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lirr42

Draft/(Unofficial) Long Island bus redesign

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In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island.  I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts...  The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions.

DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3)

 

The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time.  The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels).  In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks

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1 hour ago, lirr42 said:

In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island.  I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts...  The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions.

DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3)

 

The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time.  The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels).  In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks

I cannot access the map.

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34 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I noticed that none of the routes go into Queens, that would kill ridership.

The LIRR goes into Queens... 

And either the Queens/Nassau routes could be extended one or two stops over the city line to allow the small handful of passengers who travel locally within Queens to make connections (Q17/Q87/Q34 to Great Neck, Q67 to Floral Park, Q38 to Belmont Park, Q42 to Valley Stream, etc.).  We should not be spending resources inefficiently ferry people to the subway when the railroad does exactly the same thing.

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Posted (edited)

I can't see the map either.

I have to agree with @N6 Limited on this one. Having the current Queens route outside Flushing and Jamaica would kill ridership. A good chunk of riders using the inter-county routes. Saying the LIRR goes into Queens is not a good enough argument either. Many people coming from the hubs are coming from other modes (subway or other buses), so to have then somehow get to Jamaica LIRR (which can be tedious for some), to then transfer again, people might not make the trip altogether, or they might reluctantly start paying the higher LIRR fares and have people pick them up if they can. 

Another thing is that not everybody is going to/from Manhattan. People from parts of Brooklyn or Queens with no LIRR service nearby would be greatly affected, and on top of that, a lot of NICE bus riders take the bus over the railroad because they can't afford it. LIRR prices from Jamaica into Nassau (zones 3 or 4) are not worth it, IMO. Also, LIRR stations are not as closely spaced together as you make them be, and they are more distant from the NICE bus routes then you're making them to be. I don't consider most of Hillside Avenue, Northern Boulevard (in Nassau)  or Hempstead Turnpike within walkable distance to an LIRR station. The closest stops along Merrick Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue are served infrequently, and on top of that are still relatively far apart. 

TLDR: You're over complicating things for no reason by having people transfer to the LIRR to get into Queens. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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I have to agree with @N6 Limited and @BM5 via Woodhaven on this one. Even if the LIRR was cheaper, which would be amazing, the purpose of the routes are to connect across county lines and within the counties themselves. Honestly, this makes inter county commuting so much worse. This map makes it easier to take the LIRR to Flushing, bus to Jamaica, and LIRR to Lynbrook, than taking a bus like the N25.

Just looking at this, that current one bus trip looks to become the:

  • N53 from Great Neck to LIJ
  • N88 from LIJ to NHP LIRR since it doesn’t go north of Northern Blvd/Macy’s
  • N81 from NHP to Herricks Rd
  • Searingtown Light Rail to Mineola
  • Franklin Light Rail to Hempstead
  • H80 from HTC to Lynbrook

I might as well walk.

  • LMAO! 2

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Try using this link if you are not able to access the map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1U586sl6xydXvAKOJAiXvDh7uwfMnNo13

1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

I have to agree with @N6 Limited on this one. Having the current Queens route outside Flushing and Jamaica would kill ridership. A good chunk of riders using the inter-county routes.

I have to stress again the point is to increase service within Nassau and Suffolk Counties and make mass transit more accessible and usable there (where there is not duplicating LIRR and NYC bus services) rather than waste resources having buses sitting in traffic inching along Northern Boulevard or Hillside Avenue.  Just because the current duplicative routes are the busiest doesn't mean those riders can't be handled in a better way.

Roughly half of NICE's weekday service hours are dedicated to routes that are almost entirely duplicative of the railroad.  Cutting those back to the city line would free up a significant amount of resources that could be dedicated towards increasing frequency on LI routes or expanding bus service to people who have no options now.

1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Saying the LIRR goes into Queens is not a good enough argument either. Many people coming from the hubs are coming from other modes (subway or other buses), so to have then somehow get to Jamaica LIRR (which can be tedious for some), to then transfer again, people might not make the trip altogether, or they might reluctantly start paying the higher LIRR fares and have people pick them up if they can. 

...and on top of that, a lot of NICE bus riders take the bus over the railroad because they can't afford it. LIRR prices from Jamaica into Nassau (zones 3 or 4) are not worth it, IMO.

I'm not sure what I see the issue to is...if you're transferring in Hempstead, Freeport, or Great Neck, you walk a few hundred feet more and get on a train.  If you're coming from Manhattan, you get on the train there.  If you're coming from the subway, you take the E train or transfer at Forest Hills...not sure how that's any more tedious than taking the F train and sitting in traffic for 50+ minutes to get to Hempstead.

And, again, as mentioned at the beginning, this should be viewed as part of a holistic overhaul of LI's transportation network, including more frequent service and more affordable fares on LIRR.  

1 hour ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Another thing is that not everybody is going to/from Manhattan. People from parts of Brooklyn or Queens with no LIRR service nearby would be greatly affected, Also, LIRR stations are not as closely spaced together as you make them be, and they are more distant from the NICE bus routes then you're making them to be. I don't consider most of Hillside Avenue, Northern Boulevard (in Nassau)  or Hempstead Turnpike within walkable distance to an LIRR station. The closest stops along Merrick Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue are served infrequently, and on top of that are still relatively far apart. 

