M96 bus riders have the slowest ride in town
By Marlene Naanes
Slower than a meandering mouse, more sluggish than a walking elephant, unable to make it across 96th Street before a running chickenits the M96 bus!
The uptown Manhattan bus earned the Straphangers Campaigns annual Pokey award today for clocking the slowest pace of all the bus lines at a crawling 3.7 miles per hour. Even an ambling elephants pace of 4.5 beat out the speed of the M96 at noon on a weekday, and a mouse and running chicken would win hands down in a race, according to a Straphangers Campaign study.
Riders know from bitter daily experience that it can often be faster to walk than to take the bus, said Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the group.
Transit advocacy groups Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives rode 22 of the citys slowest bus routes to determine the pokiest buses. The groups also awarded the M101, M102 and M103 routes with a Schleppie for the most unreliable bus service.
The routeswhich run along 3rd, Lexington, Amsterdam and Lenox Avenuesfell victim to one in four of its buses running bunched together or having big gaps in service, the study said. The advocacy groups used New York City Transit statistics to determine the winner of the Schleppie.
New York City Transit noted that the Pokey and Schleppie winners are routes, like many other buses, compete with double-parked cars, traffic, bicycles and pedestrians. The agency has implemented several programs to speed up buses in the city, including bus-only lanes and fare collection before boarding, and one program on the Bx12 has reduced travel times by 14 to 25 percent and ridership has increased, officials said.
As more [of those bus] routes and other planned service initiatives are rolled out, the Straphangers Pokey and Schleppie awards could be headed for spots on the endangered list, transit officials said in a statement.
According to the study, the slowest bus routes in each borough are:
-B63, between Bay Ridge and Cobble Hill, 4.9 mph
-Bx19, between Bronx Botanic Garden and Upper Manhattan, 5.3 mph
-M96, Crosstown on 96th Street, 3.7 mph
-Q56, between Jamaica and East New York, 6.1 mph
-S42, between New Brighton and St. George Ferry Terminal, 11.4 mph
The most unreliable bus routes in the boroughs are:
-B44, between Sheepshead Bay and Williamsburg, 24 percent reliable
-Bx41, between Wakefield and the Hub, 20.7 percent reliable
-M101/2/3, between Upper and Lower Manhattan, 26.1 percent reliable
-S74, between Ferry Terminal and Tottenville, 22.1 percent reliable
-No Queens bus route qualified.