THE COMMUTE: Ned heard my name for the first time when I emailed him in March 2010 with my testimony opposing the Brooklyn bus service cuts at the public hearing held in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. That was shortly after I discovered Sheepshead Bites. He quoted a significant portion of my testimony for a story and ultimately asked me to become a regular contributor. At that hearing, I was the only person who spoke out against the B4’s proposed elimination, at all times, east of Coney Island Hospital.

Fewer than half the speakers even discussed any of the proposed bus route changes. Most were only concerned about the proposed elimination of half-fare student passes. That was the hot issue and the MTA knew that. They rightly thought that by proposing it at the same time as the bus service cuts, they could quietly slip in the largest bus service cuts in history, by merely posting a single flier in the buses announcing one public hearing in each borough. Each poster briefly listed which routes would be changed or eliminated.

The flier listed the route numbers that would be modified, eliminated, or truncated with a simple title, such as “Public Hearing for Service Changes.” Most of the flier was in 12 point font, too small to even read while the bus was moving. It listed Brooklyn changes to “Routes B1, B2, B4, B8, B12, B22, B23, B24, B31, B37, B39, B48, B51, B57, B61, B64, B67, B69, B70, B71, B75, and B77” without describing them. Most riders ignored the flier, probably not realizing these were permanent changes rather than temporary reroutes, which account for most of the service advisories.

The media and elected officials didn’t help either, by only publicizing the proposed elimination of the student half fare passes, which was later rescinded. At the Brooklyn public hearing, Channel 11 was the only station to send a reporter to provide television coverage, which only showed the few students who were arrested when they caused a disturbance.

Not a single word was mentioned about the specific service cuts.

Over the next few months, there were a handful of newspaper stories covering the specific cuts. Courier-Life did a full-page spread, only after I sent a letter to the editor asking how they could simply ignore the largest bus service cuts in history. Virtually no one, other than a few others and myself, realized the extent of these cuts and the amount of hardship they would cause. I even asked Ned to ride the B4 in May 2010 to determine how many B4 riders even knew about the proposed service elimination in Sheepshead Bay.

In March 2010, I counted 35 riders on a B4 bus at Neptune Avenue and Ocean Parkway going eastbound, and 25 riders in a bus going westbound, at 2:30 p.m., and that was not even during rush hour. I wrote to Operations Planning (OP), the New York City Transit department, which devised the service cuts at the instructions of the Office of Management and Budget, to annually cut $68 million in service due to Albany’s reduction in MTA funding.

I advised OP, via email, regarding the number of riders I saw and when I saw them. The proposed cuts were later modified as a result of the public hearings. The B4 service cut was revised from all times to middays, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, and on weekends. The director of OP told me personally, when I saw him at an event shortly thereafter, that it was my email that caused them to reverse their decision to not eliminate the B4 in Sheepshead Bay at all times.

Nevertheless, the cut was still devastating, especially to Plumb Beach residents who were deprived of all east-west bus service accessing Sheepshead Bay station during middays, evenings and weekends. Residents were forced to walk up to three-quarters of a mile to the B36. Most only found out about the reduction in B4 service, and that the bus would no longer be stopping there, when signs were posted at the bus stops, several days before the changes took effect. Even two years later, riders boarding the B4 at 2:00 p.m. did not know they were on the first bus since 9:00 a.m.

Virtually none of the elected officials tried to get service restored before the changes took effect. They only became active after they were bombarded with complaints from the public. The media finally started paying some scant attention and the MTA was pressured into making a few givebacks in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island during the past two years.

Sheepshead Bites was there all this time, fighting for us, and even organized a Transit Town Hall with the help of Transportation Alternatives, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and other local elected officials. You now know the results of our efforts.

During the past two years, I wrote six articles specifically on the B4. I stated that the MTA has to listen to the will of the people and they did. We won this battle but we have not yet won the war to get transit service where it should be. The MTA deserves credit for listening to us, and Chairman Joe Lhota deserves credit for starting to turn the MTA in the right direction — by making these service restorations and delaying the proposed fare hike by two months.

