Home Buses Ceci n’est pas un arrêt de bus

Ceci n’est pas un arrêt de bus

by Benjamin Kabak

A bus stop no longer

Where: On the north side of Union St. just west of 7th Ave. in Brooklyn. The B71, until June 27th, stops here.

What: A sign of the times. Throughout the city, various bus stops slated for elimination are slowly being converted into, well, warnings of a service interruption to come. Up and down Union St., these signs mark the elimination of the B71, and I’m not sure what fate awaits the bus shelters. They’re owned by the Department of Transportation and not the MTA, and the city has an extension deal with CEMUSA for the advertising rights. I’d guess that the Spain-based company will continue to sell the ads, and the shelters will be used as street furniture. They’ll also serve as constant reminders of a time when our legislatures failed us and transit faltered in New York City.

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Al D May 4, 2010 - 3:35 pm

It would nice to see DOT convert the bus shelters to much needed bicycle parking. There are precious few and more are needed. At least this would encourage use of another car-free form of transport.

Skip Skipson May 4, 2010 - 4:48 pm


Jerrold May 5, 2010 - 6:06 pm

Oh, you mean QUOI.

Hells Kitchen Exile May 4, 2010 - 4:50 pm

UN arrêt de bus (no ‘e’) 😉

Benjamin Kabak May 4, 2010 - 7:16 pm

Don’t ask me! I don’t know French 🙂


Don May 4, 2010 - 5:17 pm

The buck stops with the Mayor, current politicos, and the Gov. This is happening under their watch so they are responsible. The Mayor especially was full of doody in his last campaign. “I’ll save transpo!” Yeh..right.

Boris May 4, 2010 - 5:58 pm

The notices need to be updated to say, “to restore service, contact your state representative” and their contact info.

John May 4, 2010 - 7:45 pm

I might have said, “Ce n’est plus un arrêt d’autobus.” But that was pretty close.

Rhywun May 4, 2010 - 8:05 pm

I believe he’s playing on a well-known “pipe”-shaped phrase, n’est-ce pas?

Jerrold May 4, 2010 - 9:09 pm

WHAT IS a “pipe”-shaped phrase?
What is THE “pipe”-shaped phrase that he’s playing on when he says “This is not a bus stop” in French?

Rhywun May 4, 2010 - 10:02 pm

Hmph. I can’t the find exact picture I was thinking of, but it’s a play on the original which is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T....._of_Images, where the sentence is fitted into the shape of a pipe….

Benjamin Kabak May 4, 2010 - 10:03 pm

The one I had in mind wasn’t fitted into the shape of the pipe; it’s the original from René Magritte in the link there. It’s surrealist art.

Rhywun May 4, 2010 - 10:13 pm

I first heard of it from the Douglas Hofstadter book mentioned in the article. Anyway, nice reference.

Henry Man May 4, 2010 - 10:33 pm

If you are going to say, this will not be a bus stop, say: “Ce ne sera pas un arrêt de bus”

Benjamin Kabak May 4, 2010 - 10:33 pm

I’m not. As I explained above, it’s take-off on Magritte, not meant to be perfect French.

Jerrold May 5, 2010 - 6:20 pm

After I clicked on the link, it all came back to me, but I never would have remembered the Magritte work otherwise.

That’s right, when is a bus stop not a bus stop?
It’s just like those old ones about holes that are knotholes
in wood, or the door that’s not a door because it’s ajar.

Now to get seroius for a moment.
I think they are crazy to eliminate the crosstown M8 on weekends. They are pretending that the M14 is a reasonable alternative. The M14 is “duplicated” by the L train, but the M8 is not duplicated by any subway line.

Chicken Underwear May 5, 2010 - 7:56 am

For my part of Park Slope I see these “adjustments” in bus routs as an improvement.


Chicken Underwear May 5, 2010 - 7:57 am


Benjamin Kabak May 5, 2010 - 11:01 am

Not having bus service isn’t an improvement; it’s a service cut. If the goal is to encourage transit use, these cuts do not succeed in achieving that goal.

I see what you’re saying about the B71. It’s often very empty, but with its departure, there’s no east/west bus from Bergen St. to 9th St. That’s a very long gap that will encourage people to use non-transit means of travel.

Chicken Underwear May 5, 2010 - 4:29 pm

I would like to assume that further from 8th Ave more people are riding the B71. But as it approached Grand Army Plaza it causes more gridlock than it removes.

Rhywun May 5, 2010 - 9:18 pm

Yeah. From what I’ve been able to figure out, the cut lines are not being replaced with increased service anywhere else. Therefore, the impetus is just cuts, not any attempt at “improvement”.

BrooklynBus May 6, 2010 - 9:36 am

The MTA report shows that the B71 had a 29% increase in ridership during the past 5 years. Apparently this was not taken into consideration when the cuts were decided.

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines May 5, 2010 - 9:12 am

[…] Albany AWOL on Funds for Station Agents (AMNY); New Signs Tell Riders Not to Expect Bus (SAS) […]

BrooklynBus May 6, 2010 - 9:50 am

Ben, What makes you think that the bus shelters will remain as street furniture? I thought the contractor has an obligation to keep the bus shelters up-to-date. I would think that means replacing vandalized shelters and removing ones no longer needed such as where stops have been eliminated within a set time frame.

Someone March 4, 2013 - 9:54 pm

Je déteste le système de bus de New York. 🙁


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