NICE doesn't do anything to help people get to Brooklyn or western Queens.  If you are going to a local destination east of Jamaica within Queens, you can transfer to a NYCT Bus around the city line.

You may not have been able to see the map, but I'm not suggesting eliminating routes like the n6 entirely, just refocusing their resources to improve service at Nassau stops, and diverting passengers to either Floral Park or Belmont Park/Elmont to complete their trips to Jamaica or New York in a fraction of the time.

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1 hour ago, jaf0519 said:

I have to agree with @N6 Limited and @BM5 via Woodhaven on this one. Even if the LIRR was cheaper, which would be amazing, the purpose of the routes are to connect across county lines and within the counties themselves. Honestly, this makes inter county commuting so much worse. This map makes it easier to take the LIRR to Flushing, bus to Jamaica, and LIRR to Lynbrook, than taking a bus like the N25.

Just looking at this, that current one bus trip looks to become the:

  • N53 from Great Neck to LIJ
  • N88 from LIJ to NHP LIRR since it doesn’t go north of Northern Blvd/Macy’s
  • N81 from NHP to Herricks Rd
  • Searingtown Light Rail to Mineola
  • Franklin Light Rail to Hempstead
  • H80 from HTC to Lynbrook

I might as well walk.

A bus network redesign should seek to maximize the total number of transit-accessible trips Island-wide, not just be a copy-paste job of the existing route network.  

In this example, the commuting demand from Great Neck to Lynbrook is near-zero.  According to the US Census, a grand total of 7 people live in Great Neck and work in Lynbrook (26 do the reverse).  It would be wasteful to plan a bus route around that.  And even today's n25 is barely time competitive with taking the LIRR via Woodside if the connections line up reasonably well...

That said, I do see a need for better north-south connections closer to the city line based on your point...there's probably a way to extend or combine some of these routes to make that a ~2 seat ride.

 

FY0P5uc.png

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, lirr42 said:

I'm not sure what I see the issue to is...if you're transferring in Hempstead, Freeport, or Great Neck, you walk a few hundred feet more and get on a train.  If you're coming from Manhattan, you get on the train there.  If you're coming from the subway, you take the E train or transfer at Forest Hills...not sure how that's any more tedious than taking the F train and sitting in traffic for 50+ minutes to get to Hempstead.

And, again, as mentioned at the beginning, this should be viewed as part of a holistic overhaul of LI's transportation network, including more frequent service and more affordable fares on LIRR.  

NICE doesn't do anything to help people get to Brooklyn or western Queens.  If you are going to a local destination east of Jamaica within Queens, you can transfer to a NYCT Bus around the city line.

You may not have been able to see the map, but I'm not suggesting eliminating routes like the n6 entirely, just refocusing their resources to improve service at Nassau stops, and diverting passengers to either Floral Park or Belmont Park/Elmont to complete their trips to Jamaica or New York in a fraction of the time.

I should have been more specific with it, but when I meant hubs, I was referring to Jamaica and Flushing. But even then, the Hempstead Branch is not a suitable replacement for the n6 even for intra county travel, as they're nowhere close enough to each other to even make the walkable argument. Neither is the Babylon branch suitable for the n4, because stations are spread out and not walkable from one another. Routes like the n4 and n6 have quite a bit of intra-county ridership themselves, on top of inter-county ridership.  

I cannot agree with the mentality of having the LIRR operating like a subway (at least in this version). Yes more affordable fares are good (and I would encourage it), but not at the expense of bus service. If you need siphon riders off the bus system to make your LIRR plan work, then that just shows that you aren't confident enough in the overall plan. The bus and the LIRR do not serve the same clientele, and they have different purposes. Also, Nassau residents do use the bus to get to/from the subway as well, it's not just city folks. 

The problem is that for people not going to areas served by the LIRR (which means use of subways), now you're making them transfer again, so it is an inconvenience. Imagine taking the subway in order to take a bus ride out to the city line, and then a bus. I don't see people wanting to do that on the regular. 

You say that you're not eliminating the n6, but you're splitting it into multiple different segments that make it unusable for those who are trying to get across Hempstead Turnpike. Those replacements are not adequate replacements. Imagine having to transfer twice within Nassau to transfer again at the City Line (to then transfer AGAIN to the subway). I don't see this as an overall net improvement. Not only are you going to kill bus ridership in half (at least), but a lot of these new routes are going to carry air (I'd say the vast majority). I'm all for having coverage and all, but some of these routings (and headways) to me are a poor allocation of resources (N61, seriously?).

On top of that, you're also splitting up the busier bus lines within Nassau county too, so how exactly is this an improvement for riders on those lines? I see you're splitting the n27, and having that souther split from Greenvale LIRR head straight down Glen Cove Road to Old County Road, not even serve Roosevelt Field, and head to Mineola. That bus will be carrying very few people, if not air for the majority of the day. And all this at the expense of gutting Willis Avenue service. You're replacing the n22 portion east of RFM which go places no one is going to, and now you're making it difficult to transfer to other routes in the area. RFM has a lot of businesses which people there use to get to/from work and shopping. The vast majority of the n15 has been basically eliminated (and partially replaced from Oceanside to Long Beach). Again, where's the benefit in all of this?

