Home Asides Exacerbating the impact of the service cuts

Exacerbating the impact of the service cuts

by Benjamin Kabak

When the MTA gets around to cutting service later this year, many New Yorkers — particularly those who rely on late-night bus service and off-peak transit options — will find themselves facing fewer options and longer commutes. In The Times this weekend, Ariel Kaminer tried to find out just how long these new commutes will take, and her article takes this experiment to an extreme. Kaminer asked HopStop’s CEO to find her a long route made longer by the death of the X32, and he routes her from “DeKalb Avenue in the Bronx, up near Woodland [sic] Cemetery, to 26th Avenue in Queens, not far from Fort Totten and Little Neck Bay.” As the crow flies, this is an 11.7-mile trip over the Throgs Neck Bridge, but for transit riders generally, it is now a one-transfer ride that involves a 4 or a D and the QM2A express bus.

Ultimately, Kaminer’s convoluted alternate route took her on a bus, a Metro-North train, a subway and a Long Island Rail Road train. It took nearly three hours and was designed to highlight what might happen if the X32, a route designed to ferry Bronx Sciences students to and from Queens is eliminated. The problem is that this route isn’t really indicative of anything. The MTA hasn’t yet determined if it will eliminate an important school route, and the vast majority of New Yorkers will be impacted in other, less absurdist ways by the transit cuts. Anyway, Kaminer’s route is well beyond that of the X32.

Articles such as this one make me question the “why” of it all. Is picking an obscure route that few use from one area of the Bronx to an already transit-poor area of Queens get the point across? Didn’t the piece highlighting late-night bus riders do so more effectively? There are far more tangible ways to highlight the impact of the service cuts particularly for those who do not commute into and out of Manhattan at peak hours. This was just an extreme travel stunt.

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12 comments

Kid Twist January 11, 2010 - 3:13 pm

It still amazes how little the Times knows about New York (except maybe for the Upper West Side). They constantly get the names of local streets, neighborhoods and landmarks wrong. It’s WoodLAWN Cemetery.

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Scott E January 11, 2010 - 5:03 pm

Seems to me that the article is more critical of Hopstop than it is of the service cuts. After all, they say that Google and TripPlanner both got them there with a faster, less confusing itinerary.

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herenthere January 11, 2010 - 6:13 pm

Actually, most of what the X32 serves is already served by chartered school buses that nearly all Eastern Queens students take to Bronx Science. Last I know of, the prices per trip on the school buses are now the same as the express bus price.

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rhywun January 11, 2010 - 6:52 pm

I guess that explains the average daily ridership of 29. Really, kill it already.

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Benjamin Kabak January 11, 2010 - 6:55 pm

This bus is a major money loser from the MTA too based upon info I received earlier today. Its future is not too bright.

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Andrew January 11, 2010 - 9:57 pm

Pretty much all MTA express buses are major money losers, but this one is probably at the top of the list.

This is the sort of service that anywhere else would be provided by private school buses. Anybody know why NYCT is providing it in the first place? A political deal of some sort?

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KPL January 11, 2010 - 10:59 pm

As a former Bronx Science student living in the exact area in Queens where there is X32 service, I really wonder why this service exists. I myself have never taken that bus, instead taking one of those private bus companies for 3 years and the local bus/subway combo (Q46 E R 4) the last year. I could understand the convenience of the service, but I don’t know why the special treatment is given; I mean, it’s the only express bus service direct to a specialized HS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02.....038;st=cse

Anon January 11, 2010 - 6:31 pm

OT: Liu: Yeah he’s b*t s**t crazy
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/l.....oUTPytLVbP

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Benjamin Kabak January 11, 2010 - 6:32 pm

I saw that earlier today. It was unsurprising and disgusting all at once.

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Anon January 11, 2010 - 6:43 pm

he just made digg http://digg.com/

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rhywun January 11, 2010 - 6:49 pm

Just – wow. Aside from the silliness of this rather common characteristic of certain people who aren’t very sure of themselves to make these ridiculous demands for “respect”, it’s a really stupid political move too. Mr. Controller just made it so no one will take him seriously, ever.

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[…] also highlighted the need to cut wasteful services. In highlight express buses, an area I tackled this week, Walder picked on the X25, a little used route from Grand Central to Wall Street. “A grand […]

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