From the Times Ledger:
As growing numbers of Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island residents work outside Manhattan, thousands endure tough commutes to work on a transit system never designed for their trips, an urban think tank says.
“Fortunately, relatively inexpensive changes to the city’s bus system could plug many of the holes in the city’s existing transit network and vastly improve the quality of life of many working poor New Yorkers,” the Center for an Urban Future reported.
The New York City-based center said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should provide Bus Rapid Transit super express buses to connect the many areas between boroughs other than Manhattan. The BRT buses would cost tens of millions of dollars as compared to hundreds of millions for new subway lines.
The BRT buses, in service in the Bronx and on Manhattan’s East Side, require paying before boarding through any door, offer other time-saving features and have BRT-only lanes that have been successful the world over.
But the center contended that few of the MTA’s recommendations for BRT service would solve the lack of inter-borough buses.
The report said, “Most of the low-income residents we interviewed rely on a bus to get out of their neighborhoods and they complain of multiple transfers and long, undependable commutes.”
“New York City’s transit system was not designed for commuter trips to jobs within and between boroughs outside of Manhattan and partly as a result, the city’s median commute times have been climbing for decades,” the report said.
The center found that the commute times are among the highest in any large American city, ranging from 52 minutes each way in Brooklyn to 69 minutes each way in Staten Island.