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Thread: Buses

  1. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by TonyO View Post
    It definately makes you wonder, "what were they thinking?".
    In London where they have dedicated bus lanes, there is a network of cameras monitoring every part of the road and any violations recorded result in the driver getting a summons in the mail.

    The company that did the study for MTA recommended that this implement ion of BRT be carried out with full cooperation an enforcement of NYPD. It looks like the MTA did not listen and are not getting the NYPD to pay any attention.

  2. #17
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    First-Ever Electronic Bus Status Display Installed in Manhattan

    A camera phone-toting tipster reports seeing workers installing what appears to be New York City's first-ever real-time bus status display board this morning inside a bus shelter at First Avenue and E. 14th Street along the M15 route. We'll put in some calls to the MTA and DOT to get the details.

    Update: A Dept. of Transportation source says that the MTA is installing 15 of these real-time bus information displays around Manhattan as a pilot program. DOT is responsible for the shelters, MTA is responsible for the electronic signs. The project is part of the city's contract with Cemusa, the company that builds and sells ads on the new bus shelters as DOT's sub-contractor.

  3. #18
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    ^ That's great. The only thing worse than wasting time waiting for a bus that isn't coming is wasting time waiting for a subway that isn't coming.

  4. #19
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    NY Times
    October 4, 2007

    The Next Bus Will Arrive in Exactly ...


    The wait for a bus may seem more predictable at 11 stops where New York City Transit has begun testing electronic signs that show when the next one is due.

    The signs relay information from a satellite positioning system that has been installed as part of a pilot project on 168 buses that operate on several routes in Manhattan. The routes include the city’s busiest, the M15, which runs on First and Second Avenues, where seven of the signs have been placed.

    Under the system, each bus communicates location data to satellites, which transmit the information to a center in Brooklyn. From there, a radio signal goes to the electronic signs, which post the number of minutes until the next bus.

    Robert Walsh, the general superintendent for buses with New York City Transit, said that since the installation began in July, the signs have been working well, despite occasional glitches when a bus loses satellite contact.

    A more terrestrial problem occurs when a bus gets stuck in traffic and throws the estimate off temporarily.

    The signs can also provide information on route changes.

    Four other routes have an electronic sign operating at one stop each, and a fifth route is to have a sign working soon. Three more signs are to be added along the M15 route, bringing the total number of signs to 15.

    Mr. Walsh said he hoped to get approval for an expanded program by the end of this year, and to equip about 700 more buses with positioning systems that would feed 35 more signs, which would go on routes in the other boroughs.

    New York City Transit has about 4,500 buses.

  5. #20


    October 11, 2007, 12:07 pm The Turbine on the Bus Goes Purr Purr Purr

    By William Neuman

    The DesignLine hybrid bus out and about in the city on a test run. (Photo: Librado Romero/The New York Times)

    Shhhh! People are riding here!

    If you happen to get on a new hybrid bus that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing on 42nd Street this week, you may be tempted to shush your fellow passengers, as though the bus were a library.

    It’s that quiet.

    The bus may purr softly, but it looks a bit like the dog in “The Poky Little Puppy.” It has a rounded snout, dark patches around the headlights and rear view mirrors that look like floppy ears hanging in front. It also has large windows, plush seats and is a little skinnier than the typical New York City bus.

    But the real difference is in how the bus runs. The city’s other hybrid buses run like hybrid cars. They run off battery power some of the time and diesel or (in the case of many cars) gas engines at other times. And the braking action helps charge the batteries.

    The test bus is different in that it runs on battery power all the time. It has a diesel engine, but that is used only to charge the battery, although the bus also uses the brakes for that purpose. The diesel engine is different too. It is a turbine engine, similar to a jet engine. But much quieter.

    Jerry Higgins, the director of new bus technology for New York City Transit, said the manufacturer predicts the bus will get about seven miles per gallon, which is about double the fuel efficiency of the transportation authority’s current hybrid bus fleet.

    The bus will be tested here for two months and if the authority likes what it sees, it may consider placing an order. The bus is made by DesignLine International Holdings of New Zealand. The company is building a manufacturing plant in North Carolina.

    New York City Transit currently owns about 4,400 buses. Of those, about 600 are diesel electric hybrids.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenious View Post
    Jerry Higgins, the director of new bus technology for New York City Transit, said the manufacturer predicts the bus will get about seven miles per gallon, which is about double the fuel efficiency of the transportation authority’s current hybrid bus fleet.
    7 miles a gallon which is twice the fuel efficieny of the current hybrids. No wonder the MTA wants a fare hike. I can't imagine the fuel "efficiency" of the regular buses.

