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Speaker Corey Johnson unveils MTA bus countdown clock in West Village, talks transit initiatives

Speaker Corey Johnson joins Manhattan DOT Commissioner Edward Pincar and West Village residents to celebrate the newly installed MTA bus countdown clocks at Bleecker Street and 8th Avenue.

It may not make the buses come any faster, but West Village residents will have a better sense of travel time thanks to newly installed countdown clocks at Bleecker Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.

Speaker Corey Johnson joined Manhattan Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Edward Pincar and West Village commuters to cut a green ribbon, officially unveiling the timely asset for M14A & M20 riders.

“New Yorkers need to have a better sense of when the buses will be coming,” the speaker said on a drizzly Tuesday morning across from Abingdon Square Park.

“We know that residents wanted this,” Johnson said while noting that it was an overwhelmingly popular item in his district’s participatory budgeting.

“New Yorkers really care about their neighborhoods,” he added.

This countdown clock was the third installed for Johnson’s district since the start of the year and there’s an expected 16 more on the way before the end of December, the speaker explained while also indicating the $510,000 he’s allocated for countdown clocks since 2015.

As to why it’s taken so long to install countdown clocks throughout the city, “it is a real technical challenge,” according to Pincar.

He also said that the wiring, pipes, and utilities below city concrete is similar to that of spaghetti, hence making it a challenge for installers to find a sweet spot to dig without interfering in other services.

Pincar also said that there’s been over 600 countdown clocks installed “and many more are on the way.”

An M14A bus at the West Village bus stop.

Johnson also spoke with amNewYork Metro about other transit priorities throughout the city, saying that the subways are “the most important stuff.”

“It effects the most number of people,” Johnson said about the MTA subway system and the ongoing delays and issues faced.

“Most people judge the progress of the city from their walk from their apartment or their home to the bus or to the subway,” the speaker continued.

On the topic of automotive public transit, Johnson called 14th street busway “a really smashing success,” adding his belief that congestion pricing will improve bus speeds, particularly in the West Village.

Another transit priority for Johnson is making intersections safer, specifically in Midtown, he said.

“We saw a record number of pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2019 so we’ve been working with the department of transportation particularly in Hell Kitchen near Times Square on making intersections safer for pedestrians,” the speaker explained.

Alex Mitchell