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Mtatransit

Suffolk County may cut 46% of its bus routes

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https://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/federal-aid-for-suffolk-county-1.49763166

 

These are the routes the county is proposing on eliminating and its associating ridership 

Bus route cuts

Suffolk County proposes discontinuing 19 bus routes. They are:

S54 — 548 riders per day

10B — 45 riders per day

S59 — 90 riders per day

S57 — 139 riders per day

S31 — 12 riders per day

S76 — 36 riders per day

S56 — 89 riders per day

2A — 106 riders per day

7A — 60 riders per day

10C — 85 riders per day

6B — 108 riders per day

S47 — 73 riders per day

8A — 131 riders per day

S62 — 339 riders per day

1A — 63 riders per day

6A — 78 riders per day

S69 — 3 riders per day

2B — 161 riders per day

S23 — 149 riders per day

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The article is behind a paywall, so could anyone get the full article (gtfoh with that "you have been selected" BS with no way to X it out, as if I can't tell)?

In any case, Suffolk's system would represent more of a skeleton system. The east end would also be hit particularly hard, and areas like Ronkonkoma would have no bus service at all. Out of all the routes there, the cuts that would be the most painful are the S54, S62 and 10C cuts. 

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45 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

The article is behind a paywall, so could anyone get the full article (gtfoh with that "you have been selected" BS with no way to X it out, as if I can't tell)?

In any case, Suffolk's system would represent more of a skeleton system. The east end would also be hit particularly hard, and areas like Ronkonkoma would have no bus service at all. Out of all the routes there, the cuts that would be the most painful are the S54, S62 and 10C cuts. 

Full article. All credit goes to Newsday

Steve Bellone warns cuts, layoffs could be coming to Suffolk bus services

Suffolk will eliminate 19 bus routes, reduce paratransit service for the disabled and lay off hundreds of employees unless the federal government provides millions in disaster relief to offset deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic, County Executive Steve Bellone warned Friday.

Bellone's announcement was the latest dire warning by the Democratic lawmaker about the county's fiscal crisis absent an infusion of assistance from Washington. Earlier this month, Bellone announced $20 million in cuts to the Suffolk police department, including the elimination of two classes at the police academy totaling 200 new officers.

Suffolk has received $283 million in federal CARES Act funding, but still faces an $800 million deficit in 2020 and 2021, according to a fiscal panel assembled by Bellone.

Proposed cuts to 46% of the county's bus routes — ones with the fewest number of riders — would impact 2,300 daily riders and save $13 million in Suffolk's 2021 budget, which is expected to be released next week, Bellone said at a news conference in Hauppauge.

"This is a crisis within a crisis," Bellone said. "We are still in the middle of what has been an unprecedented natural disaster. But that was Mother Nature. This is a man-made crisis. This can be resolved by our public officials at the federal level coming together and doing the right thing. This doesn't have to happen and shouldn't happen."

John Corrado, president of the Suffolk Transportation Service, said the cuts would be "devastating" to riders and potentially force the layoff of "hundreds" of his 700 employees.

The budget also would cut $5 million from the Suffolk County Accessible Transportation system, affecting another 200 riders.

"If these cuts are made, people with disabilities will be disproportionally affected," said Frank Krotschinsky, director of the county's Office for People with Disabilities. "Many people with disabilities don't have access to a car."

The county subsidizes $43 million of the bus system's $85 million operating costs, with the remainder coming from the state and federal government and fares, officials said.

In June, Suffolk received $26.6 million in CARES Act funding for public transit. It previously received $257.8 million in general assistance from the federal government.

But Bellone said the transit funds were spent to offset revenue losses from 2020. For example, Suffolk estimates it will lose $6.1 million in bus fare revenue in 2020 and another $6 million through reductions in state transit assistance.

"This is one-shot revenue," he said of the CARES Act funds. "It does nothing moving forward in 2021 and above."

Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said even before the pandemic Bellone mismanaged the county's finances, leading to bond downgrades, massive borrowing and fee increases.

