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NYC Transit tests three-door bus in Bronx


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It's "Let's Make a Deal" in the Bronx, where NYC Transit is testing a bus with three doors.


Exiting straphangers can choose door No. 1, located near the driver and farebox, door No. 2 in the middle of the bus, or door No. 3 toward the rear.


The triple-portal feature reduces time spent discharging passengers at bus stops - and speeds trips for riders, NYC Transit Vice President Joseph Smith said.


The 60-foot big rig started a month-long road test on the Bx12 local route last week. The route includes Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway.


Bus riders in the Bronx who have ridden the new bus can't get enough of it.


Christine Sooknana, 26, said the bus seems to run at a faster pace than the regular ones and she does not feel as cramped.


"This one is much faster," said Sooknana, riding home last night after work. "It's very spacious."


Eleana Britto, 18, said that she had to look twice to make sure what she was seeing was in fact a bus.


"It looks so cool," she said. "It's better inside and out. And if something happens, you can run out faster."


Ramon Caraballo, 40, said people spread out more, because exit points had increased.


"Usually people stand in the front of the bus, because they want to get out faster," Caraballo said. "As you can see, they don't do that on this one."


If the bus handles the daily grind, officials are expected to place a bulk order for eventual distribution along other routes across the city.


This would be good news for New York's economy, since Volvo subsidiary Nova Bus has built a plant in upstate Plattsburgh.


The plant will employ 186 workers by the end of the year and 300 when at full capacity, around 2012, Nova Bus spokeswoman Nadine Bernard said.


BY Edgar Sandoval and Pete Donohue


February 20th 2009



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Well, at least it's faster than those NF, hope thsi go through and improve NY's economy!
It's not. I seen 5751 overtake 0054 and 0054 was getting floored first (I was riding it). 5753 owned it too. 5753 can do 70mph without a problem. Guess they forgot to govern that bus.
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I like the design, wish NJT or SEPTA had buses like that... I like the Neoplans they have too, but I just would to like to see a more modern designed Articulated bus


I suspect :septa: is not too far off from some equipment purchases for their suburban bus routes.


- A

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This is long overdue. Why is it that the MTA always resists something new? In the 1950s and 60s consumer groups were pressing for years to get the trains air-conditioned before the TA finally air-conditioned the BMT, while insisting that it wouldn't work on the IRT. After another five years or so, they finally gave in.


Then consumer groups started pressing for articulated buses. The TA again maintained for years that they could not be operated on NYC Streets. Finally they gave in. However rather than placing them on line-haul routes they were placed on the Crosstown routes due to depot restrictions. Service levels deteriorated because there were fewer buses. Since trips are shorter on these routes, many started walking rather than wait for a bus. On crowded routes such as the M23, the buses became impossibly slow, not because of traffic but because of the five minutes required to load and unload at each stop due to the two-door situation. The one time I was on the M23, it took me 30 minutes just to go from 6th to 12th Avenue without any traffic. Twenty minutes of that time we were stopped to load or unload or waiting for the light to change. Had there been three doors, the trip would have been cut by one-third to one half.


BRT was in the planning for about three years. There was plenty time to study and order three-door buses during that time, but again the MTA insisted that such buses were not structurally reliable on NYC streets. I know this for a fact because I suggested it to them, and that was the reason I was given. Finally now they change their mind and decide to test one.


As far as these buses not being suitable for regular routes because of possible fare evasion, I disagree. Most people are honest. I've seen people swipe their MetroCards when the bus driver was in the back loading a wheel-chair bound person. Never have I seen someone just walk in just because the driver was not there. Fare evasion is mostly a problem when there are school students riding. On those routes, three-door buses should not be used. It is a problem only because there is no enforcement. If someone intends to beat the fare they will do it anyway regardless of the number of doors. Last month I saw about thirty school students board at a single stop. Ten got in the front while the remainder boarded at the rear. You can't say they were trying to save time because after no one else was boarding at the front, they continued to wait at the rear without moving to the front when they saw the crowd in front dissipated.


Three-door buses on crowded Manhattan routes where two-door artics currently operate would speed operations immensely and therefore also save money. Maybe in another five years the MTA will also realize this.

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