There were many skeptics who thought our efforts would be fruitless. They were wrong. I am glad that attempts to wake up the people and spur them into action worked. And did I mention? We also got back the B64.

So to answer the question I posed in the headline: The lesson to learn is to never give up when you see an injustice and you know you are right. Our elected officials are there to serve us if we are loud enough for them hear us. Special thanks to Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz for agreeing to co-sponsor the Transit Town Hall and for sending the MTA that letter. Thanks to the Plumb Beach Civic Association for collecting 2,000 petition signatures. And thanks to State Senator Marty Golden for working behind the scenes to secure the return of the B2 on weekends. I don’t think Marine Park really needs those extra parking spaces, anyway.

And remember: The MTA will listen to the will of the people.

The Commute is a weekly feature highlighting news and information about the city’s mass transit system and transportation infrastructure. It is written by Allan Rosen, a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

Disclaimer: The above is an opinion column and may not represent the thoughts or position of Sheepshead Bites. Based upon their expertise in their respective fields, our columnists are responsible for fact-checking their own work, and their submissions are edited only for length, grammar and clarity. If you would like to submit an opinion piece or become a regularly featured contributor, please e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

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  • Andrew

    I hope our elected officials have learned that their constituents depend heavily on transit and that funding cuts result in service cuts.

    But you didn’t ask about them. You asked about us. I hope that we have learned to continually remind our elected officials that we depend on transit and to hold them accountable for their actions if they ignore our pleas.

    Our elected officials failed us in 2009, and we didn’t sound the alarm until it was too late. The service cuts never had to happen. If our elected officials hadn’t dropped the ball, if we hadn’t allowed our elected officials to drop the ball, they wouldn’t have happened. I’m glad the B4 will be back soon, but I would have been much gladder if it hadn’t gone away in the first place.

    • Allan Rosen

      Your point is a valid one. But I don’t think it is fair to blame them solely.  The MTA has been squandering money for years.  It wasn’t until Jay Walder came on board that they started to put their house in order.

      As I asked in a previous article, what would you do if you were an elected official and the MTA comes before you each year requesting additional funding and you comply, but service continues to deteriorate anyway.  Would you keep increasing their funding as Albany did for years? They finally said no, and then started reducing their funding. 

      I hold the MTA just as responsible as the elected officials for the service cuts because they did not start to get their house in order sooner. Why coudn’t those unnecessary administrative jobs been been slashed years ago? Why couldn’t the MTA have disposed of real estate they haven’t been using for 30 years, thirty years ago, instead of now?

      Some good came out of Albany slashing funding to the MTA.  It served to wake them up and forced them to start becoming more efficient.

      • Andrew

        I’m sorry, Allan, you’re simply wrong. City and state aid to the MTA has remained flat for two decades.

        More than one-shot subsidies, what the MTA has been asking for is a stable source of funding. The current funding system is highly volatile, doing well when real estate does well (that’s why the “Dedicated taxes” line in the graph on page 2 is increasing from 1996 to 2006) and doing terribly when real estate doesn’t do well (that’s why the right edge of the line starts to drop off in 2007; it continues to plummet past the edge of the graph). The MTA is a creature of the state and its funding mechanisms are defined by state legislature. The only people, therefore, who can fix the current funding system are state legislators. Where are they? This is a critically important issue to their constituents. Why don’t they take it seriously? It’s their transit system and they are the only people with the power to fox it.

        In late 2008, Richard Ravitch proposed a new funding stream with two major components. He explicitly warned that the two components were complementary and that adopting one without the other would not work. In 2009, the state, naturally, adopted one (the payroll tax) without the other (bridge tolls). For the moment, that relieved the MTA of having to cut service. In early December 2009, the state legislature voted to divert $143 million in dedicated MTA tax revenue to other purposes in other parts of the state. A few days later, the state revealed that its payroll tax projections had been optimistic, to the tune of $200 million. (And these weren’t even the only cuts that the MTA suffered.) That’s when the MTA had to quickly whip together a package of service cuts.

