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.