As East Side bus riders adjust to the ins and outs of Select Bus Service, the MTA has released a time-lapse video of the preparation that goes into this new service. The new video shows how workers readied and wrapped Bus 1268 for
Select Bus Service while the vehicle was laid up at the 126th St. Bus Depot. Say what you will about Select Bus Service — and plenty of people already are — but the wrapping the blue flashing lights certainly give these buses the look of something new and better.
In other SBS-related news, Pete Donohue from the Daily News took the new service for a spin. Although his coverage contains some of the negativity from the riders against which I railed earlier in the week, he presents a balanced assessment of the service, at least in the early goings. The MTA admitted to him that the service needs some fine-tuning, and Donohue found that the dedicated lanes were often blocked by other vehicles. The city must ramp up enforcement to solve those problems before camera enforcement begins next month.
Still, the MTA recognizes that the agency has work to do yet. “There’s much room for improvement,” Transit Charles Seaton said to Donohue. “This is our first full day of weekday service. We’re going to keep monitoring and adjusting this service every day until we bring it up to the level that we expect and our customers expect.”
Biggest oversight is not allowing / providing a way to use the pre-purchased SBS receipts on a non-SBS bus if one happens to arrive before the SBS bus. Having to scramble to get a ticket at the shared stops is difficult. That said, those blue flashing lights can be seen very far away.
Another oversight/poor call: saw some ads for SBS on the M60 the other day. They describe the new SBS “offboard” payment system. What is offboard? That’s not a word, or at least not one that describes what the payment system is! How about making things a little simpler and say something like “pay before you get on the bus”?
How stupid is this SBS program? Is it really cheaper than just offering an Oystercard-style fare payment that allows for speedy bus boarding (not to mention solving many of MTA’s other problems)? I for one was quite excited when they nabbed Walder, but he seems to be content on driving the agency into the ground.