 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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Posted (edited)

This is, to be blunt, an awful redesign.

Firstly, there are no bus connections to the subways in Queens (except for Far Rockaway).

Most of the frequent corridors make little sense. For instance, the Foxhurst Line deviates southwards to serve Baldwin Harbor, an area with less ridership potential than the Merrick Road corridor.

But for brevity, here are some gripes I have with my local area (West Hempstead):

1) The H55 (a replacement for much of the N6) doesn't need to deviate to serve West Hempstead LIRR. And honestly, why did you decide to effectively split the N6 into two when it's objectively a well-designed route as it is (high frequencies, heavy ridership, and 24/7 service)?

2) I actually don't mind the idea of a circular service serving parts of Hempstead (the H11). The problem is that the route you chose for the circular serves the portions of Hempstead with the lowest densities and highest incomes, and therefore the lowest possible ridership.

3) The H80 (a replacement for the N31/32) is a complete waste. Most of the 31/32's ridership north of Five Corners are long-haul riders coming from Far Rockaway/Inwood and heading to Hempstead. Since the H80 does not run south of Lynbrook, ridership is effectively castrated. You also deviated the route from West Hempstead's secondmost important street (Hempstead Avenue), which also has some high levels of poverty (particularly north of Poplar) and routed it down Nassau Boulevard and Cherry Valley... two roads with little to no commerce (except for a Stop and Shop), higher incomes, and less density.

4) Lakeview has no bus service. NONE. Lakeview is a relatively impoverished area with no rail access.

On a sidenote, I designed my own new NICE network a while back:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/drive?state={"ids"%3A["1pCzXd7Coxy9IFy0lfZZICs0GbxmQi6be"]%2C"action"%3A"open"%2C"userId"%3A"111641702466247885006"}&usp=sharing

 

Edited by 67thAve

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8 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

I should have been more specific with it, but when I meant hubs, I was referring to Jamaica and Flushing. But even then, the Hempstead Branch is not a suitable replacement for the n6 even for intra county travel, as they're nowhere close enough to each other to even make the walkable argument. Neither is the Babylon branch suitable for the n4, because stations are spread out and not walkable from one another. Routes like the n4 and n6 have quite a bit of intra-county ridership themselves, on top of inter-county ridership.  

I cannot agree with the mentality of having the LIRR operating like a subway (at least in this version). Yes more affordable fares are good (and I would encourage it), but not at the expense of bus service. If you need siphon riders off the bus system to make your LIRR plan work, then that just shows that you aren't confident enough in the overall plan. The bus and the LIRR do not serve the same clientele, and they have different purposes. Also, Nassau residents do use the bus to get to/from the subway as well, it's not just city folks. 

The problem is that for people not going to areas served by the LIRR (which means use of subways), now you're making them transfer again, so it is an inconvenience. Imagine taking the subway in order to take a bus ride out to the city line, and then a bus. I don't see people wanting to do that on the regular. 

You say that you're not eliminating the n6, but you're splitting it into multiple different segments that make it unusable for those who are trying to get across Hempstead Turnpike. Those replacements are not adequate replacements. Imagine having to transfer twice within Nassau to transfer again at the City Line (to then transfer AGAIN to the subway). I don't see this as an overall net improvement. Not only are you going to kill bus ridership in half (at least), but a lot of these new routes are going to carry air (I'd say the vast majority). I'm all for having coverage and all, but some of these routings (and headways) to me are a poor allocation of resources (N61, seriously?).

On top of that, you're also splitting up the busier bus lines within Nassau county too, so how exactly is this an improvement for riders on those lines? I see you're splitting the n27, and having that souther split from Greenvale LIRR head straight down Glen Cove Road to Old County Road, not even serve Roosevelt Field, and head to Mineola. That bus will be carrying very few people, if not air for the majority of the day. And all this at the expense of gutting Willis Avenue service. You're replacing the n22 portion east of RFM which go places no one is going to, and now you're making it difficult to transfer to other routes in the area. RFM has a lot of businesses which people there use to get to/from work and shopping. The vast majority of the n15 has been basically eliminated (and partially replaced from Oceanside to Long Beach). Again, where's the benefit in all of this?

 

All of these are arguments for why we should continue propping up the status quo, not focusing on where the greatest demand could be with a properly designed, frequent feeder network.  The point is not to continue to provide a one seat ride for every existing route that carries a dozen riders per bus with only hourly service, but rather to deliver an overall improvement in service to all potential passengers (both existing riders AND those that currently drive).  Buses should collect riders from more sparsely populated areas and feed them to faster and more frequent rail/light rail/BRT routes.

In 2017, only about 3% of Nassau County residents traveled by bus on an average weekday.  The current system is clearly not designed properly to serve the vast majority of residents.  Think bigger.

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1 hour ago, lirr42 said:

All of these are arguments for why we should continue propping up the status quo, not focusing on where the greatest demand could be with a properly designed, frequent feeder network.  The point is not to continue to provide a one seat ride for every existing route that carries a dozen riders per bus with only hourly service, but rather to deliver an overall improvement in service to all potential passengers (both existing riders AND those that currently drive).  Buses should collect riders from more sparsely populated areas and feed them to faster and more frequent rail/light rail/BRT routes.

