Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

buses

buses

  • bx6 select bus inter ave

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Elected officials, advocates, and especially riders agree: the city’s bus system is broken.

    That consensus was reached in recent years as bus speeds slowed to a crawl and the system hemorrhaged ridership. Various advocacy groups and elected officials have put forth studies and plans, and the entities with actual control -- the state-run Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York City Mayor’s Office -- have taken steps toward improving the situation, though

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  • city council cojo work train

    Speaker Johnson on the train (photo: City Council's office)


    Imagine a New York where cars no longer rule the road, and pedestrians and cyclists reclaim dominance of the city’s public space. While a New York where cars don’t dominate the streets may seem like a fantasy, to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, it is the future.

    In recent months, Johnson -- a Manhattan Democrat in his second year leading the 51-member City Council -- has gone full bore touting the idea of “breaking car culture,” or prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists,

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  • mta usb wifi

    (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    Transit policy is climate policy. In New York, transportation emits 30% of the city’s carbon pollution and 34% of the state’s. Since it’s easier to drive less in a city than in suburban and rural areas, much of that is carbon we can easily spare. When shrinking New York’s carbon footprint, transportation emissions are low-hanging fruit.

    Granted, the challenge is stiff. Car registrations in the city are rising, up 9% in the past four years. The city’s own government vehicle fleet has grown 19% in size and 25% in miles traveled in the past five

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  • corey jo public

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    [Note: this hearing was indeed held on Wednesday June 12; this article is a preview of the hearing]

    On Wednesday, the New York City Council transportation committee will hold a hearing on a bill sponsored by Council Speaker Corey Johnson that would mandate the creation of a five-year “master plan” for city streets with a variety of specifications aimed at making the city more friendly to bikers and pedestrians, and less deferential to cars. If passed and implemented, the legislation would have a major impact on

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  • gov cuomo sign upgrade mta

    (photo: governor's office)


    Your zip code and how much money you make can determine your health and quality of life in New York City – including the quality of the air you breathe.

    Recent data from The New York City Community Air Survey shows that certain neighborhoods have more particulate matter and black carbon than others. It should come as no surprise that many of these areas – like East Harlem, Washington Heights, or the South Bronx – are largely inhabited by people of color or people with lower incomes, who

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  • citycouncil r bay

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • bus line

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    The first two parts of this series discussed the causes for bus ridership decline, the Fast Forward plan as it relates to buses and why its focus needs to be changed to reverse this decline, a plan that worked: the southwest Brooklyn changes, and MTA studies that did not achieve their desired results. Read part 1 and

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  • department trans

    (photo via NYC Department of Transportation)


    This is the second part of a 3-part series. Part 1 discussed the causes for bus ridership decline, the Fast Forward Plan as it relates to buses and why its focus needs to be changed to reverse this decline. In this part: measures that have worked in the past.

    The Southwest Brooklyn Changes of 1978
    No other group of bus route improvements were that

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  • gov an cuomo littering

    Gov. Cuomo on the tracks (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    2019 will be a pivotal year for New York City transportation, unlike any this city has seen in decades. Not only is

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  • mta double decker electric bus

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    Bus Ridership in New York City is on the decline despite innovations such as Select Bus Service (SBS). Newly appointed New York City Transit (NYCT) President Andy Byford’s ...

  • Cuomo subway repairs

    Gov. Cuomo underground (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With the transit system in New York City in constant crisis over a sustained period of time, from delayed trains underground to ever-dropping bus speeds on the streets, the question of how exactly to fix mass transit has been on the minds of elected and appointed officials, advocates and analysts, and, of course, frustrated commuters. In the aftermath of the short-term Subway Action Plan, the ...

  • MTA bus

    An MTA bus (photo: MTA Bus)


    The new congestion pricing surcharges on taxis and on-demand ride services below 96 Street in Manhattan are designed to address congestion in midtown, but they generate more controversy than impact. They might raise a few hundred million dollars a year for the MTA to fix the subway. But they won’t do anything to reduce congestion or air pollution. Meanwhile another big ticket MTA budget item has gotten little attention but will have a huge impact on New York City's emissions, air quality, and public health: bus procurement.

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  • mta double decker

    (Credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)


    In the Big Apple's transit circles, Andy Byford has quickly become the hottest London import since the Beatles. New York City Transit's new president, brought in this winter from his job as the head of the Toronto Transit Commission, faces the unenviable task of fixing the city's ailing subway system and restoring faith in its vital transit network. Just three months into the job, Byford is moving at a breakneck pace, and on Monday, he unveiled an ambitious plan to speed up New York City's snail-like local

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  • mta select bus service route

    (photo: MTA/Patrick Cashin)


    This is part three of a three-part series

    Previously discussed: the promises and the reality, the difference between bus travel time and passenger travel time, who benefits and who is hurt by SBS, how the mayor, MTA and DOT mislead, the true costs of SBS (part one); the denigration of local bus service, problems with enforcement, other SBS problems, negative effects on traffic and local

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  • transit crisis rescue

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Even as the subways reach the breaking point, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face an additional commuting crisis: the lack of fast, reliable transit service in huge swaths of the boroughs outside Manhattan. In neighborhoods from Flatlands to Queens Village to Castle Hill, getting to work is a grinding chore, even when the trains are on time. That’s because the transit system has failed to keep pace with the demand for better service outside the city’s core.

    Unlike the subway meltdown, this

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  • Cuomo MTA bus

    Gov. Cuomo and a bus (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent vague interest in congestion pricing as a solution to problems at the MTA may give new life to one of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s key policy goals, but absent transportation improvements officials could be making now, pricing will not save our subways. We cannot let them off the hook in search of the perceived silver bullet of congestion pricing.

    The transportation community has been salivating over Cuomo’s statement that “congestion pricing

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  • governorandrewcuomo photo by marc a. hermann mta new york city transit

    (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    Newly-minted MTA chief Joe Lhota held a press conference last week to announce a rescue plan for the city’s ailing subway system. The agenda includes signal fixes, maintenance work, new emergency response teams, and even rider communication shifts. Lhota’s blueprint comes with $800-plus million price tag, he said, which set off another round of feuding between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo about how much the city and

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