Posted on November 06, 2009
Think you can walk faster than a crosstown bus can take you to your destination? You’re right. The Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives group announced their Pokey, Trekkie, and Schleppie Awards yesterday for New York’s worst bus rides--the slowest, longest, and most unreliable bus service in the city. The winner (loser?) of the Pokey Award went to the M42, which goes (slowly) across 42nd Street. It now carries the notoriety of being the slowest bus in New York: At noon on a weekday, it traveled a majestic 3.7 miles an hour. Yes, you can walk that fast, if not faster. Why does it take so long? Mix midtown congestion (read: traffic) with a healthy helping of many riders, all of whom have to put their metro cards into the slot, and bingo! A recipe for a two-book, three-newspaper, 12-phone-call, 50-songs-on-the-ipod journey. This year’s Trekkie (longest scheduled running time) goes to the M4, which runs between Penn Station and Fort Tryon in Manhattan, clocking in at a grueling, mind-numbing, one hour and 50 minutes. You could be in another state--several other states—by then. (Not counting despair, agony, and downright frustration). The Schleppie (least reliable bus route) went to the B44 in Brooklyn. The MTA says it hopes to improve bus speed and reliability. Plans for new payment methods, a system that should let riders know when their bus is coming, and better enforcement of bus lanes is also in the offing. In the meantime, buy a pair of sneakers.