Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Straphangers survey slams slow Bronx bus routes, but borough leaders are building power base at MTA

Three Bronx buses are pokiest in outer boroughs

Sunday, December 11 2011, 6:00 AM


  Fernando Ferrer, Bronx MTA board member
Bryan Smith for New York Daily News
Fernando Ferrer, Bronx MTA board member
  Charles Moerdler, Bronx MTA board member
Handout
Charles Moerdler, Bronx MTA board member
  The MTA chief Joe Lhota
Sam Costanza for New York Daily News
The MTA chief Joe Lhota
  The Bx19 has been named the slowest bus route in the Bronx and the slowest route outside of Manhattan by transit advocates.
Viorel Florescu for New York Daily News
The Bx19 has been named the slowest bus route in the Bronx and the slowest route outside of Manhattan by transit advocates.

Straphangers to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority: the Boogie Down needs to speed up.

The Bronx boasts the three slowest bus routes in the city outside of Manhattan, according to a new survey by transit advocates.

But the agency could be shifting gears, with the borough's voice growing louder at MTA headquarters. The City Council Transportation Committee chairman, two board members and even new MTA executive director Joseph Lhota boast Bronx ties.

"The Bronx has opened its mouth," said Charles Moerdler, an MTA board member from Riverdale. "There are now some Bronx loudmouths on the board."

The Bx19, Bx36 and Bx2 buses all average less than six miles per hour, according to the annual Pokey Award survey by the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives, two transit advocacy groups.

The M50 bus in midtown Manhattan snagged the 2011 Pokey Award, with an average speed of just 3.5 miles per hour traveling crosstown along 50th Street.

But the survey named the Bx19 bus the most sluggish route in the outer boroughs, with an average speed of 5 miles per hour. It chugs along Southern Blvd. between Harlem and Fordham Road.

The survey tested only 35 routes of more than 300 citywide, noted an MTA spokesman.

"The Bx19 is really slow," huffed straphanger Jermeen Fuellen, 34, stepping off the bus near Hunts Point Ave. "You wait for 40 minutes and then four or five buses come all at one time.

"I don't blame the poor bus drivers," she added. "I blame the MTA. There need to be more buses for all the people."

The Bx36 averages 5.2 miles per hour between West Farms Square and Castle Hill, while the Bx2 chugs along the Grand Concourse at 5.6 miles per hour, the Pokey Award survey found.

No Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island bus routes tested for the survey clocked in at less than 6 miles per hour. The speeds were recorded by surveyors who rode the routes from start to finish.

The transit advocates also highlighted the city’s most unreliable bus routes, finding the Bx41 the worst in the Bronx, with spotty service 24% of the time.

But the groups admitted that the MTA’s new Select Bus Service has been successful on Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road. The Bx12 SBS, with an average speed of 10.9 miles per hour, is more than 50% faster than the Bx12 local, the survey found.

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