BusTalk Forum Index BusTalk
A Community Discussing Buses and Bus Operations Worldwide!
 BusTalk MainBusTalk Main FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups BusTalk GalleriesBusTalk Galleries   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> New York City Buses
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:18 pm    Post subject: 'SPEEDY BUS ROUTE GLITCHES' Reply with quote

'Rolling Out Speedier Bus System, to Glitches and Grumbles'

Published: October 10, 2010 The New York Times

It has been hailed as the next generation of New York City public transport: a European-style rapid-transit bus system that operates in exclusive traffic lanes and requires passengers to buy tickets from sidewalk kiosks so trips will not be delayed by a single rider struggling for exact change.

The buses will benefit from exclusive lanes along the avenues.

But progress, particularly in the transportation realm, can have its fits and starts. When the system made its Manhattan debut on Sunday along First and Second Avenues, one of the city's most congested corridors, riders up and down the route displayed the telltale frowns of New Yorkers convinced that their government had wronged them yet again.

When Shaunt Miller arrived at her bus stop at 125th Street and Second Avenue, a city worker told her that the only way she could take her usual ride on the M15 limited would be to pay for her ticket at a machine on the sidewalk. Even swiping a MetroCard aboard was no longer allowed.

Unfortunately for Ms. Miller, the machine in question had run out of paper: the kiosk happily deducted the $2.25 fare but spat out no receipt. The worker said not to worry, but Ms. Miller worried. They're not going to believe us, she said, fretting about the enforcement agents authorized to deliver a $100 fine. When Hannah Huber tried to board at 100th Street, the driver refused her proffered MetroCard and told her to go back and get a receipt from the sidewalk machine. I felt guilty, she said later. It ended up holding up the bus. I'd rather swipe my card than do all that. I think it's asking for more problems.

And when Laurie Barnett tried to board with a group on the Upper East Side, the workers took 10 minutes to explain to everyone what they were doing, she said.

It's going to wreak havoc now with people not knowing,� Ms. Barnett said. This is definitely slowing things down.

The sidewalk transactions, in fact, are intended to speed things up. The program, known as select bus service, has been described by city transportation leaders as a creative approach to converting the city's antiquated bus network, currently one of the slowest in the nation, into a brisk above-ground system that could rival the subway in speed and popularity.

The system's first go-round, on Fordham Road in the Bronx, sped up buses there by 20 percent, according to the city Department of Transportation, and officials said the new features could chop about 15 minutes off the 90-minute trip from 125th Street to South Ferry on the East Side of Manhattan.

We're really rolling out the red carpet for bus riders, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, referring to the terra cotta-hued bus-only lanes installed for the system, before he embarked on a test run on First Avenue on Sunday morning.

Passengers do not have to show a ticket unless asked, but officials plan a stepped-up enforcement effort this week. Transit police officers boarded the buses at random stops on Sunday, asking to see receipts, but anyone without proof of payment was handed an informational pamphlet instead of the promised $100 fine.

Although confusion reigned among many riders, much of it seemed to stem from a wariness of the unknown. Once people understand it, the system will work, said Stan Pearlman, a Tudor City resident who has used the M15 for nearly a decade. He said he enjoyed a similar ticketing system in Vienna, where he said the buses run beautifully.

Yohannes Haile, from his perch in the back row of the M15, was so impressed that he said he would consider the bus his first option for a quick trip downtown.

Subway during rush hour? God help us all, Mr. Haile said. You're pretty much in somebody's armpit. A cab, he said, was no use in traffic: Even if I want to spend a bunch of money, I can't get up or down Manhattan quickly.

If the new M15 worked as officials promised, Mr. Haile said, it could be a game-changer.

The bus lanes will be in effect during morning and afternoon rush hours on weekdays. The city will begin using camera enforcement next month to issue violations to drivers who block the lanes, and next year officials hope to equip buses with signal systems that can extend green traffic lights so that the buses do not get caught at intersections.

Traffic was predictably light on Sunday, and most passengers, asked if the bus was traveling faster than usual, said they could not make a meaningful comparison. The true test will probably come on Tuesday, the first full-fledged workday after the Columbus Day holiday, when the rush-hour crowds descend.

Photos by Ed Ou The New York Times

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, New York

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 258
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Sunday I went out to ride the M15. It was a little slow cause drivers were waiting for people who didn't yet know about the service to get recipts. On my bus coming down to South Ferry I was speaking with the driver and he said he should be at 96th Street going up when he was on Madison Street going downtown.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071

PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know - the idea sounds pretty good but I think it's going to take a little getting used to by all concerned.

I hope it doesn't fizzle out as did L.A.'s 'Metro Rapid' bus plan that was supposed to be dependent upon the driver's ability to change the traffic signals electronically as he/she traveled the routes.

I guess time will tell!


Mr. 'L'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BusTalk Forum Index -> New York City Buses All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group