Courtesy of the London Reconnections blog there is some insight into the issues facing New York's bus network. Some of the issues are strikingly familiar to those in London - declining patronage, unreliability, slow journeys, people transferring to other modes, issues with political buy in.
The report is almost a year old but there are interesting issues that are highlighted. In a number of ways TfL is and has been way ahead on a number of issues such as route design, speeding up fare payment, frequency, giving buses priority. However it is quite telling that we are now seeing the same woes in London that are afflicting NYC. Interestingly Manhatten (the centre) has seen the biggest drop in patronage with people transferring to the Subway. Sound familiar?
I had not appreciated that some of the outer boroughs in NYC have very poor cross borough links and that people have to travel via Manhatten on the subway and back to the Bronx to get another bus to actually travel across the Bronx because the route design is so deficient. This also applies in Queens and Brooklyn. There is also route by route data accessible via the Turnaround website.
Well worth a listen / read but bear in mind the commentators are NOT from the Mass Transit Authority so it's a slightly one sided discussion.
The City Comptroller for New York City has just published a study / report into the New York City bus network. Unsurprisingly it makes depressing reading with declining patronage, slow services, no network change in decades and generally poor passenger facilities and ageing vehicles. There are differences with London but also a number of obvious parallels.
maybe some of these ideas should come to London where buses seem to get slower
I was looking at some recent MTA papers the other day. They've rejigged the network on Staten Island recently and bus journey times have seen some very healthy improvements as a result. They are also consulting on other network rejigs in some of the other Boroughs.
Even though there is a long way to go with the Subway network there were also some interesting improvements in the reliability / operational stats. Seems some of what Andy Byford is doing is having an effect.