Bus Riders Still Skeptical

Jess Wisloski of the New York Daily News has a report up about the frustration of bus riders who aired their gripes at the annual town hall meeting with MTA officials. Here is her report:

Bus riders in Queens showed up in force last week at the annual town hall hearing on the quality of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority‘s bus services.

Gripes about rude drivers, delays, accessibility problems and a dysfunctional complaint hotline surfaced among the 70 attendees. But bus officials offered a glimmer of hope for weary riders.

The consolidation of three bus operations may improve service with streamlined leadership under one organization, MTA officials said.

Instead of NYC Transit, MTA Bus and Long Island Bus operating independently, all three will now be operated by Regional Bus Operations.

MTA officials said they hope the consolidation will better accommodate a growing ridership, which the MTA said was 5.4 million higher in April compared with the year before, when ridership was about 71 million.

Officials at the June 18 Borough Hall meeting said the move would lead to continued route growth.

More than a dozen transit officials sat facing the cramped roomful of riders, who took turns voicing concerns.

Norman Silverman, vice president of MTA operations and planning, promised route expansions and schedule improvements in coming months. Joseph Smith, a senior vice president who oversees the new consolidated bus company, took notes of all bus route complaints.

But riders like Julia Nordlund of Jamaica were skeptical. She complained about the phenomenon of “piggy-backing” – when one late, full bus is tailed or passed by one or more empty buses.

“I wish I could say it would help. But if anything, I’m afraid it will do more damage,” she said of the consolidation. “They will have one single, austere body in charge. They can be that much more remote from the ridership.”

The new, consolidated customer service hotline – (718) 330-1234 – which went live in April, directs complaints to the MTA.

I hope the consolidation would lead to better results. While it has its drawbacks, I think it is the right thing to do at this time. The main thing is we need strong & efficient leadership at the top as anything less will lead to chaos across the board.

xoxo Transit Blogger

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.


No comments yet.

Leave a comment