What moves slower than a bus in Midtown? The city’s efforts to improve its public transportation services, according to a new study.
A report released Monday from a group called the Bus Turnaround Campaign gave poor marks in its 2018 progress report to the city, which controls the streets where MTA buses ride.
The groups gave the city Department of Transportation a D+ for its effort to design streets that prioritize buses. The NYPD got a D for failing to ticket vehicles that clog bus lanes.
“(NYC Transit) really set forth a whole new vision for buses in New York this year. Next year, we’ll see how they do,” said Jon Orcutt, spokesman for the research firm, Transit Center, which is part of the coalition. “But the city has yet to step up.”
The DOT defended its efforts, pointing to the administration’s installation of 111 miles of bus lanes, 16 Select Bus Service (SBS) routes and 500 intersections where buses get priority at lights.
“The de Blasio administration has committed more for transit than ever before (with) 20 new SBS routes and … SBS-style improvements to routes citywide,” DOT spokesman Brian Zumhagen said.
But the group believes that’s a slow pace — especially as bus ridership is in a downward spiral. Weekday ridership is roughly 1.7 million, down from more than 2 million a day in 2016.
The group notes that only 15 miles of bus lanes were added since the 2017 progress report, whereas advocates have called for 100 miles over five years, including 60 new miles in the final years of de Blasio’s time in office.
The report also notes that the NYPD has failed to prioritize bus lanes in its traffic enforcement. Bus lane tickets made up 1% of NYPD’s moving violations this year through July — an improvement from the .2% of moving violation tickets issued in the prior year.
But the report states that it’s still “unacceptably low” given how often bus lanes are blocked.
The NYPD has also quadrupled the number of summonses for bus lane violations, issuing 6,411 of them this year through Sept. 23, according to the department.
NYC Transit got a B, and the DOT a B+ on its installation of bus countdown clocks at stops, with 80 signs added in the past year.