have the issue of what happens if somebody paid on-board but an inspector checks. 

 

And 5 minutes faster? Removing that Forest Hill Road deviation alone saved about 5 minutes (not to mention changing the drivers at the depot). Try 20 minutes faster for most of the day. It used to take 80+ minutes to get from Bay Ridge to the SI Mall and now it takes about an hour. As for driving vs. taking the bus, I'm assuming you're taking the shortcut of going down the X17 route (the SIE & Richmond Avenue) compared to the longer route down Hylan. Google Transit puts that at 44 minutes without traffic and 52 minutes with traffic, so a bus taking about an hour isn't all too unreasonable. 

 

Also, I assume you haven't rode the line at night, when drivers floor it. 

 

Oh I know. I have quite a few friends who are B/O's and we talk about it all the time. I've also surveyed many that I don't know. The only ones who don't care are people who like to milk the clock and stop at green lights! Lol

 

It sucks when passengers have to deal with that. If they want their OT, there should be more opportunities to fill in for missed runs after the normal end of their shift instead of just milking the clock and making everybody late. But I guess there's people like that in every job. 

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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The cost of wrapping the buses is minimal in the grand scheme of the project. Same thing with the cost of the signs. If it got them the federal funding to put in the bus lanes and (hopefully) construct that "station" at Yukon Avenue southbound (so people don't have to cross the full length of the street to catch the S55/56/79), then I'm all for it.

 

 

The MTA said dwell times on the S79 at major stops weren't as big of an issue compared to other lines, and as a regular rider I happen to agree with them. At 86th Street, it's the terminal, so people can dip their MetroCard while the bus is waiting to leave the terminal anyway.

 

You also have the issue of people not realizing you can use an SBS ticket on the local (so they wait until the last minute to buy their ticket). 

I get the impression that some people don't want to pay and then decide to take a cab if the bus isn't there soon, so that's another reason that some wait. A frequent occurrence is for some to look for a bus, not see one and then hail a cab.  If you're not transferring from the bus or subway and have a pay-per-ride, I would wait too.  

 

Sunday I had the weirdest thing happen that I found rather annoying.  Stopped to get an espresso and a pastry, and as I'm making my way to 57th and 7th, I check BusTime to see if anything is coming via 57th or 7th.  I take whatever comes first which was an M7 via 7th Avenue.  It's me and two elderly people.  When we all get on and pay, THEN the B/O announces that he's six minutes early and that the bus would be held.  So I immediately get off and get the M104 behind it, as I needed to be somewhere and didn't want to wait.  If I had a pay-per-ride, I would've been stuck paying another fare since I had already used the BxM2 to get into the city.  My point is unless you have an unlimited pass, you have to be more careful about not just getting a SBS ticket.  I've also been in situations where I've purchased my SBS ticket without checking BusTime or the board to see where buses were and then decided to ditch the bus and take the subway to where I was going, which if I had a pay-per-ride, would've cost me another $2.75, given my final destination in those cases.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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