Volume 17, Number 49 | April 29 — May 05, 2005

Bus stop waiting gets longer in B.P.C.

The M20 bus that runs between Battery Park City and Lincoln Center has not been following a set schedule for the last few months, according to irate commuters, who, at times, have had to wait for as long as 30 minutes for the bus.
“It used to be regular several months ago,” said Karen Mayer, a B.P.C. resident and frequent user of the M20. “But then they took the schedule away.”

The bus schedule, which is usually posted at every bus stop, has been removed from the World Financial Center stop on South End Avenue. As a result, commuters don’t know when the bus will arrive and at what frequency.

For B.P.C. residents who are in a hurry to get to work in the morning, this has become a considerable problem.

Fran Dickson, a resident of Gateway Plaza, said she printed the M 20 schedule from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Web site one day but found that the buses didn’t stick to it.

“There’s no reason it shouldn’t come on time,” she said, considering that B.P.C. is the first stop on the route.

Officials with the M.T.A. did not return a call for comment by press time.

Although many commuters are frustrated, they feel helpless because B.P.C. has limited alternatives in terms of public transportation.

“It’s one of the few [buses] that comes into Battery Park,” said Meredith Cavanaugh, another B.P.C. resident. “We don’t have any options.”

Residents also complain that the W.F.C. bus stop has become less commuter-friendly. Whereas previously there were seats under the shelter of the bus stop, now there are none. The surrounding sidewalk underwent construction some months back, and the bus stop has been changed ever since.

The M20 generally arrives every 15 to 20 minutes, although some commuters said they have waited for a half hour at times.

“Sometimes I’ll ask the bus driver, ‘Is this the 11: 35 bus?’ and he’ll shrug and say, ‘I don’t know,’ ” said another Gateway Plaza resident, who declined to give her name. “Nobody knows what’s going on.”

—Divya Watal

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