Every day, New Yorkers take 2.5 million bus rides. Bus service is a vital element of New York City’s public transportation network, reaching neighborhoods with limited access to subways and often serving older, lower-income populations.
But the unfortunate reality for these New Yorkers is that our buses are slow and unreliable. The result has been declining bus ridership, even as our subways carry record numbers of riders: despite rapid population growth and an additional 500,000 jobs citywide, bus ridership has dropped 16% from 2002 to 2015.
We can fix our bus system—but if we want to see a real Bus Turnaround, riders will have to demand major changes from our elected officials.
Issues Bus Riders Face
- Bus routes often follow old streetcar lines that haven’t been re-examined for decades
- Traffic congestion and construction have led to declining bus average speeds; currently, buses run an average of 7.4 mph and often stuck in traffic
- Bus bunching, when two or more buses arrive simultaneously at a bus stop
- Long lines boarding and disembarking lengthen overall trip time
The Bus Turnaround Coalition Recommends
- Redesigning the bus network and existing bus routes
- Transforming boarding on and off the bus
- Dedicated bus lanes
- Methods that keep buses on schedule
- Increased communication between bus drivers and dispatchers about delays
Let’s Prioritize and Modernize our Buses
In July 2016, the Bus Turnaround Coalition released a report, Turnaround: Fixing New York City’s Buses, which highlighted current issues bus riders face and featured recommendations to make buses a reliable transit option. But now we need your help: share your bus stories with us and sign our petition for better buses!
If you want to get involved in our Bus Turnaround Campaign, please contact Stephanie Veras at Stephanie@ridersny.org!