Sunday, June 29, 2008

A long overdue change

The new service, called Select Bus Service, will save time mostly by requiring riders to pay fares before they get on the bus, using coins or swiping their MetroCards at curbside machines at each stop.

Riders Will Pay Before Boarding, and Save Time, on Revamped Bus Route

The idea is to cut boarding times by eliminating the lines that often form at the front door of a bus while passengers wait to swipe or pay. That wait is a primary factor in slow travel times for buses.

There will be more than one machine at each stop, to keep lines from developing there. The machines will provide receipts, and when the bus arrives, passengers may board either in the front or the back, with no need to show the receipt to the driver or to swipe again.

To keep people honest, inspectors will ride the buses and ask passengers for their receipts. If a passenger does not have one, the inspectors may give them a $100 ticket for fare-beating. Officials said that during the first week, while passengers are adjusting to the system, the inspectors will hand out warnings instead.

This is how transit works in San Diego. It was a pleasure riding on their lines.

Doesn't look like they are planning to bring it to Queens, though. From Gothmist:

The MTA hopes to bring SBS to other routes, like the 1st / 2nd Avenues' M15, 34th Street's M34 and M16, and 5th / Madison Avenue's M1, M2, M3, M4, M5 & Q 32 routes in Manhattan, Hylan Boulevard's S79 route in Staten Island and the Nostrand Avenue B44 in Brooklyn.


Anonymous said...

"To keep people honest, inspectors will ride the buses and ask passengers for their receipts."

Suspect you'll need to raise the fares to pay for the inspectors.

Anonymous said...

Sure we save money on boarding ... and loose twice as much with tacket inspectors riding the lines.

Ridgewoodian said...

This is how many, many transit systems work all around the world. If you go over to New Jersey you'll see that the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail works this way. None of these systems have fallen apart because of fare beaters. Now, if we could just get real dedicated lanes for these buses we might really be on to something.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right the pilot route in Queens was supposed to run along Merrick to the Jamaica hub but the Queens Civic Congress lead the charge to stop it b/c the dedicated bus lanes would have cost parking.

Ridgewoodian said...


I don't doubt you're right about that. UGH! More short-sightedness.

Ridgewoodian said...

Story HERE about the first day of service. Too bad some MTA cars had to park in the bus lane...