Archive for the tag 'select bus service'

In a not so-scientific analysis, DNAinfo found that the new Select Bus Service B44 causes a massive amount of traffic whenever it comes tumbling along Nostrand Avenue.

The new bus service began operations on November 17, 2013, and in the time since then the community has shown just how intensely they feel towards all things transportation by filling our comments section with tips and thoughts for the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Based on the experience and observations of locals from that area, DNAinfo reports:

The problem, critics said, is that the B44 Select Bus service runs in a new dedicated lane, forcing drivers into a single remaining lane on Nostrand and Rogers avenues. Drivers are supposed to get an extra lane during rush hour, when parking on the streets is banned, but many residents said the ban has not been enforced.

“There’s supposed to be two other lanes, but it’s just one because in the other everyone is parking,” said Diel Levin, 31, a saleswoman who commutes from her home in Crown Heights to Midwood for work. She said the formerly 12-minute ride now takes at least 25 minutes.

Along with complaints of increased traffic, some are also complaining about the noise pollution accompanying that traffic.

The MTA has received no official complaints from residents or drivers, according to the article.

The brand new B44 Select Bus Service, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

The brand new B44 Select Bus Service, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

THE COMMUTEOn Friday, Mayor Bloomberg and the press took a ride on the 7 extension to 34th Street, although the line is still six months away from completion. He was hoping to have it finished before he left office. He failed, but received the press coverage he desired.

The M42 bus branch to 34th Street was discontinued in 2010 due to a lack of ridership. So what do we do when there is inadequate demand for bus service? We build a new subway instead, of course. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

The subway was not extended to meet existing demand but to stimulate real estate development for the Hudson Yards project. The mayor pointed out that was how it was done in the old days. First you built the rapid transit line, and that encouraged development. Not the other way around, building subways as a response to development. The subway was not extended for the benefit of subway riders, like the Second Avenue Line, which will relieve overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line. It was extended to help Bloomberg’s millionaire developer friends get even richer.

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The B44 SBS debuts along Nostrand Avenue. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

The B44 SBS debuts along Nostrand Avenue. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

Beginning this Sunday, December 8, the MTA will deploy members of its Eagle Team, the unit dedicated to identifying and fining fare evaders, along the newly launched Nostrand Avenue B44 SBS line.

The new buses launched on November 17 featuring off-board fare collection, meaning riders pay at a curbside machine before the bus arrives. When they board the bus, there is no requirement to display your receipt, but inspectors will do occasional spot checks to provide enforcement. If you cannot provide your receipt, you will be subject to a $100 summons which must be paid within 90 days.

If you do receive a summon, you can still appeal by following directions on the MTA’s Transit Adjudication Bureau website.

Our thanks to Councilman Jumaane Williams and Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo for keeping us posted on this.

The brand new B44 Select Bus Service, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

The brand new B44 Select Bus Service, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: This week we are taking another look at the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). On Monday we discussed major problems thus far: confusion, not enough SBS stops, and inadequate service on New York Avenue. We discussed actions taken by some local elected officials. Yesterday we shared some rider and operator reviews gathered from an email, the media, and transit discussion groups on the internet. Today we will share a few more reviews and draw some conclusions.

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The B44 SBS debuts along Nostrand Avenue. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

The B44 SBS debuts along Nostrand Avenue. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, in Part 1, we provided some media coverage from NewsChannel 12 and NY 1 showing rider frustrations with the new B44 Select Bus Service (SBS). That is not to say that everyone is unhappy about it. As I predicted, those traveling long distances who can make use of the SBS stops will save time and be pleased. You can never please everybody. The question remains: Will more riders be helped or hurt by this new service?

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Select Bus Service  on the B44 route, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

Select Bus Service on the B44 route, which runs between Williamsburg and Sheepshead Bay. Source: Patrick Cashin / MTA / Flickr

THE COMMUTE: Select Bus Service (SBS) on the first route in Brooklyn, the B44, is now one week old. I have not yet had a chance to observe or ride the SBS or the B44 local, so at this time I can only offer second-hand information.

