For the B61, a BusTime bonus for bad serviceBy
While it is no substitute for more frequent service or the reopening of the F/G stop at Smith/9th Sts., Brooklyn-based riders of the B61 received a welcome addition to their route this week as Transit brought Bus Time to this beleaguered line. Beginning this past Monday, bus riders from Windsor Terrace to Downtown Brooklyn, by way of Red Hook, are now able to track the buses as they amble down the line. As the B61 is one of the borough’s least reliable routes, riders will now know just how late their buses will be.
In a sense, this type of technological upgrade is a cheap and ineffective substitute for better service. People don’t just want to know their bus is late; rather, they want buses to be on time and frequent. On the other hand though, numerous studies have shown mass transit riders are willing to weather longer waits if they know how far away the next bus is. The complaints shouldn’t cease, but wait times may be more tolerable if the element of surprise is removed.
The B61 joins the B63, the M34 and all of Staten Island as Bus Time-ready routes. The city-wide rollout will be completed by the end of 2013.