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MTA, DOT efforts to improve bus service receive poor marks from advocates

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Despite some improvements, bus ridership is down in 2017

Transit advocates have released a report card grading how the MTA and the Department of Transportation have responded to the decline of bus service, reports StreetsBlog, along with the ways in which both agencies have worked to improve conditions for commuters. Unsurprisingly, the grades aren’t anything that the MTA or DOT should be particularly proud of.

The Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and TransitCenter, which work together on a project known as the Bus Turnaround Campaign, found that despite a few small improvements made by the MTA and DOT, bus ridership is down by more than two percent in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

The groups issued scores based on how many new bus lanes have been opened, dispatching methods, enhanced boarding and payment methods, redesigned bus networks, and other initiatives.

Courtesy Bus Turnaround Campaign.

The MTA received its lowest score—an “F”—when it came to dispatching, since the agency has failed to make use of suggestions from transit advocates to use advanced GPS technology that would ensure buses stay on schedule and evenly spaced apart.

Its best score—a “B”— was received for redesigning bus routes since the agency made changes like shortening lengthy routes into multiple new ones.

The DOT received a “D” for failing to prioritize the addition of new bike lanes throughout the city’s roadways and an incomplete for conducting a citywide transit study that will look for ways to redesign the bus network—which has yet to translate into real-world solutions.

Check out all of the scores and the full report card here.