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Transit advocates urge MTA to allow for all-door bus boarding

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The Riders Alliance gathered outside of MTA headquarters to advocate for a new on-boarding process on the agency’s buses

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On Thursday morning, members of the public transit advocacy group, The Riders Alliance, gathered outside of the MTA headquarters before a board meeting to call for the agency to implement all-door boarding on public buses.

As part of their demonstration, members carried out a “theatrical demonstration” that illustrated the hardships having to board buses through only one door create. Following the demonstration, they went to the 20th floor of the MTA headquarters to further explain the importance of allowing for all-door boarding and allowed commuters to share their experiences. They reinforced that all-door boarding would not only speed up the boarding process for riders, but could also result in a decline in bus delays.

“For bus riders boarding is one of the most stressful parts of taking the bus and all-door boarding can change that,” said Stephanie Burgos-Veras, Senior Organizer with the Riders Alliance. “This is a crucial opportunity for [New York City Transit] President Andy Byford to include all-door boarding city-wide in his bus action plan. Riders have suffered for too long, and now is the time to turnaround our buses.”

In October 2017, MTA union officials and bus drivers came out in support of all-door boarding, citing that doing so would also make conditions safer for bus drivers who often find themselves in alterations with passengers over fare payments, reports the NY Daily News.

MTA spokesman Shams Tarek to Curbed that “President Byford has made a commitment to developing a comprehensive plan to improve bus service – and everything is on the table.”

The MTA is currently working on replacing the MetroCard with a pay-as-you-go system that will allow subway and bus riders to wave a cellphone, new tap card, credit or debit cards to pay their fare. The agency plans to install electronic readers on 500 subway turnstiles and 600 buses beginning in late 2018. Transit advocates are urging that they make all-door boarding a component of the new fare system.