Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.

The Bus-Stop Guessing Game


Recommended Posts

MARIE LEWIS does not take the bus often. But Ms. Lewis, a 50-year-old nurse from Rockland County, knows this much: “If you miss it, you’re in trouble,” she said at a bus stop in the East Village on a recent morning.

 

Ms. Lewis had just hustled across 14th Street at First Avenue only to watch the M15 bus lumber away. She stared bleakly down the avenue. Cars rushed past, but the hulk of a bus was nowhere to be seen.

 

“I’m not about to stay here forever,” she said, resolving to walk several blocks to an appointment. If she knew her bus would arrive in the next two minutes, would she wait?

 

“Yes,” Ms. Lewis said emphatically. But there was no way to know.

 

She swung around and strode down the block, two minutes before a bus arrived.

 

A blank electronic board at the M15 bus shelter was intended to avert just this situation by providing real-time updates to riders. Instead, it has become the latest failure in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s longstanding attempt to use GPS tracking to manage buses more efficiently and offer riders information about arrival times. Other cities, including Chicago and London, have successfully implemented the technology.

 

The M.T.A. issued its first contract for the system in 1996. Several companies and more than a decade later, there are no official plans on what to try next. James Anyansi, an M.T.A. spokesman, said the current project had been scuttled by technical problems, and in a dispiriting sign of its demise, all 15 electronic boards are to be dismantled by the end of next month.

 

Predictably, the reaction among bus riders and those who support the devices has been one of unhappiness.

 

“The public is very unsympathetic to the saga that’s been bus tracking,” said Gene Russianoff, chief spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, a rider advocacy group.

 

Mr. Anyansi said the agency remained “committed to developing a reliable system,” but he declined to provide further details.

 

Over the course of one morning, M15 buses arrived erratically at the stop at First Avenue and 14th Street, piling up in bunches or not arriving for long stretches as would-be riders huddled against a biting wind.

 

Lou Basile, 41, a building engineer, stood at the shelter on the way to visit his son at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He planned to stop at McDonald’s to buy his son a snack. One location beckoned right across the street. But he knew the bus might arrive any minute. Otherwise, Mr. Basile said, “I would go right here and get McDonald’s. Save me the wait uptown.”

 

By SOPHIA HOLLANDER

NY TIMES

March 6, 2009

post-5-133288580279_thumb.jpg

post-5-133288580279_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee... the MTA has a hard time with technology.

It's pretty hard to track buses though.. in Manhattan.. given the volume of traffic. Sure you have GPS. But then again, look at how many cars are on the road. It's very difficult to estimate the time as jams are unpredictable. And if the bus is caught in one... that's disaster.

Link to post
Share on other sites
A blank electronic board at the M15 bus shelter was intended to avert just this situation by providing real-time updates to riders. Instead, it has become the latest failure in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s longstanding attempt to use GPS tracking to manage buses more efficiently and offer riders information about arrival times. Other cities, including Chicago and London, have successfully implemented the technology.

 

 

 

By SOPHIA HOLLANDER

NY TIMES

March 6, 2009

 

MTA is to proud to go to those cities that has the same nightmare traffic, and do what they do since it worked there, in those cities. MTA's motto is what they can do we can do better, since they are so proud of being one of the largest agencies in the world. I guess that is why they have both a regular and now a convex mirror on their NTT buses, on the drivers side? WCDOT has been doing that for the longest time, and has a great record for lack of accidents.

 

My point is instead of MTA looking around, asking, and trying what works, they rather do things their way, the hard way. That is why we got carpal tunnel trains (NTT), ATS system that don't work, bus stop arriving signs that don't work, bus lanes that don't work (NYCDOT and NYPD is at fault for this too), and LF buses with wheels that get bent rims, busted tires, and damaged shocks, as MTA with their power did not ask Orion to do like Gillig, and make full size tired LF buses.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

My point is instead of MTA looking around, asking, and trying what works, they rather do things their way, the hard way. That is why we got carpal tunnel trains (NTT), ATS system that don't work, bus stop arriving signs that don't work, bus lanes that don't work (NYCDOT and NYPD is at fault for this too), and LF buses with wheels that get bent rims, busted tires, and damaged shocks, as MTA with their power did not ask Orion to do like Gillig, and make full size tired LF buses.......

 

Yeah the streets have a lot of potholes. And the LF buses are really having their tyres crapped out by them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's an inherent lack of accountability within the MTA heirachy that stretches all the way to Albany and as far back as the 1970s. How else can you explain the failed policies that happen over and over again? If MTA were run like a proper business there's no way their board could allow such mismanagement and waste of money and still stay in business. But the State and City gov, each with proxies that sit on the MTA board don't want to take responsibility for the huge authority, so the Gov and Mayor appoint people like Hummerdinger (sp) who know next to nothing about urban transportation. These politically appointed a**holes are then handed a billion dollar budget and are told to do the best they can and time after time their 5 year Capital Plans, infused with Fed monies, come up short and then it's time to raise the fairs and tolls to make up for their own failures and incompetence and we the riding public are the ones who get effed over, as usual. And as long as we (the voters) refuse to hold our elected officials in State Gov accountable the cycle of incompetence and raising fares will continue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.