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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA BUS DRIVERS BRACE FOR SUBWAY SHUTDOWN UNRULINESS SPILLOVER

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Posted (edited)

TRANSIT 9:33 PM

MTA BUS DRIVERS BRACE FOR SUBWAY SHUTDOWN UNRULINESS SPILLOVER

By Jose Martinez@JMARTINEZNYC

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An MTA worker drives a bus through Flushing, Queens during the coronavirus outbreak, April 27, 2020. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Spitting attacks against MTA bus drivers are up, even as ridership has shrunk during the coronavirus crisis, agency statistics show.

Now with overnight subway service to be suspended daily from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. starting Wednesday, bus operators are concerned more unruly passengers will make their way from trains onto their vehicles, which will be out in far greater numbers.

“Being a bus driver at 1 a.m., you’re already on edge,” driver Michael Enriquez, 31, told THE CITY. “This amplifies things because it seems the problem is being shifted from the subways to the buses.”

Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mid-April executive order that all people must wear masks while using the public transportation system, there have been at least eight incidents in which MTA bus operators were harassed or verbally threatened, according to agency spokesperson Andrei Berman.

Through the end of March, the MTA logged 31 incidents in which drivers were spit on, up 40% from 22 during the same period last year.

“Attacks on our bus drivers are completely reprehensible,” Berman said. “These are the heroes moving essential frontline workers in the fight against this pandemic.”

During the overnight subway shutdown, the MTA plans to put an additional 344 buses — free to ride — into service to move the approximately 11,000 riders who have been taking the trains from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Previously, 235 buses ran during that time.

The MTA is also giving pre-dawn riders employed in key service jobs the opportunity to book on-demand rides with taxis and for-hire cars as part of its “Essential Connector” program.

“We are a public transportation agency, we want people to be using public transport,” said Sarah Feinberg, interim president of New York City Transit. “But we’re going to make sure we don’t leave people high and dry.”

‘Picking Up the Slack’

The shift of riders to the buses, though, has bus drivers and the Transport Workers Union worried about a potential influx of disturbed passengers.

There will be security at each subway station and homeless outreach workers at all terminals, according to MTA Chairman Patrick Foye. Bus employees on Tuesday received a bulletin advising them to report “apparent homeless customers” to the Bus Command Center and “continue in service.”

“That has been flagged for us and we have flagged that for NYPD,” Feinberg said.

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The front of an MTA bus in Brooklyn is blocked off during the coronavirus outbreak, April 26, 2020. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

“The MTA and the police are going to have to manage this very carefully,” said Tony Utano, president of TWU Local 100.

The NYPD has said it will deploy more than 1,000 police officers to enforce the shutdown of all 472 subway stations, with city social services workers steering those who have been sheltering in the subway toward help.

But the NYPD did not respond to questions from THE CITY about staffing level on buses Tuesday, when two men were reportedly stabbed aboard a Manhattan bus at about 3 p.m.

Bus drivers are now separated by a chain and three rows of seats from passengers who enter and exit through rear side doors. But that hasn’t provided much protection from aggressive riders, drivers said.

Georgetta Sterling, an MTA bus driver for 19 years, said she had to call for police help two weeks ago after a passenger became angry when she asked her to put on a mask. In 2017, Sterling said, a passenger spit on her after she asked the person to fold a stroller.

“We were getting the abuse before, and this is just an elevation of that,” Sterling told THE CITY. “We’ll be picking up the slack for the subway and you just don’t know what you’re going to encounter. It’s scary.”

Cuomo and MTA officials have said the overnight subway shutdown is expected to last for the duration of the pandemic, further straining an agency that has suffered close to 100 worker COVID-19 deaths. Many of the dead were bus operators.

Eddie Muniz, a subway conductor who worked on the overnight shift, said he expects the shutdown won’t be easy for bus drivers.

“If they can’t control the problems underground, how are they going to control them above-ground?” Muniz asked. “They need to have some type of place for people to go that isn’t the buses.”

Source: https://thecity.nyc/2020/05/bus-drivers-brace-for-subway-shutdown-unruliness-spillover.html?fbclid=IwAR0SqRueG6dHYkuUVgsDPL6OaC9wHwYpNwwctcRnCx-0yr10MG43d7KxHdg

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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From what I have heard, the homeless have traded the subway for the buses since the shutdown.

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46 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

From what I have heard, the homeless have traded the subway for the buses since the shutdown.

Alright, you a little bit too close to this site... Social distancing dude...