        Not much has changed since, except that late last year Governor Cuomo slashed $250 million annually from payroll tax revenues.

        The funding shortfall is well beyond anything that could possibly be addressed by reducing administrative staff or selling off a building or two. I’m glad that expenses are being reduced, but by focusing on administrative reductions you’re missing the forest for the trees. (Reductions in the unionized workforce – for instance, expansion of OPTO, which most rail transit systems across the globe use systemwide – would be far more productive, but no New York politician wants to upset a major union.) The MTA has been posting its financial information on its website for nearly a decade and is subject to regular audits by the city and state comptrollers and by the IG’s office. I suspect that by now the MTA is one of the more efficient arms of the state.

        I’ll say it again: our elected officials failed us in 2009. They’ve actually been failing us since the 1990′s, but it wasn’t until 2009 that things got truly dire. The recently announced service improvements are a result of good financial luck more than anything else; another economic downturn will bring us right back where we were two years ago. When are our elected officials going to wake up and take responsibility for their transit system?

        • Allan Rosen

          Again I will say you are correct that our elected officials must take more responsibility for the transit system. And you are correct that City and State Aid has been flat for two decades. However, I was talking about prior to then, from about 1980 to 1995. During that time the MTA was coming to the State each year and asking them to increase state aid which they did. At that time the State I believe was also contributing to the Capital Program which they have since stopped doing causing the MTA to increase thir borrowing and worsening the financial picture.

          Why did the State stop increasing their aid, have it level off and then start reducing it? The answer is that State legislators were not seeing service improve as a result of a heir steady increases in aid. They only heard more and more complaints from their constituents. They were not convinced that the MTA was spending heir money wisely.

          As to if the MTA today is operating efficiently, all you have to do is wait for a bus to find that usually 30% of e buses are bunched with two or more buses on the same route coming together. Many times one of those buses is nearly empty and traffic is not the only reason for this. Ineffective dispatching and poor schedules are major causes. If they MTA could operate the buses more efficiently with less bunching, they could probably reduce service by 25% and without the effects being felt. Since bus operation is the most labor intensive, that could provide the MTA with enough operators and buses to increase service in undeserved areas bringing in additional revenue. The MTA is not nearly efficient as it could be and that’s why they are equally to blame as our legislators.

          • LLQBTT

            I’m still left to wonder though why our subway and bus service or at least the funding for it is controlled in large part by upstate and suburban lawmakers that have 0, I repeat 0, interest in or care for the city subway and bus system.

          • Allan Rosen

            That’s because the MTA is a state agency. That woudn’t be the case if control were returned to the City. But if that were the case would state lawmakers further reduce state subsides or eliminate them entirely? That’s a good question.

          • Andrew

            I agree completely, but I’m also skeptical that of our own lawmakers have any interest in or care for the city subway and bus system. The votes to cut MTA funding didn’t all come from upstate; many came from our within very own city.

          • Andrew

            Again I will say you are correct that our elected officials must take more responsibility for the transit system. And you are correct that City and State Aid has been flat for two decades. However, I was talking about prior to then, from about 1980 to 1995.

            You said that the elected officials stole the MTA’s dedicated funding because they were fed up with the MTA’s annual requests for funds. I guess you forgot to include the words “14 years earlier.”

            Of course, it seems a bit puzzling that Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, who has only been in office since 2000, would steal funds from Jay Walder’s MTA in 2009 in response to his dislike of the way Peter Stangl’s MTA did business in 1995.

            Besides, if he had stolen the funds honorably, to make a point, wouldn’t he have proudly proclaimed having done so? Because he did nothing of the sort. Instead, he simply blamed the MTA for cutting service. (Of course, two years later, when it the MTA announced that they had found the funds to restore some service, he was quick to take credit.)

            I have an alternative explanation. Perhaps Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and his colleagues who voted to steal dedicated MTA funds did so because they thought they could get away with it.