As to be expected, there was much confusion resulting from the elimination of the Limited service, which has been replaced with SBS; removal of some Limited stops, which became local stops only, and the rerouting of half of the buses from New York Avenue to Rogers Avenue. Bus riders were informed of the start date through automated announcements on the buses during the week prior to implementation. Not enough information was given to avoid confusion.

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THE COMMUTE: After two years of delay, and five years of planning, the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally made its debut yesterday along Nostrand Avenue. Limited stops at Avenues L, R, S, V, W, Y and Z are no longer in effect since the Limited has been discontinued, so do not wait for one. You now either have to take the local or walk to the closest SBS stop.

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Photo by Steve Meicke

Photo by Steve Meicke

Select Bus Service payment machines have started popping up on Nostrand Avenue, Emmons Avenue and Knapp Street ahead of the kickoff for new express service that will replace the B44 Limited.

The machines are a key feature to the new service, allowing for off-board fare collection that MTA officials say save time on the bus. Riders are expected to pay their fares at the machine before boarding, and are given a receipt. The system is largely an honor system, with occasional inspectors serving hefty fines to fare dodgers if caught.

The new service will replace the B44 Limited, offering service from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg via Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue. The buses are extra long, and will have separate bus stops from the existing B44 stops, as well as dedicated bus lanes for a portion of the route (in Sheepshead Bay, there will be a dedicated bus lane south of Avenue X). The stops will have sidewalk bulbs to allow for safer boarding.

Much like the B44, the new B44 SBS will make a loop from Nostrand to Shore Parkway to Knapp to Emmons and back as its southern terminus.

According to the MTA, as reported by Streetsblog, the service is set to begin on November 17. The MTA is eyeing a second route in the area, running from Bay Ridge to East New York, via an avenue in Homecrest.

sb_b44_sbs

B44 Select Bus Service

Soon hipsters in Williamsburg will be able to scout out Sheepshead Bay for cheaper rents and Russian beers as the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally begins express service next month. NY1 is reporting that the new B44 line will represent the MTA’s sixth SBS, bridging the gap between parts of Brooklyn that are notoriously hard to reach by regular transportation options.

Sheepshead Bites’ Allan Rosen extensively covered the in’s and out’s of the B44 SBS line in a three part series, ultimately arguing that the MTA’s planning process, which includes the construction of bus bulbs that will make the streets narrower, will increase traffic. A local man questioned by NY1 agreed.

“Definitely too narrow. Maybe somewhere like Harlem, somewhere in Manhattan where, you know, the streets are a lot wider,” a passerby said.

While noting that the project has been delayed, NY1 described the MTA’s thinking when it came to implementing the new service, which rolls out next month:

The other Select Bus Service lines in the city have been praised for making buses move a little faster, but the process of getting this particular line off the ground has been anything but fast. The Nostrand/Rogers route was first selected for SBS service back in 2008.

Close to 40,000 riders used the B44 on weekdays last year, making it one of the city’s busiest bus lines. So the DOT and the MTA are applying a formula that they say has worked by cutting travel times along routes in Manhattan and the Bronx by up to 20 percent.

That’s the hope along the 9.3-mile bus route, which stretches from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg.

“People have to get down to Williamsburg Plaza, which is way away from here,” said one person. “It will be great to be able to just fly there.”

While some might be annoyed at the (unlikely) possibility of hipsters flooding Sheepshead Bay, the concerns locally have been about lost parking spaces to the larger bus stops. We’ll keep an eye out to see how it’s affecting local businesses and motorists.

Photo by Allan Rosen

Photo by Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: Last week, in Part 1, we started to discuss the Brooklyn Army Terminal as a major transportation hub and I got sidetracked into a discussion about involving the private sector, through the use of vans, to providing legal transit services between major transportation hubs.

I asked why we can’t have legal van operations here, where riders with similar origins and destinations can share rides, since there is not enough demand for regular bus service. Years ago, I was amazed to see all sorts of shared van services at LaGuardia Airport to cities across Connecticut at very reasonable fares. None, however, were available to destinations within the city limit. I attributed this to the influence of the city’s tax industry, which does not want competition.

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