History was made yesterday as the MTA sent out its first hybrid bus to serve passengers. The 35 foot long bus debuted during yesterday’s rush hour on the M42. Yesterday’s debut is the start of a 60 day trial run. If the trial is considered a success, the MTA will purchase many more of its kind.
The hybrid bus is smaller in width compared to other buses in the fleet. This bus only has a width of 98 inches. The bus unlike the city’s other hybrid buses runs exclusively on battery power. The windows are tinted making it hard to see outside. The back windows are completely covered with the logo of the New Zealand manufacture that manufactured the bus. One supreme advantage of this bus compared to others is how quiet it is. The bus is allegedly so quiet that any cell phone conversation is amplified or any sort of music being played through headphones.
The MTA has hired Gene Vilarelle to ride the bus back & forth every day for the next couple of weeks. His job is simple, gauge the rider’s reaction to the new bus. So far the bus has scored mixed reactions according to an AMNY article. One man who was boarding with his wife stated “Oh, it feels like I’m going to the airport.” 84 year old Joan Cuomo had a question about the bus as she stated “There’s no room to put your legs. A lot of tourists take the bus. Where are they supposed to put their bags?” Another woman was not impressed as she yelled “How am I supposed to get off? There’s no buzzer back here. What we supposed to do, just yell at the driver? But I need to get off on now! Where’s Fifth Avenue?” Mr. Vilarelle explained that “this is just a prototype. If we decide we want to buy more of them they will come fully outfitted.”
This begs the question, who in their right mind would order a prototype bus without some sort of stop request notification? How asinine must the MTA be to not make sure that feature was available in the prototype. Does the MTA expect their drivers to know when passengers want to depart? I did not know that being a mind reader was apart of the job description! Leave it to the MTA to take a good idea & find a way to fumble its execution.