"Mr. Bellone: look in the mirror," Trotta said. "This is your fault. The chickens have come home to roost and this is on your back. You have mismanaged this county to no end … To blame the federal government is a cop-out."

Legis. Leslie Kennedy (R-Nissequogue) contends the federal government provided Suffolk with more than enough funds to offset the loss of pandemic-related sales tax revenue.

"We have a problem with compulsive spending," Kennedy said. "The money we are short is from prior actions."

Earlier Friday, Bellone, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus appealed to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass a federal disaster assistance bill.

"Do what our national government has always done when local communities are hit with unprecedented disasters," Bellone said during a virtual news conference. "If they do that, it allows us to deal with the structural budget gaps that something like this — unprecedented since the Great Depression, the economic declines that we’ve seen — that we are then able to close those budget gaps in a responsible way."

Bus route cuts

Suffolk County proposes discontinuing 19 bus routes. They are:

S54 — 548 riders per day

10B — 45 riders per day

S59 — 90 riders per day

S57 — 139 riders per day

S31 — 12 riders per day

S76 — 36 riders per day

S56 — 89 riders per day

2A — 106 riders per day

7A — 60 riders per day

10C — 85 riders per day

6B — 108 riders per day

S47 — 73 riders per day

8A — 131 riders per day

S62 — 339 riders per day

1A — 63 riders per day

6A — 78 riders per day

S69 — 3 riders per day

2B — 161 riders per day

S23 — 149 riders per day

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I'm surprised they're cutting the S54, that actually carries a decent load when I've taken it. I'm surprised they kept the S60, I thought it carried less than the S54 but maybe because SBU pays for part of it, it probably isn't a loss leader like some of these other routes.

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4 hours ago, danielhg121 said:

I'm surprised they're cutting the S54, that actually carries a decent load when I've taken it. I'm surprised they kept the S60, I thought it carried less than the S54 but maybe because SBU pays for part of it, it probably isn't a loss leader like some of these other routes.

At this point they should extend the S58 to WW Mall. 

To be honest I was surprised that routes such as S68,7B or 3B/C/Suffolk Clipper was not on it. 

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I'm trying to wrap my head around scrapping the S62 (after the 5A was canned) and leaving the S42 alone. (Hell, Staten Island's S42 is probably a better performer when heading to St. George than Suffolk's S42 as a whole.)

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How should I do this.... IDK, guess I'll do some quotes, instead of a long diatribe.

19 hours ago, danielhg121 said:

I'm surprised they're cutting the S54, that actually carries a decent load when I've taken it. I'm surprised they kept the S60, I thought it carried less than the S54 but maybe because SBU pays for part of it, it probably isn't a loss leader like some of these other routes.

There's simply a greater demand for the S60 than there is for the S54 (IMO anyway).... Case in point, I can't go to Smith Haven (whilst waiting in the bus pickup/dropoff area) without somebody asking me if the damn 60 came yet..... I'd keep the S60 as-is over the S54 as-is too....

In saying that, I would look for ways to keep portions of the S54 around, though.... Having the S58 cover the S54's stint b/w Huntington Square & Whitman Mall would be a start.... As for the southern portion of the S54, I would create a route that'd run between Hauppauge (county offices) & North Bellport (Sunshine Square), taking portions of the S54 & the 7b.... Something like this.....

14 hours ago, Mtatransit said:

At this point they should extend the S58 to WW Mall.

I've always felt that the S58 should run to Whitman, regardless.... Now that they're talking about possibly axing the S54, it would make all the more sense... So, agreed....

4 hours ago, Lex said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around scrapping the S62 (after the 5A was canned) and leaving the S42 alone.

(Hell, Staten Island's S42 is probably a better performer when heading to St. George than Suffolk's S42 as a whole.)

Not that this justifies it, but I'm guessing that they decided on keeping the S58 over the S62 (as far as the long distance route to/from Riverhead is concerned)....