  7. #22


    I wonder why there's no serious efforts in NY state for bio-diesel, ethanol from municipal solid waste. There are many companies working on waste to liquid ethanol tech and I believe Daimler and VW just bought a company specializing in this. If we could convert the buses to run on bio-ethanol we could dramatically increase fuel efficiency and solve the problem of trash and waste in this city.

  8. #23


    New York
    Manhattan: More Hybrid City Buses

    Published: October 25, 2007

    New York City Transit announced yesterday that it would add 850 hybrid buses to the fleet it operates with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The agency said it already operated the largest hybrid bus fleet in the world, with 548 hybrid buses in service. The M.T.A., which also operates buses in the city, has 284 hybrids on the road. The new buses, made by DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America, are expected to be put in service over the next two years.

  9. #24


    April 16, 2008, 3:09 pm

    The Mercedes-Benz of City Buses (This Is Only a Test)

    By Jennifer 8. Lee

    The 60-foot Mercedes-Benz bus, popular in Europe, will be tested over the next 30 days for perhaps a larger commitment.
    (Photo: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)

    It’s sleek. It’s low-emission. It’s made by Mercedes-Benz. And no, it’s not the German challenge to the Toyota Prius. It’s, potentially, a new city bus that could soon be rumbling down your neighborhood streets, thanks to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    Today, New York City Transit showed off a 60-foot Mercedes-Benz Citaro accordion bus, which will be tested over the next 30 days for perhaps a larger commitment.

    The Citaro bus model, introduced in 1997, is immensely popular in Europe, where it is used in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary.

    A hybrid version with a BlueTec engine, announced last year, is expected to consume 20 to 30 percent less fuel than its diesel counterparts and has already won environmental applause.

    The one on loan to New York City is a pure diesel model which seats 48, and is also designed low to the ground, to aid older people and wheelchair accessibility. “It has a simple ramp that flips out so the passengers can roll in and roll off,” said Jerry Higgins, who oversees the purchasing of new buses for New York City Transit.

    New York City Transit currently operates 4,500 buses, of which 630 are accordion-style made by New Flyer. It buys between 300 and 400 buses each year as the buses, which have an expected 12-year life span, age out.
    On Wednesday, the bus could be seen heading up Third Avenue and across 125th Street along the M101 route. It will be tested only in Manhattan and Bronx, so other boroughs will have to wait.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

  10. #25
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Brooklyn, New York



    A Transit Miracle on 34th Street

    NYC DOT is proposing to turn Manhattan's 34th Street into a river-to-river "transitway."

    In what she half-jokingly called "probably the first-ever co-presentation" between their two agencies, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan stood with New York City Transit President Howard Roberts earlier this week to unveil the city's current Bus Rapid Transit program in its entirety -- including a plan that would "redefine the public realm" on Manhattan's 34th St. by redesigning it as the city's first "transitway."

    At a forum co-hosted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, the Pratt Center for Community Development and the Straphangers Campaign, over 100 people gathered at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx Tuesday morning, just a few blocks from where the city is poised to launch its first BRT project on Fordham Road, to hear international experts explain how other programs work, and don't work, around the world. Walter Hook, executive director of New York's Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, profiled elements of BRT models in cities like Jakarta, Indonesia and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where his organization has served a consultatory role. Oscar Edmundo Diaz, also with ITDP and once a senior advisor to former Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, detailed the workings of the wildly successful TransMilenio, which Hook described as state-of-the-art in Bus Rapid Transit.
    Outlining New York's plans, Sadik-Khan previewed big changes for some of the city's major corridors.