In 2017, only about 3% of Nassau County residents traveled by bus on an average weekday.  The current system is clearly not designed properly to serve the vast majority of residents.  Think bigger.

And it would probably still be the same 3% - you'll just be spending an extreme amount of money to run empty buses on a good chunk of these routes.

 

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@lirr42 before I even get in to the buses (I don't know LI that well, @67thAve @BM5 via Woodhaven and others would know better), I have 3 major gripes with this plan:

  1. How on earth are you going to build some of your LRT/BRT lines. Some are fine, but some are running down roads that are packed with traffic and have virtually no room for a median-running line. And as @B35 via Church and @engineerboy6561 have said, IF IT DOESN'T HAVE ITS OWN MEDIAN, ITS NOT LRT\BRT
  2. Why is there such a complicated numbering scheme? Just make 2-3 letters per county and cap it at that (maybe N and A for Nassau and S and U for Suffolk)?
  3. Why are there no buses to Queens? That is a MAJOR source of revenue. In addition, any good NICE redesign would have an express bus to Manhattan.

 

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17 hours ago, lirr42 said:

In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island.  I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts...  The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions.

DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3)

 

The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time.  The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels).  In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks

This is an exercise in trying to urbanize the bus system in Nassau county.... It's far too ambitious.

Even if I ignore the decision to not have buses running into the city, you're not going to get people that are currently park & riding to railroad stations into taking buses to railroad stations.... You can make the bus network as extensive as you want to in Nassau County it's not going to change the mindsets of suburbanites that negatively stigmatize public buses.... It would be nothing short of naive to believe that the totality of what's being proposed in all of this can be sold as being more efficient than the current network.... Sure, there are inefficiencies with the current network, but yours exacerbates it - it's the epitome of inefficiency.... People, en masse, will continue to drive to get around.... People, large in part, don't move to the suburbs for the sake of taking public transportation to get around within that, or other suburban areas.... It is what it is.....

For a plan like this to be as efficient as you may believe it will, you'd have to get way too many people to give up their cars....

16 hours ago, lirr42 said:

The LIRR goes into Queens... 

And either the Queens/Nassau routes could be extended one or two stops over the city line to allow the small handful of passengers who travel locally within Queens to make connections (Q17/Q87/Q34 to Great Neck, Q67 to Floral Park, Q38 to Belmont Park, Q42 to Valley Stream, etc.).  We should not be spending resources inefficiently ferry people to the subway when the railroad does exactly the same thing.

The LIRR also goes into Nassau & Suffolk Counties.

14 hours ago, lirr42 said:

I have to stress again the point is to increase service within Nassau and Suffolk Counties and make mass transit more accessible and usable there (where there is not duplicating LIRR and NYC bus services) rather than waste resources having buses sitting in traffic inching along Northern Boulevard or Hillside Avenue.  Just because the current duplicative routes are the busiest doesn't mean those riders can't be handled in a better way.

There's the problem - the idea that you're going to get people more willing to taking buses within Nassau & Suffolk counties.... Nobody's arguing that the current network doesn't have holes in the system..... Matter of fact, your plan goes way too far in the opposite direction.... What masses of riders are going to take a bus route running between Glen Head & Port Washington via Roslyn Harbor & the area surrounding the business parks up along W. Shore rd? A Kings Point route that runs through Great Neck, just to stop dead at LIRR Roslyn Heights? A Glen Cove road route that runs from Greenvale to Mineola? And as much as I believe Farmingdale is underserved with the current network, your "O72" is going to carry a lot of air - especially when you're considering having it run every 10 minutes during traditional rush hours.....

14 hours ago, lirr42 said:

A bus network redesign should seek to maximize the total number of transit-accessible trips Island-wide....

Yeah, and that doesn't exactly mean you have buses rolling around & about carrying a minimal amount of passengers for the sake of it.... Funny how you fail to consider that none of the routes you're proposing would fall into that category....

3 hours ago, lirr42 said:

All of these are arguments for why we should continue propping up the status quo, not focusing on where the greatest demand could be with a properly designed, frequent feeder network.  The point is not to continue to provide a one seat ride for every existing route that carries a dozen riders per bus with only hourly service, but rather to deliver an overall improvement in service to all potential passengers (both existing riders AND those that currently drive).  Buses should collect riders from more sparsely populated areas and feed them to faster and more frequent rail/light rail/BRT routes.

In 2017, only about 3% of Nassau County residents traveled by bus on an average weekday.  The current system is clearly not designed properly to serve the vast majority of residents.  Think bigger.

In an earlier post, you mention (seeking to) maximize the total amount of transit accessible trips.... Here you're talking about arguments not focusing on where the greatest demand could be for a (properly designed) feeder network..... Apparently, you're exponentially exaggerating the amount of potential passengers there are in Nassau county - especially if you honestly believe that you could garner a justifiable amount of patronage in more sparsely populated areas.....

You mention only 3% of Nassau residents utilize buses on a given weekday... Alright, so with this breathtakingly, revolutionary, state-of-the-art, progressive bus system you're proposing, just how much of a percent increase do you envision there being?

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This is the worst idea I have ever seen.

