Monday, December 29, 2008

Why you should take mass transit

By the time the bus got to 125th Street at Lexington Avenue, frustration had hit fever pitch.

Passengers on the M60 bus who had already been forced to stand were pressed against the doors. Others, trapped by tall suitcases, could not get up from their seats. Two dozen people with yet more bags tried to board, but a wave of exiting riders, shouting loudly, pushed them right back off. The same scene was replayed at the next stop, Third Avenue.

“They pack us in like cattle,” said Clay Crawford, 40, who lives in Harlem and was commuting to his job as a security guard in Queens. “Who wants this?”

Flo Lyle, 60, an Upper West Side resident, nodded. “If there’s one line in the city calling out for more buses, it’s this one,” she said.

Or, given that the M60 is the only public-transit option directly from Manhattan to La Guardia Airport, at least increased service at travel-heavy times like Christmas, suggested other sardine-packed riders this week as the bus inched its way along 125th Street.


Catching a Full-Up Plane? Take This Overstuffed Bus

Cash-poor undergraduates...flock to the M60, whose $2 fare is far cheaper than the $12 charged by New York Airport Service, a private company that runs buses to La Guardia from Grand Central Terminal, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and other Midtown locations — never mind a taxi ride that can easily top $30, including tolls and tips.

Ridership on the M60, a route that was begun in 1992, has grown by 263 percent in the last 10 years, according to Charles Seaton, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


And the M60 is not the only bus getting more crowded.

16 comments:

georgetheatheist said...

Aw, quit the beefing. You can always put your suitcase on a bicycle and pedal your way to LaGuardia.

Lino said...

I take this bus to Queens and back every 2-4 weeks. During the day it is frequently so crowded that people ride in the stairwell up front and can't reach the fare box. Even at night it is SRO.

I asked one driver about using the articulated buses that we have here in Manhattan, he agreed but pointed out that the terminal at LGA is too tight to accommodate them.

There is also the problem of "fishtailing" when these buses run on icy roads -not good on the Triboro.

In the evening I sometime see buses "bunched" with one or two packed and the last barely occupied.

This has to be one of the few lines that earns it's keep 'round the clock

Anonymous said...

And Columbia is one of the biggest advocates for development - how many studies have they done supporting 2030?

Hey students, wise up!

Protest you nimwits!

Kevin Walsh said...

Bloomberg:

"Are there no limousines? Is there no car service?"

www.forgotten-ny.com

CJ said...

"Are there no limousines? Is there no car service?"


"Let them die and decrease the surplus population"

panzer65 said...

What happened to the subway extension to LGA?

Anonymous said...

LGA needs a subway line. Just yesterday, one of my customers took the N to Astoria Boulevard, in order to transfer to the airport-bound M60. It was completely full, leaving no space for baggage. Fortunately, a taxi picked them up.

The Airtrain to JFK proved its worth, and so would an N/W extension.

Anonymous said...

Lino said...

This has to be one of the few lines that earns it's keep 'round the clock

-----------------------------------

Public transit is not now, nor has it ever been, a money-making venture, and a lot of people need the lines that don't earn their keep

Anonymous said...

panzer65 said...
What happened to the subway extension to LGA?

-----------------------------------

It was NIMBYed to death in Astoria.

georgetheatheist said...

Speaking of NIMBY'ing rail transportation. Take the Air Train in Jamaica. The surrounding property owners had original misgivings. What's their opinion of it now?

And was it a boon-doggle?

Can you imagine getting off a plane at LaGuardia and stepping onto a NYC subway car?

panzer65 said...

I was working near the Air Train in Jamaica the other day, its elevated structure was very modern looking and unintrusive. When the light rail car passed by, it was quieter than a car passing.

ew-3 said...

anon - "Public transit is not now, nor has it ever been, a money-making venture "

Actually quite untrue. Most public transit was privately owned and construction funded when it began. Anyone remember the Jamaica bus lines? Or BeeLine buses in Queens? The company that the Jackie Gleason character played was a private bus company. They operated lean and mean. Not like the bloated MBTA.

And bad service meant management coming down on the driver.

georgetheatheist said...

Ralph Kramden drove for the Gotham Bus Company. Mr. Marshall was the President.

Anonymous said...

ew-3 said...

Actually quite untrue. Most public transit was privately owned and construction funded when it began. Anyone remember the Jamaica bus lines? Or BeeLine buses in Queens? The company that the Jackie Gleason character played was a private bus company. They operated lean and mean. Not like the bloated MBTA.


I remember Jamaica Buses, Triboro Coach, Green Bus, and Queens Surface. I remember how the City subsidized them like crazy to make them profitable. I remember how the city bought their buses and built their depots, in some cases. Their service was mean, all right--to their customers. The buses were poorly maintained and ran infrequently. Did you notice that not too many people protested when the MTA took over? Does that tell you something?

By the way--the MBTA? They're in Boston.

ew-3 said...

Long before the city began subsidizing them, the independent bus lines were profitable. As the trolley lines were before them. Then it became easier to get money from the government then run efficiently. Just like the auto industry is going through right now. Likely root cause is the unions.
Up here in the Boston area, there a MBTA employees pulling home 6 figures for menial labor. And let's not even discuss the pensions and health care benfits.

Anonymous said...

ew-3 said...
Long before the city began subsidizing them, the independent bus lines were profitable. As the trolley lines were before them. Then it became easier to get money from the government then run efficiently. Just like the auto industry is going through right now. Likely root cause is the unions.
Up here in the Boston area, there a MBTA employees pulling home 6 figures for menial labor. And let's not even discuss the pensions and health care benfits.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


You're talking about a time that existed generations ago, if ever. The private operators in this city took their subsidies and did not do things like reinvest in their companies (they did, however, find the wherewithal to make a whole bunch of campaign contributions. You can look it up.). There has been no time in decades where you didn't find a lot of calls for the MTA to take over the private lines, and try to find a lot of people who want a return to those days.

By the way--if you can find any example of MTA employees collecting six figures for doing "menial" work, call the MTA Inspector General's office. They'll be glad to investigate. I'm sure that there's a similar office in Boston who would do an investigation into something like that at the MBTA as well.