            Why did the State stop increasing their aid, have it level off and then start reducing it? The answer is that State legislators were not seeing service improve as a result of a heir steady increases in aid. They only heard more and more complaints from their constituents. They were not convinced that the MTA was spending heir money wisely.

            You didn’t see any service improvements between 1980 and 1995? I guess you enjoyed riding graffiti-laden non-air-conditioned subway cars that broke down every 8000 miles. Strange as it may seem, I didn’t. I think 1980 to 1995 was probably the period during which service improved most dramatically. And it continued to improve after 1995. Sheepshead Bay residents have more frequent Brighton line service than they did in the 90′s, and if they reach the subway by bus, they pay only $2.10 for their entire trip, not the $3.00 they used to pay in 1995 (equivalent to $4.52 in 2012 dollars).

            As to if the MTA today is operating efficiently, all you have to do is wait for a bus to find that usually 30% of e buses are bunched with two or more buses on the same route coming together. Many times one of those buses is nearly empty and traffic is not the only reason for this. Ineffective dispatching and poor schedules are major causes. If they MTA could operate the buses more efficiently with less bunching, they could probably reduce service by 25% and without the effects being felt. Since bus operation is the most labor intensive, that could provide the MTA with enough operators and buses to increase service in undeserved areas bringing in additional revenue. The MTA is not nearly efficient as it could be and that’s why they are equally to blame as our legislators.

            You’re discussing reliability, not efficiency. Virtually every bus system in the world struggles with reliability, some more successfully than others. NYCT has been actively implementing new bus lanes, including new offset designs that reduce the temptation for drivers to block the lane. (Unfortunately, the state has only agreed to allow camera enforcement of bus lanes in a very few corridors. The state also turned down a plan in 2008 which would have reduced overall congestion in the most congested parts of the city.) NYCT has also been implementing GPS tracking on its buses, which will ultimately help dispatchers do their jobs better.

            So while there’s still much room for improvement, there has been significant progress in this realm in recent years.

            Two weeks ago, in response to one of your posts, a bus operator explained that, when he doesn’t agree with the way a dispatcher does his job, he takes an unauthorized 20-minute break, making bad service even worse. You said that you’d probably do the same thing. If you’re concerned about reliability, somehow I don’t think that attitude is helpful.

          • Allan Rosen

            Again you take what I say and twist the words.  I did not say legislators were
            upset with the MTA’s annual request for funds. I said they were upset with the
            MTA’s annual requests for increased funding . No matter how much they gave the MTA, they always wanted more because of how they squandered the mioney and refusal to admit they were not operating efficiently. 

            You take every opportunity to vilify Steven Cymbrowitz and his fellow legislators
            while holding the MTA entirely blameless.  Why don’t you ask Cymbrowitz why he reallocated MTA funding and why he didn’t make a public statement at the time instead of speculating what his motives were?

            I never said there were no “service improvements” between 1980 and 1995. It
            depends how you define that term.  I agree that 1977 to 1980 was the lowest point in our transit history when the system completely fell apart. It took a lot of money and will to rebuild it and get it back to a state of good repair. You can thank Peter Stangl whom you also seem to dislike.

            But if you compare service levels and bus and subway routes prior to 1980 and
            after 1995, you will find they have not changed. Except for the opening of a
            few new subway stations, the system serves the exact same areas after 1995 as it did prior to 1980 and service levels deteriorated. Virtually no new bus routes were created or severely modified. All improvements were the results of minor route modifications or extensions.  The system needs much more than that.  That is what I meant when I said that legislators did not see service imporove. It wasn’t until after 1995 when bus subway transfers were established that ridership and service increased, with ridership increases far outpacing service increases.

            Subway service in Sheepshead Bay is no more frequent today than it was in
            1980. You purposely compared today’s service to the 1990s because that
            included the 14 year suspension in Manhattan Bridge service and suspension of Brighton express service due to track work.