Huge amounts of people ride the N24, N22/N22x, N4/N4x and N6/N6x from Long Island into Jamaica.  The reason why they do it is since they can't afford the LIRR, even at off-peak fares.  They transfer to Queens local buses at major transfer points or to the E/F/J train.  Much cheaper to get from Freeport to Midtown Manhattan for $2.75 rather than $14.00 peak on the LIRR.

If NICE bus can't go to the subways, they might as well shut down.  The Queens buses would be overwhelmed if they had 50+ people attempting to board them at their first stop in easternmost Queens.

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20 hours ago, lirr42 said:

In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island.  I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts...  The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions.

DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3)

 

The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time.  The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels).  In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks

 

Link does work.

 

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3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Even if I ignore the decision to not have buses running into the city, you're not going to get people that are currently park & riding to railroad stations into taking buses to railroad stations.... You can make the bus network as extensive as you want to in Nassau County it's not going to change the mindsets of suburbanites that negatively stigmatize public buses.... It would be nothing short of naive to believe that the totality of what's being proposed in all of this can be sold as being more efficient than the current network.... Sure, there are inefficiencies with the current network, but yours exacerbates it - it's the epitome of inefficiency.... People, en masse, will continue to drive to get around.... People, large in part, don't move to the suburbs for the sake of taking public transportation to get around within that, or other suburban areas.... It is what it is.....

For a plan like this to be as efficient as you may believe it will, you'd have to get way too many people to give up their cars....

...the idea that you're going to get people more willing to taking buses within Nassau & Suffolk counties.... Nobody's arguing that the current network doesn't have holes in the system.....

These are the same tired arguments, again.  Why do you think there is a bus stigma?  Because the bus network is infrequent, poorly designed, slow, and unreliable (since so many of the routes are way too long and circuitous).  When you design a inefficient, duplicative bus network that only the poorest riders who don't have any other options can tolerate, it's no wonder so many Long Islanders think of the buses in the way they do.  And nothing's going to change if we keep clinging to status quo (including inefficiently wasting resources having buses inching through traffic in Queens) as if there was no better option, like you keep insisting.  The point for suburban transit is not to get people to give up their cars completely, but to build a strong, frequent network that people can use as much as possible, reducing traffic volume and parking demand in downtown areas during the peak periods so street space and parking land can be dedicated to supporting denser development and more job growth in transit-adjacent areas.

 

3 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

In an earlier post, you mention (seeking to) maximize the total amount of transit accessible trips....  Apparently, you're exponentially exaggerating the amount of potential passengers there are in Nassau county - especially if you honestly believe that you could garner a justifiable amount of patronage in more sparsely populated areas.....

You mention only 3% of Nassau residents utilize buses on a given weekday... Alright, so with this breathtakingly, revolutionary, state-of-the-art, progressive bus system you're proposing, just how much of a percent increase do you envision there being?

Again, the point of refocusing resources and taking buses out of traffic in Queens is to dedicate them to increasing frequency in Nassau and Suffolk counties.  What use are the buses at all if they only come once an hour or, at best, half-hourly, and then take forever to get you to where you want to go?  

Right now Long Island has just about 6 frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better during rush hours).   Only 156,000 employed Nassau and Suffolk County residents currently live within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route.

Under the network in the map...which requires the same number of vehicles in service and only represents a modest increase in total service hours (because the routes are more efficient):

  • The number of frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better) increases from 6 to 113
  • The amount of transit-accessible area increases by 932% from 53 square miles to 543 square miles
  • The amount of employed Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 451% from 156,090 workers to 860,307 workers
  • The percentage of Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 15% to 79%
  • The number of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 283% from 229,812 jobs to 881,134 jobs
  • The percentage of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 23% to 87%

I think we can do a little better than 3% of residents taking the bus with a network like that.  And if one of the 12 people spending an hour on a bus winding through Nassau County has to transfer an extra time, or someone has to walk across the street to the train at Hempstead, then so be it.  The point of a bus network redesign is not to retain one-seat rides for 100% of existing trips.  As the saying goes, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs...

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2 hours ago, RtrainBlues said:

This is the worst idea I have ever seen.

Huge amounts of people ride the N24, N22/N22x, N4/N4x and N6/N6x from Long Island into Jamaica.  The reason why they do it is since they can't afford the LIRR, even at off-peak fares.  They transfer to Queens local buses at major transfer points or to the E/F/J train.  Much cheaper to get from Freeport to Midtown Manhattan for $2.75 rather than $14.00 peak on the LIRR.

If NICE bus can't go to the subways, they might as well shut down.  The Queens buses would be overwhelmed if they had 50+ people attempting to board them at their first stop in easternmost Queens.

For the third time, the redesign is meant to be viewed in the context of an overall improvement and modernization of LI's transportation, including reduced LIRR fares.  We should not be encouraging people to spend 2+ hours sitting on slow buses and subways when we have a perfectly good railroad right across the street that could do the trip in less than half the time.  Long Island's transportation network is clearly segregated...I, for the life of me, can't understand why everyone here is so insistent on keeping it that way.

 

If anyone has any substantive feedback or comments other than why aren't we going to allow people to sit in slow Queens traffic while trains whizz past them a few thousand feet away?, or why we are not keeping an existing slow, circuitous route that serves 12 people every hour just because it's what we have now?...I would be interested to hear that and welcome it.

