How Bad Is Bus Service on Your Route? Check This Web Site and See

Image: busturnaround.nyc
Image: busturnaround.nyc

Just how bad do bus riders have it in NYC? Today the transit advocates with the Bus Turnaround campaign launched a web site that lets you look up any route in the system and see how it performs. Spend a few minutes on the site and you’ll see why ridership has fallen 16 percent citywide since 2002.

There’s a fun (if you can call it that) visualization of the headaches a New Yorker must deal with on a typical bus trip — unpredictable arrivals, slow boarding, frequent stops — and a hypothetical look at the same trip on an improved system where buses are on time, direct, and don’t get bogged down in traffic.

The main feature of the site, though, is a report card for every route, with data on bus speed, bunching, and ridership. You can look up the buses you ride on regular basis or click on routes anywhere in the city. One pattern that emerges — the routes that the most people rely on are doing the worst.

The report cards are based on MTA Bus Time information — a testament to the power of open data.

The Bus Turnaround website was announced at a morning rally where advocats, electeds, and straphangers called for the MTA and NYC DOT to make citywide improvements to the bus network, ahead of a City Council hearing on the subject. Stay tuned for coverage of the hearing later today.

  • Elizabeth F

    Get a bike…

  • Jeff

    Even that’s too much effort. 5 MPH isn’t even a jog, more like a brisk walking pace.

  • There are a lot of people who can’t bike. I don’t think it helps bike advocates to make these kinds of comments. Great bike cities are also great transit cities.

  • ahwr
  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    My personal observations for lack of speed agree with the 4 Bs (63,1,8, and 4) that I looked up.

  • Joe R.

    Probably a significant majority are physically capable of riding a bike but most of those think of bikes solely for recreation. That’s understandable given how hostile most of the roads in the US are to cycling.

  • Certainly more people can bike than currently do, but “Get a bike” is not a short-term solution to slow bus speeds that’s going to find a receptive audience.

  • Joe R.

    Of course it isn’t. I’ve been an avid cyclist for 38 years but if I had to work in Manhattan I’d still be taking the slow bus to the subway rather than riding because that’s still the best option for me. “Speeding up the slow bus” is a better solution for me in that case than telling me to to “get a bike”.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The bus I’m most likely to ride (B61) averages 6.4 miles per hour. It’s ridership is up nearly a third since 2010.

  • Andrew

    And even those who can bike may not always find biking practical in every circumstance.

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