            Reliability is related to efficiency and there is much the MTA can do to improve it. The SBS enforcement procedures you speak of are negligible when you are talking about the entire system and of course you will use any opportunity blame the State legislators, placing no fault at all on the MTA.  You mention how the MTA will use GPS tracking to help dispatchers.  Are you sure?  They make no mention of it in their July 25th press release where they outline their plans for the future regarding improving efficiency. They make it appear that they have already taken or have begun to take all necessary steps to improve efficiency. I will be discussing that press release next Monday.

            And you continue to misinterpret and take things I say out of context.  That bus driver stated that the MTA does not care about him by not allowing enough time in the schedule for him to make his trip. So he takes his recovery time although he is late. I stated I could see his point and stated that if I were in his
            position and my employer did not care about my needs, why should I care
            about their needs to maintain a schedule and would prabably do the same
            thing. That does not mean that I don’t care about reliabilty.

            The MTA needs to learn that if you want your employees to cooperate, you must take care of their needs also and that means not having unrealistic schedules so on paper it appears to cost less to provide a scheduled service. What happens on paper does not matter.  It’s the actual trips that are made that count, not ficticious scheduled trips that are cut short or not made at all because of schedules that do not include the time it takes for passengers to board buses when demand is heavy.

          • Andrew

            Again you take what I say and twist the words.  I did not say legislators were upset with the MTA’s annual request for funds. I said they were upset with the MTA’s annual requests for increased funding . No matter how much they gave the MTA, they always wanted more because of how they squandered the mioney and refusal to admit they were not operating efficiently.

            What’s the difference between “annual request for funds” and “annual requests for increased funding”? 

            I seriously don’t understand what point you’re trying to make. On Tuesday, you explicitly said that you were referring to the period from 1980 to 1995. Steven Cymbrowitz, who was first elected to office in 2000, joined his fellow assemblymen in 2009 in voting to diverting funds that were collected specifically or the MTA. Even if I were willing to accept that it is ever acceptable to divert dedicated tax revenues away from their intended recipients – and I am not – why on earth would someone who’s been in office since 2000 respond in 2009 to a supposed offense that was committed from 1980 to 1995?

            You take every opportunity to vilify Steven Cymbrowitz and his fellow legislators while holding the MTA entirely blameless.  Why don’t you ask Cymbrowitz why he reallocated MTA funding and why he didn’t make a public statement at the time instead of speculating what his motives were?

            Excellent idea. Because politicians are always fully truthful about their motivations!

            I never said there were no “service improvements” between 1980 and 1995. It depends how you define that term.  I agree that 1977 to 1980 was the lowest point in our transit history when the system completely fell apart. It took a lot of money and will to rebuild it and get it back to a state of good repair. You can thank Peter Stangl whom you also seem to dislike.

            What you said on Tuesday: “The answer is that State legislators were not seeing service improve as a result of a heir steady increases in aid.” I didn’t pull the words “service improvements” out of a hat!

            Of course, the ongoing requests that I believe you are referring to were primarily for the MTA’s Capital Program, so the primary question is whether the system was significantly rebuilt between 1980 and 1995. I think it’s fairly obvious that it was, and that the impacts on service were equally obvious. Do you disagree?

            I have no problem with Peter Stangl, although it’s usually Bob Kiley and his pick David Gunn who get the lion’s share of the credit for the turnaround – Stangl wasn’t appointed MTA Chairman until 1991. (Conway and Kalikow, on the other hand…)

            (I only brought up Stangl to point out that the people in charge of the MTA during the 1980-1995 period that you suggested Cymbrowitz was concerned with – Ravitch, Kiley, and Stangl – were not in charge of the MTA when Cymbrowitz voted to steal its funding in 2009.)

            But if you compare service levels and bus and subway routes prior to 1980 and after 1995, you will find they have not changed. Except for the opening of a 
            few new subway stations, the system serves the exact same areas after 1995 as it did prior to 1980 and service levels deteriorated. Virtually no new bus routes were created or severely modified. All improvements were the results of minor route modifications or extensions.  The system needs much more than that.  That is what I meant when I said that legislators did not see service imporove.

            So you claim that politicians were told that the state’s contributions to the MTA were going to revamping the bus route network?

