Yeah, let’s invest in the buses. Good idea.

You’ve got to be kidding.  The Mayor was in Miami last week on business.  One of the reasons was to check out their Bus Rapid Transit System.

That’s a fancy ass name for adding “Bus Only” lanes so that the buses can get around quicker. 

The system is going to be piloted in NYC soon.  The city will convert one bus route in each borough.

Ok, so what the hell does this have to do with the subway?  Well it’s all the MTA.  And if the MTA is investing in things having to do with the buses, that means those dollars aren’t being invested in the subway. 

So instead of paying to covert lanes, improving buses, etc. just spend the money on subway improvements!  If you’ve only got a short distance, the buses we have now are fine.  If you have a way to go, jump on the subway.

How about we spend that money on better security?  Now there’s a novel concept. 

11 thoughts on “Yeah, let’s invest in the buses. Good idea.

  1. I disagree. BRT is more than just dedicated lanes, it is pre-paid fares, reliable schedules, stops spaced out more like subway stops (ie not every other block), real-time tracking systems and timed stoplights. It speeds up bus travel by a tremendous amount and it provides a real alternative to subway travel. I think it will be key in relieving congestion on overcrowded subway lines.

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  2. The buses we have now are not fine. They are so slow that they are nearly useless. BRT would be a tremendously valuable investment for the MTA make. BRT would make our streets far more efficient and subways less crowded — especially on the east side of Manhattan.

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  3. The solution to relieving congestion on the subways is NOT to have other methods of transportation. The entire city would be better off with less street level transportation. In other words, less cars, taxis, buses, etc. Not to mention, the environment would be better off without the buses.

    Therefore, improvements to the subway are the best alternative in my opinion. Better infrastructure, technology, trains, staff, security, etc. All of which will make the trains run faster, more often, more reliably.

    I don’t know how the BRT would make the streets more efficient. Where are bus only lanes going to come from? They will come at the expense of regular travel lanes.

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  4. mg and d, I have to disagree. BRT might help fractionally, but the money needs to be spent upgrading and maintaining the subways. Security has been mentioned a lot lately, and increasing service would be a really nice touch too. Buses are highly inefficient regardless of how they are used.

    I have a big question though: Where is the money for BRT going to come from when the MTA is complaining that they’re a billion dollars in debt? I don’t want a fare increase to pay for buses…

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  5. First of all, the DOT is paying for BRT, not the MTA, so no money for the subways is being diverted. Also, upgrading the subway system is great and is being done (the SAS for example) but there are only so many trains you can cram into a line and building a new subway line costs maybe 100 times as much as implementing BRT and of course takes about 5 times as long. BRT has several distinct advantages: it can be done fast, it can be be done cheap, it can be done now, and it can have a serious positive benefit. For many who live far away from the subway it can also help relieve traffic congestion by getting them out of cars and taxis and onto public transit. (BRT would almost certainly REDUCE road traffic, not increase it.)

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  6. Also consider the fact that BRT infrastructure is far less vulnerable. To protect our city’s vitality we need to have diverse and redundant systems and modes of transportation in the event of a disaster. Imagine the Lex ave line being knocked out without any viable other means of transit and what that would do to the economy.

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  7. Think outside of Manhattan! It is not the only borough in NYC. There is only one train line in all of Staten Island, despite being close to twice as big as Manhattan by land area. The buses suck, they suck, and did I mention that they suck?

    I ride buses both on Staten Island and in New Jersey, Jersey buses run about 1-2% of buses having some sort of maintenance issue. NYC buses I ride run 50% or more of buses having broken stuff. It is crazy.

    And that isn’t even talking about NYC’s bus schedules, which also tend to suck, suck, and also totally suck. Besides being wildly inaccurate.

    As far as Manhattan, put in a congestion charge already and get some of those private single driver cars choking the city off the streets already. And I personally encourage everyone to flip off every one you see drive by you. I know I do. Especially the ones that try to bite my ankles in the crosswalks. TRYING TO WALK HERE, THANK YOU.

    The bus only lanes will come from the regular travel lanes, further encouraging people NOT to drive their cars there. And that is about it from me, I guess.

    Oh, and by the way, I’ve never heard that DOT pays for the buses. I’m pretty sure that is all MTA. DOT pays for the Staten Island Ferry, though. Although my personal opinion is that the tourists ought pay for it, or at least contribute. Or they should open some shops already in the terminals to milk the tourists a bit while they enjoy their free “cruise,” while cock-blocking those of us just trying to get home from work every day.

    Not that I am bitter.

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