    The block between 5th and 6th Aves. would be reserved for buses and people, with cars traveling away from the CBD on either side
    • 34th Street, Manhattan: DOT will repave and restripe for five lanes between Third and Ninth Avenues by the end of this year, with painted bus lanes on the north and south sides and three auto lanes in the center. Service hours will also be extended. Phase 2 calls for a 34th Street Transitway, closing the street to cars between Fifth and Sixth and installing pedestrian plazas. On either side of that block, there would be two lanes for cars heading in one direction -- toward the rivers -- while on the other half of the street, buses would have two extra-wide lanes separated from traffic. In other words, buses would constitute the only through traffic on 34th Street. According to Sadik-Khan, 34th Street BRT will eventually tie in to new East River ferry service (details to be announced next week). Here's the 34th St. slideshow.
    • Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island: BRT will run from Richmond Avenue across the Verrazano Bridge. The route will include a reversible center-lane protected busway with raised boarding stations. We hope to have more on this soon.
    • Fifth and Madison Avenues, Manhattan: On Fifth, dual bus lanes will be installed from 23rd to 59th Street, while dual lanes on Madison will be extended from 42nd Street to 23rd.
    NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has pledged a unit dedicated to bus lane enforcement, Sadik-Khan said. But she added that the city needs Albany to approve bus-mounted cameras as well. Though the program lost $112 million in funding with the defeat of congestion pricing, Sadik-Khan said the city has applied for federal funds to expedite BRT build-out. While the timetable for some projects is still undetermined, Bx12 Select Bus Service will launch in June as planned, and Phase 1 of 34th Street will be completed this year.

    Sadik-Khan and Roberts acknowledged the gap between New York BRT and other world-class systems, where six-door, articulated, level-boarding buses travel in buffered lanes, taking on up to 42,000 passengers per direction per hour. For one thing, Roberts said the MTA has yet to find a manufacturer that can produce a bus that both meets modern BRT standards and can stand up to the city's demanding transit schedule (this bus wasn't mentioned). So for now, the city is moving ahead with components it can put into place relatively quickly: pre-board payment, signal prioritization, more buses, fewer stops, and painted (mostly curbside) lanes.

    "We're not Curitiba and we're not Bogotá," said Sadik-Khan, "but we're getting there."

  11. #26
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    I always wondered this but... wouldn't it speed things up if a person could just swipe their card like at a turnstile when they get on the bus instead of having it waste 5 seconds as it sucks in your card? Or is there some other reason as to why this couldn't be done?

  12. #27


    May 22, 2008, 12:48 pm

    M.T.A. Might Bring Back Double-Decker Buses

    By William Neuman

    Updated, 4:10 p.m. | Double-decker buses — a fixture of the streetscape in London and other international cities — could be making a comeback in New York City. Officials at New York City Transit said today that the agency was considering bringing back double-decker buses, similar to ones that used to run in the city decades ago.

    The officials said the buses could seat as many people as an articulated bus — the double-length buses, each pivoting around a joint in the middle, that are used on some of the city’s busiest routes — while needing less maintenance.

    The new double-deckers could run in pilot program on Fifth Avenue. But officials said they had not yet chosen a bus manufacturer and could not say when the pilot would begin. Howard H. Roberts Jr., the transit agency’s president, said at a meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the transit agency’s parent entity, that double-decker buses were in regular use on Fifth Avenue as recently as the 1970s.

    (Several readers have expressed surprise that double-decker buses were used as recently as the 1970s. According to New York City Transit, double-decker buses were the norm on Fifth Avenue for decades, until they stopped being used in the early 1950s. They returned in 1976 when the eight British-made double decker buses went into service again on Fifth Avenue as part of a test program. But the buses did not hold up well, said Charles F. Seaton, a spokesman for New York City Transit, and were taken off the road after about two years.)

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  13. #28


    Making City Buses Run Cleaner Yields a Big Bonus: Fewer Trips to the Gas Pump

    Andrew Henderson/The New York Times
    John Walter at work at the Manhattanville Bus Depot. Rising prices are making fuel efficiency more important than ever.

    Published: June 14, 2008

    When you buy 55 million gallons of diesel fuel a year to power some 5,000 buses, even small improvements in fuel efficiency can make a big difference.

    Andrew Henderson/The New York Times
    Trevor Wills, standing, and Narine Gandharry, eye batteries.

    M.T.A.-New York City Transit
    A lithium battery that will go in many city buses.

    Andrew Henderson/The New York Times
    The use of nitrogen in bus tires helps to improve fuel efficiency.

    For several years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been on a mission to cut the amount of pollution coming from its buses, buying ones with hybrid engines and switching to a cleaner type of diesel fuel. As part of that drive to cut emissions, it has also pushed to get more mileage out of every gallon of diesel fuel. And now with the price of fuel soaring, the authority is reaping an additional benefit from that greater efficiency.

    “All this was done for emissions, and fuel economy came along with it,” said Gary A. LaBouff, the director of research and development for the department of buses at New York City Transit. “We didn’t anticipate $4 a gallon diesel.”

    The authority is in the midst of a financial crisis, with declining tax revenues pinching its budget from one side and increased fuel costs from the other. In April alone, the authority spent $8.7 million more than it had budgeted for fuel (including for diesel locomotives), which was 56 percent above the budgeted amount.