            Because that’s not what I remember from reading the papers. What I remember is the continual rebuilding effort in the Capital Program.

            It wasn’t until after 1995 when bus subway transfers were established that ridership and service increased, with ridership increases far outpacing service increases.

            I am again amused that you neglect to give the MTA credit for slashing fares by 55% for anybody who transfers between bus and subway.

            Since loading guidelines were adopted (in the 80′s or early 90′s, I believe), service frequency is determined by average loads at the peak load point. Ridership increases anywhere else on the route have no impact on frequency (since any frequency that’s adequate at the peak load point is, by definition, adequate everywhere else on the route). Loads at the peak load point do not necessarily increase at the same rate as overall ridership.

            Subway service in Sheepshead Bay is no more frequent today than it was in 1980. You purposely compared today’s service to the 1990s because that 
            included the 14 year suspension in Manhattan Bridge service and suspension of Brighton express service due to track work.

            I compared today to 1995 simply because 1995 was the end of the 1980-1995 period that you had raised! (And, for the record, the Brighton line had express service through the entire decade of the 1990′s – the suspension you’re referring to was in the 80′s.)

            The MTA was under no obligation to increase frequencies when the Manhattan Bridge fully reopened; the reopening could have been used merely to increase routing flexibility. Instead, increased frequencies were part of the package.

            But if you think Brighton service in 1980 was so great, tell that to the riders at local stops, who couldn’t reach Midtown without transferring on weekdays outside of rush hours. The BMT especially had a lot of harebrained service patterns that I’m glad are behind us.

            Reliability is related to efficiency and there is much the MTA can do to improve it.

            Lots of things are related, but reliability and efficiency are different things. When most people speak about one, they’re not referring to the other.

            I explicitly said that “there’s still much room for improvement” in reliability.

            The SBS enforcement procedures you speak of are negligible when you are talking about the entire system and of course you will use any opportunity blame the State legislators, placing no fault at all on the MTA.  

            Of course I will blame the state legislators for not permitting the MTA to use camera enforcement outside of SBS corridors! Who should I blame? In my opinion, camera enforcement should be in use on all bus lanes and at all bus stops – but the state won’t allow it.

            You mention how the MTA will use GPS tracking to help dispatchers.  Are you sure?  

            From the PCAC Meeting Minutes of 9/22/11: “There are also initiatives that are not apparent to the rider. In the area of booking, the bus operation currently uses a manual paper system for some dispatching but is in the process of moving to a live digital tracking system. This system is currently implemented for half of road dispatchers in the system and will be fully implemented by the end of the year, except for Staten Island. Staten Island will come later, because the system there will incorporate the Bus Time system into the equipment provided to the road dispatchers, and we are still awaiting the launch of the Bus Time system on Staten Island.”

            They make no mention of it in their July 25th press release where they outline their plans for the future regarding improving efficiency.

            That’s because it’s a reliability issue, not an efficiency issue!

            They make it appear that they have already taken or have begun to take all necessary steps to improve efficiency. I will be discussing that press release next Monday.

            They do?!

            The press release lists a number of recent efficiency improvements. Nowhere does it state or imply that there are no further potential efficiency improvements.

            And you continue to misinterpret and take things I say out of context.  That bus driver stated that the MTA does not care about him by not allowing enough time in the schedule for him to make his trip. So he takes his recovery time although he is late. I stated I could see his point and stated that if I were in his 
            position and my employer did not care about my needs, why should I care 
            about their needs to maintain a schedule and would prabably do the same 
            thing. That does not mean that I don’t care about reliabilty.

            Which of his needs did his employer neglect? He criticized the dispatcher’s method of dispatching. (Nobody’s saying that he shouldn’t use the bathroom at the end of the line or anythimng like that.)

            The MTA needs to learn that if you want your employees to cooperate, you must take care of their needs also and that means not having unrealistic schedules so on paper it appears to cost less to provide a scheduled service. What happens on paper does not matter.  It’s the actual trips that are made that count, not ficticious scheduled trips that are cut short or not made at all because of schedules that do not include the time it takes for passengers to board buses when demand is heavy.

