The Bill Perkins Flip-Flop on Better Bus Service for 125th Street

Well, this takes a lot of chutzpah. After blocking measures that would have sped bus trips for tens of thousands of people on 125th Street every day, State Senator Bill Perkins now claims he supports Select Bus Service.

Bill Perkins

Following the initial workshops and public meetings for 125th Street SBS held by NYC DOT and the MTA, which began last September, Perkins’ office served as the umbrella for various groups that opposed changes to enable buses to move faster. He sent a letter to DOT, ostensibly to complain about process, which said that “feedback” about existing SBS routes “indicated dissatisfaction and even failure.” In May, when DOT and the MTA announced they would scale back the bus lanes, left-turn restrictions, and parking meters in the plan, Perkins’ office said, “We are definitely pleased.”

When the news broke yesterday that DOT and the MTA would scrap the whole 125th Street SBS route, we checked in with Perkins’ office. We have yet to hear back.

But the state senator did talk to the New York World:

In a phone conversation on Tuesday afternoon, Perkins said that the community welcomes Select Bus Service, but that he opposes the way in which it was handled.

“We are unequivocally in support of SBS bus service,” Perkins said. “And we are looking forward to SBS service coming across 125th Street.

“This is not the Bill Perkins show of trying to stop something,” he continued, “quite the opposite.”

To recap, Perkins insisted on a “process” that elevated opponents of proven measures to speed up bus trips. He proposed no alternatives to the DOT/MTA plan. Then when the project died, he said he unequivocally supports Select Bus Service.

If you believe that, there’s a bus lane in Harlem I’d like to sell you.

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Who Killed 125th Street SBS: A Timeline

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Throughout the development of the 125th Street Select Bus Service project, local elected officials and community boards never came out in support of actual bus improvements. Instead, they cloaked their opposition in concerns about “process.” Following yesterday’s announcement from the MTA and NYC DOT that they will no longer pursue Select Bus Service on 125th Street, now is […]