Buses

Transit officials say more pros than cons lie ahead as they cruise toward launching fees for drivers entering the city’s traffic-clogged core.
More than half of all bus riders on Bx lines are hopping on for free, MTA data reveals, as commuters and transit experts say more rule enforcement is only part of the solution.
Just over the city limits in Westchester and Nassau County, riders with disabilities aren’t forced to trek to out-of-the-way “assessment centers” to prove their physical capabilities or lack thereof.
It’ll take a small town’s supply of juice to fuel the hundreds of emissions-free coaches the MTA plans to add to its 5,800-strong fleet. Not to mention all the depots that will have to be modified and workers retrained.
Deaths despite Vision Zero measures and slowing bus speeds signal bumps ahead.
The number of subway workers testing positive for COVID-19 has spiked, according to internal MTA data obtained by THE CITY. “It’s putting a tremendous strain on service, because you have so many absences,” said one union official.
The buses, which began going into service last December, are part of a $150 million order placed by the MTA in 2019. Now the transit agency has placed the delivery of some 200 buses on hold while it works on fixes to give commuters more space.
MTA
The MTA Transformation Plan brought a $4 million consultant’s report, new high-priced executives — and staffing gaps. Now, in the Hochul era, the transit agency is scrapping the plan — and going on a hiring spree to stem bus and subway delays.
Transit officials are starting to chip away at a worker shortage that has for months caused tens of thousands of bus and subway trips to be canceled or delayed, frustrating passengers. Meanwhile, overtime is rising for bus and subway workers.
New York City’s party bus owners are looking to get on their “discotheques on wheels” rolling again after a prolonged pandemic pit stop. But a comeback is far from assured.
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MTA
The MTA’s “Transformation Management Office” is being downsized out of existence as the transit agency confronts staffing shortfalls that have snagged subway and bus trips.
The transit agency is set to extend the half-million-dollar lump-sum payment through the end of the year — but only for survivors of vaccinated employees. Just 55% of bus and subway workers have gotten their shots.
Police booted passengers 21 times for refusing to mask up, the lowest level in nearly a year. Meanwhile, the number of riders who complied with warnings jumped — even amid complaints that some cops are going maskless.
Gov. Cuomo on Thursday confirmed the MTA’s new chairperson and CEO will be Janno Lieber, who joined the agency in 2017 after leading Silverstein Properties’ efforts to rebuild the World Trade Center.
Since outdoor dining structures became city fixtures nearly a year ago, almost 120 restaurants have been warned about blocking bus lanes and bus stops. But enforcement has little teeth and restaurateurs say they’re getting mixed messages.
At least two drivers have been denied injured-on-the-job claims because one was on a coffee break when he saved an elderly couple from a mugger and the other had just stepped off a bus before a maskless passenger hit him.
A pre-COVID hiring freeze, retirements and pandemic losses of 160-plus employees have left the MTA with nearly 400 bus-operator vacancies. “We’re coming out stumbling and bumbling,” one union leader said.
Much of the MTA’s efforts to revamp bus routes have been idling for over a year because of the pandemic, delaying long-planned improvements. Transit advocates warn that notoriously slow buses could hinder New York’s comeback.
Saheed Adebayo Aare has received salvation from his hellish commute by way of a new position with the online retailer in the city and a bumpy ride to a more convenient homeless shelter.
The fallout over the allegations roiling the governor could have implications for the subway and bus agency, where former and current officials and board members say Cuomo’s management style has repeatedly driven away top talent.