Brooklyn’s buses are the most bunched of any borough, while Manhattan’s buses are the slowest at 5mph, no faster than a New Yorker late for a meeting. The coalition noted that there were an astonishing six percent fewer bus trips in 2017 than in 2016, representing the worst single-year decline in the past 15 years, according to data the MTA reports to the Federal Transit Administration. By comparison, subway ridership declined 1.6 percent last year.
“This goes far beyond a fluke, or a few more people using Uber. If the subway is in crisis, then the bus system is a bonafide catastrophe.” said Zak Accuardi, Senior Program Analyst at TransitCenter. “Bus performance, like bus ridership, has gotten worse since we began tracking it in 2015. Speeds declined from 7.3 miles-per-hour in 2015 to just under 7 miles-per-hour in 2017. Likewise, buses are significantly more bunched: 11.8 percent of buses were bunched in October 2017, compared to 9.4 percent in October 2015.”
The coalition was joined by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, who recently released an extensive report entitled “The Other Transit Crisis: How to Improve the NYC Bus System,” NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Assembly Members Felix Ortiz, Bobby Carroll and Jo Anne Simon, and City Council Member Mark Levine.
The Turnaround Coalition is calling on Mayor de Blasio to give buses priority on the street by creating bus lanes with effective enforcement on at least 10 routes in 2018 and to give buses the green light with signal priority on at least 20 routes in 2018.
The coalition is calling on MTA leadership to commit to expanding all door boarding to local routes system wide when it replaces the MetroCard, starting this year and to redesign out of date routes, starting with implementing the changes recommended in the agency’s own Staten Island Express Bus Study.