On the afternoon of Monday, June 28th, the Straphangers Campaign put out the following statement based on the observations of dozens of volunteers visiting city bus stops that morning. Our findings were widely cited in the news media coverage that day of how riders' coped with the massive changes.
REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATON OF BUS SERVICE CHANGES
Monday, June 28, 2010
This morning, scores of weekday city bus routes were killed or combined with other routes and downsized. Some 570 bus stops were eliminated. These bus cuts are the worst reductions by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in decades. Dozens of Straphangers Campaign volunteers went to affected bus stops during this morning’s rush hour. Our goal was to get a sense of how well MTA New York City Transit implemented the cuts and how aware the riding public was of them.
Our review is anecdotal, not a statistically significant random sample. But we were able to get an overall picture of what some bus riders experienced this morning. You will find 19 specific examples following this statement. We found:
• Many bus riders confused by the service changes. Several riders we spoke to expressed confusion as to what alternatives to take. (MTA New York City Transit felt it did not have sufficient space at bus sites to post information on the location of the new or replaced routes. For example, the guide-a-ride had a beige insert telling B77 riders that the route was being replaced by the B61. But no information was provided as to where to find the B61. Riders were instead encouraged to go to www.mta.info.)
• Some of this confusion was due to the presence of out-of-date information at the bus stop.
• In particular, the “lollipop” bus stop poles – those red, white and blue tall poles – often still displayed the old route number. Or were still standing at bus stops that had been eliminated. These signs often contradicted beige signs that indicated that the routing would change or - where applicable - salmon-colored signs that a bus stop was no longer a bus top. The lollipop pole signs are maintained by the City’s Department of Transportation, not by MTA New York City Transit.
• Most "guide-a-rides" had the incorrect timetable and schedule for the old route.
• We found that MTA New York City Transit – to its credit - provided information in a variety of different ways, including through bus drivers and other agency personnel. It also distributed brochures at subway stations and in two cases at bus stops, as well as extensive postings on its web site.
The Campaign was able to obtain the contact information from several bus riders willing to talk about their experiences. You can call Contino at (212) 349-6460 if you are interested in getting in touch with some of these riders.
The Straphangers Campaign did not monitor subway service changes this morning.
STRAPHANGER CAMPAIGN FINDINGS ON BUS SERVICE CUTS
Monday, June 28, 2010
B23 (Ditmas Park) Route totally eliminated. However, the pole and guide-a-ride was still up, with old number on top. Old map and timetable up. There was a yellow sign with all Brooklyn route changes and salmon sign stating that the bus stop had been eliminated.
B48 (Discontinued south of Fulton Street) Route restructured. At Franklin Ave and Sterling St., the stop had been eliminated, but the old guide-a-ride was still up and the location of the nearest stop was not posted. At Prospect Place and Franklin Avenue stop there was no sign stating the nearest bus stop. The lollipop pole had been removed.
B51 (downtown Brooklyn to downtown Manhattan) (Bowery and Bayard Street) Route eliminated, no alternatives. Most riders did not know. Contradictory signs. Poll still up, plus yellow and salmon signs indicating this was no longer a bus stop.
B77 (Red Hook, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace) - Stop eliminated at 5th Avenue and 10th Street. Found contradictory signs. Blue poll still says B77. However, "guide-a-ride" has salmon colored insert saying as of June 27th this is no longer a bus stop. Guide-a-ride has a schedule for B77. No one waiting for bus at 6 am.
M27 (5th Ave and 49th St.) Stop eliminated. No information about nearest stop, yellow sign with changes was up.
M42 (Second Avenue and 42nd Street) Route no longer goes south on 11th Avenue to Javits Center. However, blue pole has destination still as Javits.
• (Broadway and 88th Street) Route no longer goes down 42nd Street. Signs up describing new routing.
• (Broadway and 97th Street) Map/timetable at stop had not been updated
M3 (3 stops on University Pl. btwn E. 9 and E 14 Streets) Guide-A-Rides indicated stops had been eliminated. Blue poles still up, but route numbers removed. Several riders came to the stop. Most riders were not aware of the changes in advance and felt the change would add about 10 minutes to their commute. At 8:50 an MTA employee handed out updated brochures to riders at University Pl. between E. 9th and E. 10th Streets.
M1/M6 (stop at Broadway and E. 14th Street.) Stop was eliminated. Signs updated, poles removed. 10 riders came to the stop and were unaware of the changes. Surveyor directed riders to M5 at 5th Ave and E. 14th Street.
M98 (198th and Ft. Washington) Route now goes from Ft. Washington but stops now at 68th Street. New map and schedule not up.
Bx26 (replace Bx25 near Co-op City) Route restructured. Had signs up for the new restructured route and new time table and map on the guide-a-ride. Talked to rider who was aware of the change and knew how to traverse the restructure route. Rider feels that this service change will actually helps his commute and not "hurt" his commute.
Bx28 (Norwood to southern Co-op City) Route restructured. Had signs up for the old route and not the restructured route of this bus.
Bx30 (Norwood to southern Co-op City) New Route. Had signs designating the route as well as maps and time tables for the new route.
Bx38 (Norwood to northern Co-op City) Route restructured. Signs showing the Bx28 was being replaced by the Bx38. Observed riders at the bus stop who were aware of the changes but not sure of what alternate route they could take. Witnessed a bus driver to was willing to go through the changes with riders
Q14 (Main St. and 39 Av in Flushing) Route eliminated, replaced with Q20. Q14 signs were down, Q20 signs up, MTA employee at stop helping riders. Had signs on the guide-a-ride explaining the route was being eliminated. No signs telling riders what alternate route or where there new route bus stops were located.
Q15 (Main St and Roosevelt Av in Flushing) Route restructured. Old time table and map up, new one was not up. New route would add 10-15 mins for one rider.
Q74 ( Queens College and Union Turnpike.) Stop eliminated. Blue poll still has old routes. However, "guide-a-ride" has salmon colored insert saying as of June 27th this no longer a bus stop. Guide-a-ride has a schedule for old routes. Rider at stop did not know of change or alternate routes. Will add significant time to commute to Queens College.
Q79 (Little Neck Parkway and 87th Drive) Stop was eliminated. Contradictory signs. Blue pole still up with route number. Had old schedule, but also had sign saying the stop was no longer a bus route.
S67 (St. George Ferry to Richmond) Route eliminated. Partially replaced by S78. One rider didn't know of changes, thought her commute would increase by 20 mins and wasn't sure if the new S78 would get her where she needed to go because the map was out of date.
Where the buses wont be (map)