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News Release

Release Date: For More Info: Neysa Pranger or
August 2, 2002 Farouk Abdallah (212) 349-6460

Nearly Half of S44 Bus Riders Unhappy With Announcements
But Give High Marks For Safety
Group Releases Customer Satisfaction Poll

The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign released the results of a customer satisfaction poll of S44 bus riders today. The poll showed that 48% of riders surveyed were dissatisfied with announcements being made on the S44.

Riders on the S44 - which runs between the Staten Island Mall and St. George Ferry Terminal along Richmond Avenue - rated cleanliness, safety, reliability, announcements and crowding on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 is least satisfactory and 5 most satisfactory (see attached profile).

While riders feel the S44’s announcements are poor, 89% surveyed gave high marks for safety.

The S44 also saw a 10.1% increase in ridership with only a 8.6% increase in service between 1999 and 2000. “There are a lot more riders on the S44 and service needs to follow,” said Farouk Abdallah, Straphangers Campaign Field Organizer.

Last month the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign met with management from the New York City Transit Bus Department to discuss survey findings. “Bus management was receptive - they understand that announcements are a problem on the S44 and we discussed ways to improve it,” said Neysa Pranger, Campaign Coordinator. One of the options discussed was Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - a program that offers a variety of strategies for improving bus service, including:

  • Re-designing bus stops to reduce delays from buses maneuvering into and out of bus stops.
  • Longer bus stops to eliminate waits for multiple buses to enter the stop.
  • Bus lanes with physical means to discourage other vehicles from violating bus lanes.
  • Pre-boarding fare payment at high-volume times and places to reduce dwell time at stops.
  • Bus priority signals to help late-arriving buses catch up to schedule.
  • Scheduling for even spacing while allowing buses to travel as fast as conditions allow.

The bus customer satisfaction poll was made possible by the J.M. Kaplan Fund, a leader in enhancing the quality of day-to-day life throughout the five boroughs of New York through improvements in public facilities and citizen involvement.

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