To your other point, I'm not seeing what's keeping the S42 afloat either... The thing is a bit of an afterthought between Mechanicsville rd. (that little BS bus terminal area in Bay Shore 1 block north of NYS 27A) & LIRR Babylon (because folks all gun for the S40).... It doesn't perform all that hot between SS mall & LIRR Central Islip either.... I get the purpose being for coverage, but in actuality, of those that do use the S42, that entire portion north of Suffolk av. is a complete waste... Folks usually take it to the last stop (LIRR Central Islip) to xfer to that 3c (for the courts) or 3d (for Smith Haven or Stony Brook)....

Edited by B35 via Church

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13 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

The S69 gets 3 riders per day?? I'm not misreading that? How has that route existed this long?

It's a night route that consists of one bus making a continuous loop for like a 2 hour period or so. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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52 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

It's a night route that consists of one bus making a continuous loop for like a 2 hour period or so. 

lol For three people... Waste of money.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

The S69 gets 3 riders per day?? I'm not misreading that? How has that route existed this long?

Simply put, it's a thinly-veiled attempt at not providing more S60/S62 service.

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Of the other 54% of its bus routes, how many of them will even end up running 40'-ers anymore?

place your bets...

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On 9/27/2020 at 3:22 PM, Mtatransit said:

 

Bus route cuts

Suffolk County proposes discontinuing 19 bus routes. They are:

S54 — 548 riders per day- Don't agree since it will lose connection with HART and NICE Bus n78/79 during rush hour

10B — 45 riders per day

S59 — 90 riders per day- Don't agree.

S57 — 139 riders per day- Don't agree.

S31 — 12 riders per day

S76 — 36 riders per day

S56 — 89 riders per day- Don't agree

2A — 106 riders per day

7A — 60 riders per day

10C — 85 riders per day- Don't agree. I don't think Hampton Jitney bus will let SCT Bus riders travel between East Hampton and Montauk.

6B — 108 riders per day

S47 — 73 riders per day- Don't agree.

8A — 131 riders per day

S62 — 339 riders per day- Don't agree.

1A — 63 riders per day

6A — 78 riders per day

S69 — 3 riders per day

2B — 161 riders per day

S23 — 149 riders per day

 

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On 9/28/2020 at 11:34 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

lol For three people... Waste of money.

If it was a 2 hour trip on an express route that carried 3 people, would you be saying the same?

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

If it was a 2 hour trip on an express route that carried 3 people, would you be saying the same?

I don't know of any (MTA) express bus line that carries three people for the entire day, so that's a moot point. I'm pretty practical. Most of the current express lines run rush hours only, or they run rush hour and off-peak with off-peak buses mainly every 30 minutes to an hour, which is very reasonable and they carry decent loads. If a line is only picking up three people for the entire day, then that service should be better used elsewhere and they should try to accommodate the passengers that are impacted.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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@Via Garibaldi 8 You have to compare apples to apples. This route requires one driver driving around for 2 hours (that's it, it only does 2 evening trips) You're telling me in the entire express bus system, there's no trips that involve 2 hours worth of driving that carry 3 people or fewer?

 

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It would be nice if the article listed the routes in a reasonable order (either by ridership or numerically). I copied it into Excel and sorted it out for those who want a closer look

1A — 63 riders per day

2A — 106 riders per day

2B — 161 riders per day

6A — 78 riders per day

6B — 108 riders per day

7A — 60 riders per day

8A — 131 riders per day

10B — 45 riders per day

10C — 85 riders per day

S23 — 149 riders per day

S31 — 12 riders per day

S47 — 73 riders per day

S54 — 548 riders per day

S56 — 89 riders per day

S57 — 139 riders per day

S59 — 90 riders per day

S62 — 339 riders per day

S69 — 3 riders per day

S76 — 36 riders per day

On 9/28/2020 at 2:37 PM, B35 via Church said:

How should I do this.... IDK, guess I'll do some quotes, instead of a long diatribe.