            Scheduled running times should be based on a typical day, not on a heavy day. Basing running times on a typical day results in buses “dragging the line” every other day of the year, which is already a serious problem that turns people off of riding buses. (Just yesterday, I missed a connection because my bus stopped for the green light right before the stop where I needed to get off.) It’s poor scheduling practice and it provides bad service.

            On a particularly busy day, when it’s clear that the schedule doesn’t provide enough running time, the solution is to add extra unscheduled buses to be inserted by the dispatcher to fill gaps and to handle the increased load.

          • Flatbush Depot

            @164b88b5feda652c00faa544c6ebc3f8:disqus and @Andrew_J_C:disqus:

            One point I want to bring up about the SBS enforcement procedures is that Lhota refused to sign off on the purchase of additional bus lane cameras because he was informed that all of the ticket revenue would go to city coffers and none to MTA coffers.

            NYCTF link: http://www.nyctransitforums.com/forums/topic/35493-joseph-lhota-wants-city-to-share-cash-generated-from-bus-lanes-enforcement/

            NYDN link: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-06-11/news/32159980_1_bus-only-lanes-chairman-jay-walder-select-bus-service#ixzz1xplC1XpV

            Just throwing that out there. That looks like a serious insult to MTA.

          • Andrew

            @d4414908b4e1be886a5d5904fc79c6e6:disqus I agree that the MTA should see some of the ticket revenue, but more important than the revenue is the enforcement. The state does not allow the MTA to camera-enforce bus lanes or bus stops on any non-SBS line. That isn’t enough. Driving and parking in bus lanes and bus stops is illegal and is detrimental to service on all bus lines.

  • Jb33138

    I am re-iterating what I wrote previously that over  20 years ago when the TA wanted to illiminte the B-4 entirely claiming ‘not enough ridership’ my friend and I got petitions to reverse their decision. When they finally acquiesed, the local politicians took credit for it. We didn’t mind because we won that victory..It’s been a long road but victory for return of full service for the B-4 will soon be ours again. Judith H-B

  • Peppertree5706

    Thanks for all the you do.

    • Allan Rosen

      Your welcome.

  • Andrew
    • Allan Rosen

      I apologize for not answering sooner.  I was out of town for a week without internet access.  I am not going to debate every point with you.
       
      “What’s the difference between “annual request for funds” and “annual requests for increased funding”? 

      Let’s say you kave a kid and you give him a $25 a week allowance.  “Request for funds” is him coming to you and asking for his allowance. “Requests for increeased funding” is him coming to you once a month telling you $25 is not adequate and he would like $30.  The following month he wants $35 and then $40 and so on.  Each time you grant his requests, but then you realize his grades are not going up and he is spending more time at video arcades. So you cap his allowance and then start cutting it when his grades fall further.

      His grades represent constituent complaints and his time at the video arcade represents MTA inefficiency.  And don’t forget the money that we didn’t see results from the increased spending on the MTA Capital Program for a good number of years so the elected officials couldn’t be sure how well the money was spent. 

      Yes, 1977 to 1980 was the low point for public transit.  Of course there have been many improvents since then, mostly the equipment and the rebuilding of stations. When I was speaking of service improvements I meant frequency of service and service areas.  The system has not expanded and improvements to bus routes have been very minor considering the need. Between 1980 and 1995 service frequency continued to deteriorate not get better.  That is what I meant when I said politicians did not see service improvements, only requests for additional aid.

      The MTA did not slash fares by 55% by creating bus subway transfers on their own.  If they did, they would deserve credit.  It was only after thirty years of requests from consumer groups and elected officials that they did that.

      They also did not provide A/C on trains and buses on their own or buy articulated buses on their own.  That also took 30 years of requests from consumer groups.  The TA also insisted for years the subway could not be air conditioned, and even after the BMT/IND received air conditioning, they still insisted the IRT cars were too small to accommodate air conditioning.