 

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There are super gaps in which overnight service is rolling. For an instance, Look at between 50th St & 18th Ave all the way to Bay Parkway on the (D). There is no bus service on New Ultrect Ave and on the (N) from 59th and 86th St. Even though the B11 is the only crosstown type, that area is empty.

now look in Manhattan, besides the BM2, BM3 & the X28, which stop nowhere near downtown Brooklyn, for anyone needing to get there, they would have to cramp on the B39 and take any bus from Williamsburg Plaza to get there, unless they have a car. 
 

look in the Bronx: you do have out of 12 routes that cross into Manhattan, 8 (originally 7) routes operate 24/7, but only Bx7 is short to the original route before the mid 90s extension to Columbia Hospital. There IS a walking distance between 207th & Broadway and 193rd & St. Nick for the M3 or Fort Washington for the M4. 
At least my favorite route is now 24/7 (Bx4, which runs under the (2)(5) & the (6))

the (6) is the only subway that is fully serviced by 24/7 bus routes. In my view, they should’ve added the Bx33 to the mix. 
 

Queens was added a little with the Q32, QM6 & the X68. But after 82nd St, you have to walk to Northern Blvd for the Q66, which is the replacement for the (7) 

the (A) train to lefferts Blvd, the closest bus route to it is the Q24 on Atlantic Ave. the Rockaways, Use Q53SBS & the Q22. 
 

all others (E)(F)(N)(J)(M) are served by 24/7 bus routes. 

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39 minutes ago, FLX9304 said:

There are super gaps in which overnight service is rolling. For an instance, Look at between 50th St & 18th Ave all the way to Bay Parkway on the (D). There is no bus service on New Ultrect Ave and on the (N) from 59th and 86th St. Even though the B11 is the only crosstown type, that area is empty.

now look in Manhattan, besides the BM2, BM3 & the X28, which stop nowhere near downtown Brooklyn, for anyone needing to get there, they would have to cramp on the B39 and take any bus from Williamsburg Plaza to get there, unless they have a car. 
 

look in the Bronx: you do have out of 12 routes that cross into Manhattan, 8 (originally 7) routes operate 24/7, but only Bx7 is short to the original route before the mid 90s extension to Columbia Hospital. There IS a walking distance between 207th & Broadway and 193rd & St. Nick for the M3 or Fort Washington for the M4. 
At least my favorite route is now 24/7 (Bx4, which runs under the (2)(5) & the (6))

the (6) is the only subway that is fully serviced by 24/7 bus routes. In my view, they should’ve added the Bx33 to the mix. 
 

Queens was added a little with the Q32, QM6 & the X68. But after 82nd St, you have to walk to Northern Blvd for the Q66, which is the replacement for the (7) 

the (A) train to lefferts Blvd, the closest bus route to it is the Q24 on Atlantic Ave. the Rockaways, Use Q53SBS & the Q22. 
 

all others (E)(F)(N)(J)(M) are served by 24/7 bus routes. 

If there isn't bus service that works for them, customers have the option of contacting the (MTA) and the (MTA) will arrange car service for them. There simply is not enough drivers to cover every area #1, and #2, drivers have to sign up to take the work, which is all overtime. If drivers don't sign up for it, the trips won't be filled, which is another problem, hence why they did it this way. They are trying to provide coverage with what drivers they can.

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4 hours ago, FLX9304 said:

There are super gaps in which overnight service is rolling. For an instance, Look at between 50th St & 18th Ave all the way to Bay Parkway on the (D). There is no bus service on New Ultrect Ave and on the (N) from 59th and 86th St. Even though the B11 is the only crosstown type, that area is empty.

now look in Manhattan, besides the BM2, BM3 & the X28, which stop nowhere near downtown Brooklyn, for anyone needing to get there, they would have to cramp on the B39 and take any bus from Williamsburg Plaza to get there, unless they have a car. 
 

look in the Bronx: you do have out of 12 routes that cross into Manhattan, 8 (originally 7) routes operate 24/7, but only Bx7 is short to the original route before the mid 90s extension to Columbia Hospital. There IS a walking distance between 207th & Broadway and 193rd & St. Nick for the M3 or Fort Washington for the M4. 
At least my favorite route is now 24/7 (Bx4, which runs under the (2)(5) & the (6))

the (6) is the only subway that is fully serviced by 24/7 bus routes. In my view, they should’ve added the Bx33 to the mix. 
 

Queens was added a little with the Q32, QM6 & the X68. But after 82nd St, you have to walk to Northern Blvd for the Q66, which is the replacement for the (7) 

the (A) train to lefferts Blvd, the closest bus route to it is the Q24 on Atlantic Ave. the Rockaways, Use Q53SBS & the Q22. 
 

all others (E)(F)(N)(J)(M) are served by 24/7 bus routes. 

The Bx7 actually hasn't been running for the past 2 nights. So Idk what type of coverage they got up there, because neither the M100 runs at that time.

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