There's simply a greater demand for the S60 than there is for the S54 (IMO anyway).... Case in point, I can't go to Smith Haven (whilst waiting in the bus pickup/dropoff area) without somebody asking me if the damn 60 came yet..... I'd keep the S60 as-is over the S54 as-is too....

In saying that, I would look for ways to keep portions of the S54 around, though.... Having the S58 cover the S54's stint b/w Huntington Square & Whitman Mall would be a start.... As for the southern portion of the S54, I would create a route that'd run between Hauppauge (county offices) & North Bellport (Sunshine Square), taking portions of the S54 & the 7b.... Something like this.....

I've always felt that the S58 should run to Whitman, regardless.... Now that they're talking about possibly axing the S54, it would make all the more sense... So, agreed....

Not that this justifies it, but I'm guessing that they decided on keeping the S58 over the S62 (as far as the long distance route to/from Riverhead is concerned)....

To your other point, I'm not seeing what's keeping the S42 afloat either... The thing is a bit of an afterthought between Mechanicsville rd. (that little BS bus terminal area in Bay Shore 1 block north of NYS 27A) & LIRR Babylon (because folks all gun for the S40).... It doesn't perform all that hot between SS mall & LIRR Central Islip either.... I get the purpose being for coverage, but in actuality, of those that do use the S42, that entire portion north of Suffolk av. is a complete waste... Folks usually take it to the last stop (LIRR Central Islip) to xfer to that 3c (for the courts) or 3d (for Smith Haven or Stony Brook)....

One of the things that irks me about SCT is that when they propose reductions, they tend to think in terms of whole routes, as opposed to restructuring to see if they can salvage some of the higher-ridership portions of routes.

If push came to shove, and they had to reduce service in the Ronkonkoma/Holbrook/Bohemia area, I think the best way to go about doing it would be to route the S54 (for argument's sake, I'll just say your proposal is a restructured S54) via the Colony Park Apartments, run across the S59 route (I'd have buses stay on Grundy as opposed to swinging over to Coates), and then continue straight down Broadway Avenue to Montauk Highway. And on the northern end, I'd have buses continue to Commack Shopping Plaza for all of the connections there to/from NW Suffolk County.

The S57 would take Johnson-Ocean-Lakeland-Route 454, serve the airport, and then run down Johnson to Lakeland to end in Sayville.

Also, while we're on the topic of the Hauppauge area, what do you think of having the 3D run down to Bay Shore via Washington Avenue (taking over the southern part of the S45). The only real disadvantage would be that you lose the quick connection to the Port Jefferson Branch, but if you want the LIRR coming from Hauppauge, you're better off going to the Ronkonkoma Branch anyway (most of the stations on the Port Jefferson Branch itself can be reached by bus). 

The other idea I had was to extend the S33 to Smith Haven (via the S62 route) and cut the S62 back to Smith Haven on weekdays (it already ends there on Saturdays). 

On 9/27/2020 at 11:57 PM, Mtatransit said:

At this point they should extend the S58 to WW Mall. 

To be honest I was surprised that routes such as S68,7B or 3B/C/Suffolk Clipper was not on it. 

The S68 & 7B run through a relatively transit-dependent area (North Bellport), as does the 3B (Brentwood). The Suffolk Clipper I agree with, though.

What I would do (even if money wasn't a concern) is restructure the buses in the North Bellport area as follows:

All S66 trips would run via North Bellport (specifically, they would all take the present-day S68 route through North Bellport). The S68 would start at Patchogue, run via South Country Road to Station Road (I suppose you could make that little diversion through South Village Drive that the 7B makes) to Horseblock Road , and then end at Medford Plaza.

You could even take it a step further and have it run down Horseblock Road/Portion Road/Smithtown Blvd to Nichols Road and end at Smith Haven Mall (and with that route covering the Lake Ronkonkoma area, the S57 would be able to run straight up Hawkins Avenue). And since it connects to both Patchogue & Smith Haven, the S63 wouldn't have to make that diversion down Horseblock Road). It would also replace part of the 6A.