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30 minutes ago, lirr42 said:

These are the same tired arguments, again.  Why do you think there is a bus stigma?  Because the bus network is infrequent, poorly designed, slow, and unreliable (since so many of the routes are way too long and circuitous).  When you design a inefficient, duplicative bus network that only the poorest riders who don't have any other options can tolerate, it's no wonder so many Long Islanders think of the buses in the way they do.  And nothing's going to change if we keep clinging to status quo (including inefficiently wasting resources having buses inching through traffic in Queens) as if there was no better option, like you keep insisting.  The point for suburban transit is not to get people to give up their cars completely, but to build a strong, frequent network that people can use as much as possible, reducing traffic volume and parking demand in downtown areas during the peak periods so street space and parking land can be dedicated to supporting denser development and more job growth in transit-adjacent areas.

I going to response from the perspective of a Queens resident who both takes buses in Nassau and knows a lot of people who live in Nassau. Aside from the routes around Nassau Hub/Roosevelt Field, the N25/26 near LIJ and North Shore, not many Nassau routes are circuitous. Yes, the N22 and N24 are very long routes and they could be improved, it should not be done by chopping up the corridors. The N25 is another long route that mostly serves one long north-south corridor. While there is not a lot of ridership between Great Neck and Lynbrook, the amount of intermediate ridershipthe route gets is enough that a corridor like New Hyde Park Rd should not be split up like you did. 

You also completely missed the reason why there is bus stigma. It is not because the routes are poorly designed and slow. The majority of people who take the bus in Nassau are poorer than their counterparts who take the LIRR. You putting a u-shaped route in the North Hills or buses to Old Westbury Gardens will not get people in those areas to take the bus. They will still drive to where they catch the train. There is a decent chance that they moved there to be away from the bus, specifically the “types of people” the bus would bring to their areas. Your plan has 5 routes terminating at the Floral Park LIRR Station. Combined these 5 routes would have almost 20 buses an hour serving Floral Park. Do you know why there are ZERO now? Because they don’t want any bus service bringing people who “don’t belong” into their neighborhood. They were against the MTA extending the N2 to the LIRR station and it ran once every 45-60 minutes.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lirr42 said:

These are the same tired arguments, again.  Why do you think there is a bus stigma?  Because the bus network is infrequent, poorly designed, slow, and unreliable (since so many of the routes are way too long and circuitous).  When you design a inefficient, duplicative bus network that only the poorest riders who don't have any other options can tolerate, it's no wonder so many Long Islanders think of the buses in the way they do.  And nothing's going to change if we keep clinging to status quo (including inefficiently wasting resources having buses inching through traffic in Queens) as if there was no better option, like you keep insisting.  The point for suburban transit is not to get people to give up their cars completely, but to build a strong, frequent network that people can use as much as possible, reducing traffic volume and parking demand in downtown areas during the peak periods so street space and parking land can be dedicated to supporting denser development and more job growth in transit-adjacent areas.

Any stance that doesn't amount to any rejoicing over your grand proposal here, doesn't amount to "the same tired argument"...

Listen, I'm not your problem - you can stick your virtual finger in your ear & go la la la la la all you want, it doesn't (and won't) change the reason for why a lot of people negatively stigmatize buses out there.... It has squat to do with their service levels, how fast or slow they are, how reliable or unreliable they are, how perfectly or poorly designed they are - none of that.... The intricacies of what goes into a successful bus network is irrelevant to the people that have zero intention of using public buses..... The numbers simply aren't on your side to propose a network of the sheer extent that you have here..... The masses in suburbia view ANYONE that utilizes public buses as that of being "less than" in society & that is putting it mildly.... As the saying goes, image is everything & that's the pervasive portrait that's been painted - for ages... Nobody's saying it has to remain stagnant until kingdom come, but honestly, let's not sit up here & act like the whole keeping up with the Jones' mentality isn't persistent out there..... Let's not act like the (poor) quality of the current bus system is keeping a plethora of people from abstaining from using buses out there... Rome wasn't built in a day - you have to change the mentality of the people, before you can try to shove a million & one bus routes down their throats... That goes for NICE bus, any other transit provider, you, or any other enthusiast that believes the contrary..... Point blank period.

That whole build it & they will come mindset tends to be futile when it comes to buses in suburbia.... Regional rail network though, different story.

1 hour ago, lirr42 said:

Again, the point of refocusing resources and taking buses out of traffic in Queens is to dedicate them to increasing frequency in Nassau and Suffolk counties.  What use are the buses at all if they only come once an hour or, at best, half-hourly, and then take forever to get you to where you want to go?  

Right now Long Island has just about 6 frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better during rush hours).   Only 156,000 employed Nassau and Suffolk County residents currently live within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route.

