NEW YORK—Two buses in the city were clocked going 3.9 miles per hour at noon on a weekday, effectively traveling “slower than an amusement park bumper car,” according to two transit advocate groups.
The Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives give out annually two ironic awards for the poorest bus service in the city.
The first—the Pokey, represented as a golden snail on a pedestal—is given to the slowest bus as measured by Straphangers staff and volunteers from among 34 notoriously busy routes.
“The M66 and M42 are excruciatingly slow,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, part of the New York Public Interest Research Group, in a statement. Russianoff, referring to the two buses clocked going 3.9 miles per hour, added that the buses “would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car—and be a lot less fun!”
Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives said in the release that the city and state should invest more in buses. Nearly $800 million is in the MTA’s capital plan (through 2014) for buying hundreds of new buses, according to White.
Other slow buses include the Bx19 (Bronx to Harlem, 4.9 mph) and B35 Limited (Sunset Park, Queens, to Brownsville, Brooklyn, going 5.6 mph).
The second award—the Schleppie, represented by two golden elephants—is for the least reliable buses based on statistics for keeping to scheduled intervals.
The M4 between Fort Tryon Park and Penn Station, traveling on Fifth and Madison avenues and Broadway was unreliable 28 percent of the time, according to a press release.
In positive news, the groups measured how well the new Select Bus Service (SBS) routes are faring. The service aims at improving travel times by having three doors and having people pay before they board the bus. One route in the Bronx (Bx12 SBS) had speeds increase by more than 19 percent over the Bx12 local.
The M15 (SBS) route in Manhattan had speeds increase by almost 50 percent over the M15 local.