 

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5 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

@Via Garibaldi 8 You have to compare apples to apples. This route requires one driver driving around for 2 hours (that's it, it only does 2 evening trips) You're telling me in the entire express bus system, there's no trips that involve 2 hours worth of driving that carry 3 people or fewer?

 

Not that I'm aware of, but my point stands. There's no express route that carries three people for the entire day. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Not that I'm aware of, but my point stands. There's no express route that carries three people for the entire day. 

Good, but that wasn't my question. Routes like the BM4 and QM4 have plenty of off-peak trips at that level of inefficiency but I don't see you calling for their elimination. 

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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19 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Good, but that wasn't my question. Routes like the BM4 and QM4 have plenty of off-peak trips at that level of inefficiency but I don't see you calling for their elimination. 

I’m not sure if this is the norm or just chance, but I have definitely been on several midday QM4s in either direction where I was the only passenger (before the pandemic)

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

Good, but that wasn't my question. Routes like the BM4 and QM4 have plenty of off-peak trips at that level of inefficiency but I don't see you calling for their elimination. 

The BM4 and the QM4 both run hourly off-peak, and again, neither of them serve three people for the entire day like this, which is what I commented on, not the per bus count, so it's a moot point. You're reaching to say the least. 

Weekday ridership was 500 people for the BM4 and 600 for the QM4, far more than three people for the day, or 15 people for the week. 

https://new.mta.info/document/16146

With the pandemic, the BMs have been seeing 10-20 on the off-peak buses, and even the QM4 trips I have taken off-peak pre pandemic had around 10 people on most buses I took. 

I had no idea that the line only runs two buses, but that's still three people a day total for two buses. By comparison, the QM3 gets around 100 people a day for three morning trips and three evening trips. Pretty reasonable...

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, jaf0519 said:

I’m not sure if this is the norm or just chance, but I have definitely been on several midday QM4s in either direction where I was the only passenger (before the pandemic)

But that's not the average. I have been on plenty of buses where I was the only passenger, but the question is if that is the ridership for the whole day? The answer is no. Ridership fluctuates on all lines. If there was a line where there were three people for the whole day all year around, then clearly that's a waste. Public transportation is about providing a service to the public, but some trips won't pull in that many people. I have been on LIRR trains where I was the only passenger in the car. Same for MNRR. No one ever focuses on that though. Trains have more capacity, but that doesn't mean that every train carries so well despite the train fanatics in here. I don't care what the service is. If a service is carrying three people a day, that's pretty inefficient.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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5 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The BM4 and the QM4 both run hourly off-peak, and again, neither of them serve three people for the entire day like this, which is what I commented on, not the per bus count, so it's a moot point. You're reaching to say the least. 

Weekday ridership was 500 people for the BM4 and 600 for the QM4, far more than three people for the day, or 15 people for the week. 

https://new.mta.info/document/16146

With the pandemic, the BMs have been seeing 10-20 on the off-peak buses, and even the QM4 trips I have taken off-peak pre pandemic had around 10 people on most buses I took. 

I had no idea that the line only runs two buses, but that's still three people a day total for two buses. By comparison, the QM3 gets around 100 people a day for three morning trips and three evening trips. Pretty reasonable...

My point is don't be so quick to use some arbitrary standard to cut somebody's service and then try to beat around the bush when that same standard is applied to your own services. I can guarantee you there are express bus trips out there that regularly carry 1-2 riders per trip, and I guarantee you that there are trips that use 2 hours worth of resources to transport 3 riders or fewer. 

In this particular case, I don't believe the S69 should exist as-is (evening service in Suffolk County should be expanded, but not by piecemealing together random portions of daytime routes), and I don't believe those low ridership off-peak express bus trips should exist either. (And before you go around and try to twist my words, obviously there are plenty of off-peak express bus trips with decent ridership and those should be kept, as well as cases where the bus is deadheading in that direction anyway so the marginal cost of running the trip is low)

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