May 15, 2008
It's No Hallucination: Polka-Dot Buses Aim to Cut Travel Time
By JENNIFER MASCIA
No, there are no illegal drugs being handed out as passengers begin their morning commutes: For the past few weeks, those seats on the M23 crosstown bus really have been decorated with light and dark blue bubbles.
The new upholstery is probably the most conspicuous feature of Select Bus Service, an experimental project by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, with the support of the city and state Departments of Transportation, to improve service on congested routes.
The project, the result of several years of study, draws on several elements of Bus Rapid Transit, a system of bus operating practices used in cities around the world. The system's main elements will eventually include bus shelters where passengers pay the fare before boarding; fewer stops and greater distances between stops; dedicated bus lanes with a distinctive color and lettering; direct routes with frequent service that supplements, but does not replace, regular local bus service; and electronic signals that give the buses priority (a few extra seconds) if a traffic signal is about to switch, say, to yellow from green.
If the project is successful and put into place citywide, it could prove to be a great relief for customers who have long complained about the snail-like pace of city buses, especially the crosstown buses in Manhattan. It could also mark one of the starkest changes for bus riders, who for more than a century have been accustomed to dropping their change - or now, dipping a MetroCard - into the fare box upon boarding.
Under the new system, customers will pay before boarding, collecting a proof of purchase from a fare dispenser, similar to a MetroCard vending machine or Muni-Meter parking ticket machine, in the bus shelter.
Don't clog loop, say Co-op City residents
BY BILL EGBERT
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, April 2nd 2007, 2:35 PM
As the MTA rolls out plans for a new rapid-transit bus route for the Bronx, people living at one end of the line are saying, "Not so fast."
The proposed new express route for the Bx12 bus would run from Broadway and 207th St. in Manhattan, along Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway, to terminate at Asch Loop in Co-op city.
But Co-op City residents say the idea of ending the route at Asch is loopy.
"This is not about improving service to Co-op City," said Arthur Taub, a Co-op City transit advocate leading the charge against the proposal. "They're not giving us anything but headaches."