Noise is to New York City as ______ is to ______. Traffic, honking, music, the constant hum and chatter of the city. It’s all there. Yet, as someone with a second floor apartment overlooking an avenue with a bus route, I can certainly attest to the fact that New York City’s buses are loud. They sigh and beep and groan their ways around residential neighborhoods, and when they arrive late at night, they have a way of piercing the quiet calm of the dark.
The MTA recognizes that its buses are deafening, and now they’re prepared to act. As Samuel Goldsmith Pete Donohue reports today, the authority will spend $1 million to quite its 5900 buses by approximately 20 percent. The measures include installing a new muffler that will, as the Daily News says, “remove moisture from the air-braking system and automatically releases bursts of air every five minutes or so.” This will reduce the noise from the suspension systems that activate at every stop. The MTA also plans to turn down the volume on the alarm that “alert[s] riders that the floor is being lowered for easier boarding and exiting.” Beeping will no longer fill the air.
Transit are hopeful that these measures will restore a sense of peace along noisy bus routes. “This will improve the quality of life in the city by reducing noise pollution tremendously,” Joseph Smith, the head of Transit’s bus division, said. Sounds good — and quiet — to me.