Home Asides M96 takes home prestigious Pokey Award

M96 takes home prestigious Pokey Award

by Benjamin Kabak

The Straphangers handed out their annual Pokey Awards last week, and the crosstown M96 took home top honors. The city’s slowest bus reaches averages speeds of 3.7 miles per hour as it crawls across town. As William Neuman noted, chickens can run nearly three times that speed.

The rest of the Straphanger report features much of the same arguments we frequently hear about New York City buses. We need: “tougher enforcement of exclusive bus lanes with barriers to discourage cars from entering; pre-boarding fare payment; reconfigured bus stops to speed boarding and reduce conflicts with other vehicles; and bus priority signals to help buses stick to schedule.” In the meantime, buses will continue to be among the least time-efficient means of getting around New York City.

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rhywun November 17, 2008 - 4:17 pm

I’d like to see them rank the speed of trains. Watching my train approach in the morning is like watching paint dry.

Alon Levy November 17, 2008 - 9:26 pm

Rhywun, you can compute the speed yourself, by comparing the schedule to the track length. NYCT trains are usually more or less on time, and their end-run time is rarely much more than it’s supposed to be.

Or you can do what I do, and use a stopwatch. At off-peak daytime hours, I timed the 1 to run at just under 5 blocks a minute in Manhattan from Midtown to 116th, and about 7 from 116th to 242nd. I also timed the A/D to run at 9 blocks a minute from 125th to 59th, which is on a par with the average run times of the systems in Singapore and Moscow, whose average interstations about one third that distance.

rhywun November 17, 2008 - 10:46 pm

Well, my train is at 4.5 blocks per minute according to the schedule. These are Brooklyn blocks, which seem about the same length as Manhattan blocks to me. I knew the R was slow as mud.

Anyway… I always thought the schedule was more of a “suggestion”. How accurate is it really? I suppose it’s a lot better now than it was in the 80s.

Julia November 18, 2008 - 1:12 pm

I think the schedules are accurate in terms of the number of trains and approximately how long the route takes. In terms of the actual times listed, definitely not.

(The only time I’ve tried to rely on a train schedule was on the way to catch an early flight. I figured that only four hours into the day, with no traffic or residual delays, the schedule would be accurate. No such luck!)

rhywun November 18, 2008 - 5:04 pm

I have never “used” a subway schedule*. I don’t think anyone does here. I figure the maximum headway is supposed to be 20 minutes so why bother.

*I take that back. I have used to find out exactly what time the N stops running express and the R is cut back to a shuttle.


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