Under the network in the map...which requires the same number of vehicles in service and only represents a modest increase in total service hours (because the routes are more efficient):

  • The number of frequent bus routes (service every 20-25 minutes or better) increases from 6 to 113
  • The amount of transit-accessible area increases by 932% from 53 square miles to 543 square miles
  • The amount of employed Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 451% from 156,090 workers to 860,307 workers
  • The percentage of Nassau/Suffolk residents living within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 15% to 79%
  • The number of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases by 283% from 229,812 jobs to 881,134 jobs
  • The percentage of jobs located within 0.5 miles of a frequent bus route increases from 23% to 87%

I think we can do a little better than 3% of residents taking the bus with a network like that.  And if one of the 12 people spending an hour on a bus winding through Nassau County has to transfer an extra time, or someone has to walk across the street to the train at Hempstead, then so be it.  The point of a bus network redesign is not to retain one-seat rides for 100% of existing trips.  As the saying goes, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs...

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K2vvvDD.png

Correlation doesn't imply causation.... You seem to think that people are doing as much driving in Nassau county because the bus system doesn't do much for them.....

You put in all that work to concoct this proposal & are arguing everybody down that doesn't see things your way - but yet the extent of your confidence in it, is that we can do a little better than status quo?

You know what else isn't the point of a redesign? Dedicating more resources into a bus system that won't be cost-efficient.

Edited by B35 via Church

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, lirr42 said:

For the third time, the redesign is meant to be viewed in the context of an overall improvement and modernization of LI's transportation, including reduced LIRR fares.  We should not be encouraging people to spend 2+ hours sitting on slow buses and subways when we have a perfectly good railroad right across the street that could do the trip in less than half the time.  Long Island's transportation network is clearly segregated...I, for the life of me, can't understand why everyone here is so insistent on keeping it that way.

If anyone has any substantive feedback or comments other than why aren't we going to allow people to sit in slow Queens traffic while trains whizz past them a few thousand feet away?, or why we are not keeping an existing slow, circuitous route that serves 12 people every hour just because it's what we have now?...I would be interested to hear that and welcome it.

Lol at a perfectly good railroad right across the street. First of all, the LIRR on a good day operates a little better than mediocre. Second, please tell me what LIRR lines are right across the street from Hempstead Turnpike, Merrick Boulevard/Merrick Road, and Hillside Avenue. 

It's funny how you're making the argument that the transportation network is segregated, but then make the entire network as feeders to the LIRR (whose customers generally have higher incomes). If anything, you're shifting the focus of riders to those who are less likely to use the bus, and punish everybody who currently depends on those buses. The plan literally destroys almost all the higher ridership corridors (both inter-county and intra-county), to appease people in more well-off areas who will just continue using their car to wherever they need to go. How is that equitable?

You can underline the reduced LIRR fares all you want, that still not gonna fly by with bus riders. You do realize that a good portion of riders are also not near the LIRR. What part of this don't you get? These routes are not simply LIRR alternatives. Unless you're making train rides to Manhattan and Jamaica $2.75 from Nassau county, this whole plan of yours would get a lot of scorn from NICE bus riders themselves.

Also, even if you did make the trains $2.75 (which has a fat chance, but just hypothetically), all you're doing is reducing train travel time (if applicable) and redistributing that savings elsewhere into the users existing travel time (additional transfers, additional walking, longer travel times on whatever connections are being done, etc). Hillside Avenue and the LIRR at its closest point in Jamaica is 0.4 miles (approx 2112 feet). That's nowhere close to walkable, and doesn't even take into account that most bus connections to NICE bus routes in Jamaica and SE Queens aren't within walking distance from an LIRR station. And then there's the issue once you get off the train (the time it takes to catch the bus, and the time it takes to get to your destination, assuming no additional transfers). All that time savings just went out the window. At best, you're looking at 5 minutes of savings for some people. So you're increasing travel times and transferring for people who are most dependent, all to save a handful of minutes at best and to increase LIRR service, and making certain areas harder to access for people who needed, jeopardizing their livelihoods in the process. 

You can do the reduction in LIRR fares and the addition of LIRR service, and whatever feeders you think is necessary, without gutting the core ridership base of the bus system.

 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, jaf0519 said:

You also completely missed the reason why there is bus stigma. It is not because the routes are poorly designed and slow. The majority of people who take the bus in Nassau are poorer than their counterparts who take the LIRR. You putting a u-shaped route in the North Hills or buses to Old Westbury Gardens will not get people in those areas to take the bus. They will still drive to where they catch the train. There is a decent chance that they moved there to be away from the bus, specifically the “types of people” the bus would bring to their areas. Your plan has 5 routes terminating at the Floral Park LIRR Station. Combined these 5 routes would have almost 20 buses an hour serving Floral Park. Do you know why there are ZERO now? Because they don’t want any bus service bringing people who “don’t belong” into their neighborhood. They were against the MTA extending the N2 to the LIRR station and it ran once every 45-60 minutes.

 

10 minutes ago, B35 via Church said:

The masses in suburbia view ANYONE that utilizes public buses as that of being "less than" in society & that is putting it mildly.... As the saying goes, image is everything & that's the pervasive portrait that's been painted - for ages... Nobody's saying it has to remain stagnant until kingdom come, but honestly, let's not sit up here & act like the whole keeping up with the Jones' mentality isn't persistent out there..... Let's not act like the (poor) quality of the current bus system is keeping a plethora of people from abstaining from using buses out there... Rome wasn't built in a day - you have to change the mentality of the people, before you can try to shove a million & one bus routes down their throats... That goes for NICE bus, any other transit provider, you, or any other enthusiast that believes the contrary..... Point blank period.

