A cost-cutting measure by the Metropolitan Transit Authority has prompted 16 Queens lawmakers to write a letter demanding the transit agency restore paper bus schedules.
The MTA began removing physical bus schedules earlier this summer. The move would enable the agency to save $550,000 by no longer having to reprint the pamphlets, which are regularly updated, the MTA said.
“As we modernize bus service, we’re finding ways to provide `accurate arrival time information to customers in faster, more efficient ways,” MTA’s Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer told amNY in a statement. “Moving to paperless schedules helps reduce our paper waste and makes the most of new technology that puts real-time information in customers’ hands whenever they need it.”
But the reduction in paper waste and printing costs did not please an array of Queens’ councilmembers, assemblymembers, state senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Riders across the city will be left “lost and confused without a physical printout of the bus schedule to guide them,” the lawmakers said.
“Simply put: posted bus schedules help get riders where they need to go, and removing them will only hinder the commutes of those without access to technology. Even the MTA readily admits that bus schedules change frequently,” reads the letter addressed to MTA Chairperson Patrick Foye.
The Q60 bus is slow. So slow that an an average jogger can pass it on the road. So slow that a manatee could likely keep pace. So slow that transit advocates gave it an “F” grade on a report card based on its speed and reliability.
Indeed, the Q60’s average weekday speed of 6mph is a drag for the 4,752,023 riders that boarded the bus between Midtown Manhattan and South Jamaica in 2018. But what is impressive, is all the cool places it passes as it chugs along.
Take for instance, the Queensboro Bridge — also known as the 59th Street Bridge — which the Q60 crosses on its path between Manhattan and Long Island City. The Queensboro Bridge recently turned 110, as the Eagle previously reported, so the next time you’re stuck on the Q60, try Feelin’ Groovy.
As the Q60 makes its slow cruise through Sunnyside and Woodside consider hopping off and grabbing a bite at 24/7 diner Pete’s Grill, located on Queens Boulevard near 39th Place. On second thought, maybe don’t hop off the bus, since it boasts a 53 percent on-time performance and you never know when you’ll be able to get on the next one.
Once your bus manages to make it to Woodside, look out the window to see Calvary Cemetery, a mid-19th Century cemetery that was the first burial ground established outside of Manhattan by the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Don’t look too long though, or you’ll miss seeing the “geographic center” of New York City, denoted by a circular plaque on 58th Street (note: it’s not actually the geographic center, no matter what the plaque says).