    That puts a premium on fuel efficiency.

    One of the ways the authority hopes to improve its fuel efficiency is through a new type of lithium-ion battery for its hybrid buses.

    The 824 hybrid buses currently on the road power their electric motors with batteries similar to traditional acid and lead car batteries. Those batteries weigh a lot and require more maintenance than officials had anticipated when they first began deploying large numbers of the hybrids about four years ago.

    The new lithium-ion batteries, which were not available at the time, are similar to the batteries in rechargeable drills and other hand tools. They have been installed on four buses that have been on the road as part of a test program since January.

    Earlier this week, at the Manhattanville bus depot on 133rd Street, mechanics removed a metal cover on the top of bus No. 6401 to reveal a large container that the mechanics call a battery tub. Inside were more than 2,000 paper-wrapped batteries about the size of a typical C battery, stacked up in neat rows.

    “It’s like a whole bunch of flashlight batteries put together,” Mr. LaBouff said.

    While they might evoke jokes about the Energizer Bunny, the lithium cells work better than the older acid and lead batteries. They charge faster, Mr. LaBouff said, deliver more power and, it is hoped, will last longer and require less maintenance. The authority has ordered 850 new hybrid buses. The first ones, scheduled to arrive this summer, will have the old-style batteries, but by next year they will begin arriving with the lithium-ion cells.

    Mr. LaBouff said that a tub of lithium-ion batteries was lighter than a tub of the old acid and lead batteries and would shave about 3,000 pounds from the weight of a 16-ton hybrid bus. That promises a significant boost in fuel efficiency, since a lighter vehicle gets more mileage from a gallon of fuel.

    The authority’s old-fashioned diesel buses get about 2.5 miles per gallon, Mr. LaBouff said. The current fleet of 825 hybrid buses gets 3.2 miles per gallon (the buses thrive on stop-and-go traffic, since the braking action charges the batteries). The authority expects the lithium-ion hybrids to get about 3.5 miles per gallon.

    The lithium-ion batteries cost more than their predecessors, but the authority hopes to come out ahead. It estimates that fewer hours spent on maintenance and better gas mileage will result in $50,000 in savings per bus over their 12-year life span.

    Another initiative that could eke a little more distance out of each gallon of fuel is under way in Brooklyn, where sharp-eyed passengers may notice that many buses now have green caps on the tire valves.

    The green valve caps indicate that the tires have been filled with pure nitrogen, a gas that is a component of air. Special compressors at several bus depots extract nitrogen from the air and store it in tanks to be pumped into the tires.

    Studies have shown that nitrogen is better for tires than plain air, according to Stephen Martini, the assistant chief officer of maintenance for the department of buses. Nitrogen leaks from the tires at a slower rate, meaning they have to be filled less often. And the pressure in nitrogen-filled tires is more likely to remain constant despite fluctuations in temperature. Normally, the pressure in air-filled tires rises as they heat up and falls as they cool.

    Maintaining an optimum pressure should increase the life of tires by about 10 percent, which is a primary goal of the program, Mr. Martini said. But it should also mean a small improvement in fuel mileage.

    Mr. LaBouff said there were other initiatives under way that could contribute small tweaks to the bus fleet’s fuel efficiency. They include an adjustment to lower the acceleration rate on hybrid buses and a change in the buses’ software to make the engine run more economically. He said the authority had also begun using a fuel additive devised to improve engine efficiency.

    For all that, Mr. LaBouff said he did not have an estimate of how much money the fuel efficiency gains were saving the authority, especially with the cost of fuel still on the rise.

    “The trouble is,” Mr. LaBouff said, with a bitter laugh, “the dollar savings is getting better every day.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  14. #29


    One comment you hear over and over when the subject of "taking the bus" (especially in Manhattan) comes up, is how s-l-o-w the buses are. But I think that should be qualified.

    Obviously during rush hours the buses are going to get bogged down just like every other vehicle (only worse since the bus has to keep stopping to gorge and ungorge itself of rush hour loads). Obviously at those times the subway is a far superior choice. Outside of rush hour it depends. Sometimes the buses actually move pretty well.


