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As Bus Ridership Declines, Advocates Call For Major Changes

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This includes more bus lanes, and an improved payment system

Transportation advocates and elected officials got together this past week to call for major improvements to the current bus service in the city citing constant delays, slow service, and overall poor quality of service compared to other large cities across the States, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Just as subway use has been on the increase, bus ridership has seen a significant decrease. Since 2002, it has taken a dive by 16 percent, and advocates are calling on the MTA to ensure that the status quo changes. The impact of the bus service is particularly felt by those living outside of Manhattan, and those who have limited access to the subway and rely almost exclusively on buses for their daily commute.

At a rally organized Wednesday, a group of advocates under the newly formed coalition, the NYC Bus Turnaround Coalition released a report titled Turnaround: Fixing New York City’s Buses, where it outlines the improvements needed for the bus service.

Just some of the changes the coalition hopes the MTA will implement include more bus lanes, traffic islands for better boarding, better coordination for more on-time service, all-door boarding as is the case with some crosstown buses at present, and tap and go payment services.

The WSJ found that NYC’s buses have an average speed of seven miles per hour, and in comparison cities like Chicago and Los Angeles have speeds of nine and 10.7 miles per hour respectively.

The MTA on its part told the Journal that many of the suggestions made in the report were changes the agency was already working towards or studying starting with implementing a new fare system in 2018. Polly Trottenberg, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Transportation was in support of the changes outlined in the report as well.