Riders Upset About Changes Due To Select Bus Service

Those who know me know I like to read neighborhood newspapers or websites as you never know what you might come across. I’m glad that I am this way as I came across a very interesting story in the Norwood News. The story discussed how some Bronx riders were upset at the Select Bus Service on the Bx12. Their anger stems from the fact that the new service caused them to lose local service into Manhattan as well as their local bus stop. Stephen Baron of the Norwood News filed this report:

Hundreds of west Bronx bus riders are calling for the city to make traveling from Fordham Road to Manhattan easier by restoring local service to Manhattan and restoring a bus stop that was eliminated with the debut of the new, supposedly faster Select Bus Service.

Angry residents say the changes are seriously inconveniencing riders and that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) did not get community input before eliminating both the Bx12 local service into Manhattan and the Sedgwick Avenue stop on the new Select Bus Service (SBS) route (which used to be part of the old Bx12 Limited route).

“People didn’t discover the changes until the bus map was mailed to their homes or boarded the buses,” said Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, the board president of the Fordham Hill Owner’s Association and a member of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

Click here for the complete report.

I would love to see the figures the MTA used in saying this stop did not get much ridership. The Bx12 is one of the busiest routes in the entire borough. A quick drive by any of the route’s bus stops will show loads of people boarding & exiting a bus at a given time. I find it hard to believe this stop was any different from the others along the route. As far as the stops being too close together, give me a break. How many countless bus routes could be accused of having a similar setup. I’ve never ridden a bus route that at some point did not have stops as close together as these are.

While some may think the senior excuse is a tired one, it is quite valid in this case. Lets face it seniors mostly ride the buses to get from “Point A” to “Point B” especially in the outer boroughs. Why would the MTA think it would be wise to make it tougher for seniors to access their bus stop? The MTA should have discussed this publicly with the community before making such changes out of nowhere. This is nothing but another case of the MTA showing how they are out of touch with their ridership.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Beat The Heat By Riding A MTA City Bus

Bx31 departing the Westchester Square terminal. Resized photo courtesy of EyeOnTransit.com

Last week the MTA released a report which trumpeted the fact that most NYC Subway cars are adequately air conditioned. Just a few days ago the MTA’s New York City Transit division released a similar report but this time for city buses. New York Daily News Transit Reporter Pete Donohue has the report:

Transit workers gauged the temperature on NYC Transit buses 2,200 times this summer and found the air to be chilled 96.5% of time, according to NYC Transit data.

In the most extensive monitoring of its kind by the agency, just 78 buses were deemed unacceptably warm, with temperatures of 78 degrees or higher.

Click here for the complete report.

Maybe I should ride the city bus more often considering how much I hate any type of hot weather. Give me near or below zero temperatures because I’m a winter baby!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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MTA CEO Elliot Sander Discusses The MTA’s Financial Hardship

MTA CEO/Executive Director Elliot Sander sat down with NY1 Transit Reporter Bobby Cuza to discuss the financial hardship currently being felt by the MTA. Mr. Sander’s comments echo the same message we have heard for months which we all know is very grim. Here is a sample of Bobby’s report:

CEO Lee Sander says the moment of reckoning is approaching for the MTA transit agency. After borrowing billions and billions of dollars during Governor George Pataki’s administration to pay for system repairs, with no real plan for how to pay that money back, the bills are finally coming due.

“What is just most important is for New Yorkers to realize that the future of the city and the region is at risk,” said Sander.

Click here for the complete report.

Honestly this report did not break any grounds in terms of new news. This of course is no fault to Bobby who does a great job bringing transit news to the forefront. The sad part for me is just listening or reading Elliot’s thoughts on the current state of finances at the MTA. I sit there & wonder how long will it take to get out of this mess. I wonder if we actually can as it is hard to change a culture that has systematically led to this breaking point. While many will scream for the MTA to better manage their money, I will sit back & wish it was that easy to fix the current state of financial disrepair.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Service Diversions 08-08

I have just updated the service diversions page with the latest scheduled diversions for this weekend plus next week (and beyond in some cases). Don’t forget to check in for any changes to the page. I also suggest printing out a copy of the page to use while riding the system.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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$210 Million Grant Approved For LIRR East Side Access Project

Earlier today New York Senators Charles Schumer & Hillary Clinton announced the official approval of funding for the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) East Side Access project. The funding will come in the form of a $210 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Steve Ritea of Newsday filed this brief report:

Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton on Thursday announced $210 million in federal funding for East Side Access, the $7.2-billion project to link the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal by 2015.

Although the funds — received through a grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation — were already anticipated, their final approval is nonetheless welcome news as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wrestles with a fiscal crisis that forced the agency to delay a slew of other, smaller capital projects last month.

“East Side Access is a crucial mass transit project for New York City, and this funding means less crowded subways and buses, more convenient routes and less wear and tear on our rails and roads,” Schumer said.

“This is a wise investment in New York’s infrastructure that will improve transportation services for many New Yorkers and Long Islanders who are feeling the strain of the daily commute,” Clinton added.

The project, which still needs about $3 billion in funds, recently reached a milestone when one of the tunnels the LIRR needs between Queens and Grand Central was completed.

Also Thursday, Schumer announced the Federal Transit Administration has awarded $490,000 for upgrades at Long Island Bus, which serves Nassau County.

I am excited to see the federal government help fund our transit infrastructure. Sorry I can’t be more excited about it though as I’m not a big supporter of the East Side Access Project in terms of it being completed before more significant projects. I am happy to see Long Island Bus get some funds as that division could use a complete overhaul to be able to provide the service it should for Long Island residents.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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