    Thursday afternoon I left a medical appointment at E.23d St and 1st Ave heading for Grand Central Terminal. (I live in the suburbs now so virtually all my trips begin and end at GCT.) Instead of taking a crosstown bus to the Lexington (actually Park) Avenue subway, as I'd always done, I took an M15 bus uptown on 1st Ave. to 42d St. Then an M42 west to Grand Central. I boarded the M15 just before 3:00 PM and was in Grand Central before 3:20. Total trip time (including walking from the M15 stop across 1st Ave. to the M42 stop and then waiting several minutes) was barely 20 minutes. Impressive? Not to me since I've discovered this is about average. In early to midafternoon the buses on 1st Ave usually move right along. Traffic on E.42d St. is usually pretty light as well.

    Of course try it a bit later, say on a Friday afternoon, don't wanna know, trust me.

    Going to the Med Center I had taken the No. 6 train to 23rd St., then to 1st Ave. on the M23 crosstown bus, which is notorious for crawling. Conscious of the time, I noticed we moved along quite well between stops, it was the boarding and deboarding that expanded our trip time. This made me think of something I'd read in this thread. Speeding service by buying buses with extra sets of doors allowing people with unlimited Metrocards to hop on via any door.

  15. #30


    This article was published March 25, 2008. But the pilot project -- along W.207th St, Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway -- WILL be starting this Sunday morning, June 29, 2008. tommyguy

    NYC’s First Bus Rapid Transit Line Debuts in the Bronx

    by Brad Aaron

    L-R: Assembly Members José Rivera and Adriano Espaillat, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, MTA CEO Lee Sander and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión at Fordham Plaza today

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning unveiled details of the city's first Bus Rapid Transit project, called "Select Bus Service," to debut on the Bx12 line, which follows 207th Street in Northern Manhattan and Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway in the Bronx.
    Bloomberg and other officials also tied expansion of the program to the implementation of congestion pricing.

    Connecting Inwood to Co-Op City, the Bx12 SBS corridor will allow riders to prepay the fare at vending machine stations along the line. Transit customers will get a receipt, to be displayed upon request to "enforcement personnel aboard buses," according to a media release. At first, vending stations will only accept MetroCards and cash as payment, though credit card functionality will eventually be added.
    Speaking at Fordham Plaza and flanked by Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, MTA Executive Lee Sander, and electeds from the Bronx and Northern Manhattan, Bloomberg outlined key components of SBS service. In addition to prepayment of fares, the corridors will feature:

    • More buses (the Bx12 line will have 10 additional buses running during peak hours, Bloomberg said)
    • Additional service hours
    • Boarding at front and back doors
    • Fewer stops
    • Transit Signal Priority, a system that keeps signal lights green, and quickens the cycle of changing red signals back to green, to allow buses to move through intersections more smoothly
    • Terracotta colored bus lanes, with stepped up enforcement to keep cars out
    • Specially designed "branded" SBS buses, and branded stations with new shelters
    The Bx12 SBS will replace the line's current limited-stop service on June 29. Bloomberg said the development of other corridors -- including First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, and Hyland Boulevard on Staten Island -- depend on getting congestion pricing through the City Council and state Legislature. This point was echoed by Sadik-Khan, who described SBS as "almost like a surface subway system."

    The "salsarengue bus"

    During a brief Q&A with reporters, Sander characterized MTA service improvement delays caused by slumping real estate returns as a "blip," and encouraged a long-term view. On the same subject, Bloomberg said of yesterday's announcement: "I think what it shows is there is never enough money to do everything."
    Bloomberg pledged to do "everything [he] legally can" to ensure that all pricing revenues are used for transit capital projects even after his second term ends.

    Also on hand were Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión and state Assembly Members José Rivera and Adriano Espaillat, all supporters of congestion pricing. Espaillat, who represents Northern Manhattan, cited the success of Bogotá Bus Rapid Transit, and said he sees no reason it can't be replicated in New York. The "salsarengue bus," as Espaillat called the Bx12, referring to the music favored in the largely Dominican and Latino neighborhoods it serves, is the perfect place to start, he said.
    The three also had strong sentiments for those who would cast congestion pricing as a "right-wing conspiracy," in the words of Carrión. Rivera said he has asked Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, an opponent of both the commuter tax and congestion pricing, what he is willing to contribute to the Bronx, which Rivera described as a border between Lower Manhattan and suburban car commuters. "I have yet to receive an answer," Rivera said.
    "We're not afraid of park-and-ride," said Espaillat, whose district skirts the asthma-plagued South Bronx and includes "the poster child of buckling platforms" at Dyckman Street on the No. 1 line.
    "This [congestion pricing] is not a bogey monster," Espaillat said. "This is a rational, practical solution to a very serious problem."

    Photos: Brad Aaron
    Last edited by tommyguy; June 26th, 2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: For clarity

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