 

Yes, when a bus network is designed inefficiently with routes that are so slow and infrequent that only the poorest riders are able to tolerate them, this is what happens.

Why is everyone so keen on keeping it this way??

The idea is not to get 100% of people to switch to the buses...but by building a bus network that is actually useful to most people (instead of a largely duplicative system for poor people) and is frequent enough so that every train or nearly every train has a timed bus connection, coupled with increases in parking charges (to reflect the value of downtown, adjacent land and to fund these bus improvements) will lead to a gradual shift from the drive-and-park model to taking the feeder buses...thus, allowing for downtown parking land to be reduced and repurposed for housing so more people can live in our communities and more commercial space so Long Island can court higher-paying jobs.  "Rome wasn't built in a day" ... ok, so we shouldn't even bother trying at all on Long Island?

Edited by lirr42

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9 minutes ago, lirr42 said:

Yes, when a bus network is designed inefficiently with routes that are so slow and infrequent that only the poorest riders are able to tolerate them, this is what happens.

Why is everyone so keen on keeping it this way? 

The idea is not to get 100% of people to switch to the buses...but by building a bus network that is actually useful to most people (instead of a largely duplicative system for poor people) and is frequent enough so that every train or nearly every train has a timed bus connection, coupled with increases in parking charges (to reflect the value of downtown, adjacent land and to fund these bus improvements) will lead to a gradual shift from the drive-and-park model to taking the feeder buses...thus, allowing for downtown parking land to be reduced and repurposed for housing so more people can live in our communities and more commercial space so Long Island can court higher-paying jobs.

The people who currently drive and take the train, will do the exact same thing under your plan. They are against bus service because the poor use it, so why would they themselves start to use it. Why else do you think the LIRR is so expensive within Queens? Nassau and Suffolk residents view it as THEIR railroad, while the city has the subway. The price acts a way to keep it for them and not city dwellers (not that I agree with that). Also, do you not know how territorial parking is near Long Island Rail Road downtowns? Towns already only want parking for their residents, and they don’t want less parking, they want more, since they will not do anything but drive, probably even if you paid them to take the bus. If someone has ZERO intention of using a service currently, why would you design a system around getting them to use the service?

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, lirr42 said:

Yes, when a bus network is designed inefficiently with routes that are so slow and infrequent that only the poorest riders are able to tolerate them, this is what happens.

Why is everyone so keen on keeping it this way??

The idea is not to get 100% of people to switch to the buses...but by building a bus network that is actually useful to most people (instead of a largely duplicative system for poor people) and is frequent enough so that every train or nearly every train has a timed bus connection, coupled with increases in parking charges (to reflect the value of downtown, adjacent land and to fund these bus improvements) will lead to a gradual shift from the drive-and-park model to taking the feeder buses...thus, allowing for downtown parking land to be reduced and repurposed for housing so more people can live in our communities and more commercial space so Long Island can court higher-paying jobs.  "Rome wasn't built in a day" ... ok, so we shouldn't even bother trying at all on Long Island?

Remain stubborn to your content, if you wish..... Again, the problem is not the bus system, as much as it is how people view buses out there..... Dismissing the current state of affairs as "only the poorest riders are able to tolerate them" is tantamount to being disingenuous or naive.... Yeah, Rome wasn't built in a day - good job at selective reading though, because I also stated "Nobody's saying it has to remain stagnant until kingdom come"....

Why is everyone so keen on keeping it this way? How about, why we aren't co-signing what you're proposing (which is the premise behind that covert question)..... Because quite frankly, money doesn't grow on trees & you're not going to forcefeed people into utilizing something they don't want..... Don't talk to us about inefficiencies with NICEbus, when the cost efficiency of what you're proposing would be significantly worse (no matter how many routes you have terminating at the bus depot)....

Now you're talking about nearly every train & bus making timed connections... This is that whole transit utopia crap, that's devoid of reality again.... You're not going to urbanize suburbia with a more extensive bus network... Be careful for what you wish for with that "so more people can live in our communities" bit, because a nice little chunk of your fellow Long Island compatriots....

....don't want more people in their communities.

Edited by B35 via Church

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On 5/10/2020 at 7:04 PM, lirr42 said:

In a similar vein with the local bus network redesigns currently underway in the city, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to work out some ideas for redesigning the NICE/SCT/HART bus networks on Long Island.  I am curious if anyone here has any comments or thoughts...  The map below shows (roughly) the realigned routes and the particulars about frequency, connections, etc. shown in the descriptions.

DRAFT LI Bus Redesign (v3)

 

The draft network was imagined as a "clean slate", starting over from scratch with a much greater focus towards feeding the LIRR (instead of running largely duplicative routes), connecting rail lines to existing job hubs, and filling in the gas in the rail network (e.g. frequent north-south routes), along with an overall eye towards increasing frequency and decreasing the length of runs to improve reliability and save on down-time.  The redesigned network is meant to be viewed holistically and as part of a larger modernization effort for LI transit (including increasing frequency/speed and standardizing service patterns on the LIRR, and reducing fares to more affordable levels).  In other words, it shouldn't be thought of only in the context of existing routes, where there is demand for bus ridership now, etc.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts and suggestions... Thanks

I meant link doesn't work.

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