Volume 23, Number 15 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | August 18 - 24, 2010
Dear Transit Sam,
I’m completely discouraged by the lack of bus service below 8th Street. Despite the MTA’s claim of frequent service on the M5 and M103 routes to South Ferry, I assure you that waits of anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, or longer, are now the norm. I have waited for a M103 South Ferry bus for over 30 minutes almost daily, while counting as many as a dozen M101 and M102 buses going by empty heading to 8th Street. The scenario on Fifth Avenue for the M5 bus is the same. I work near Park Avenue and 32nd Street so I take the M103 up Third Avenue and the M5 back home down Fifth Avenue.
It’s obvious the MTA’s priority is to turn around as many buses at 8th Street as possible to avoid traffic congestion in Lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, the impact has been devastating for Lower Manhattan residents, ferry commuters and the elderly/disabled who cannot manage stairs to the subway. Neighborhoods south of 8th Street are not getting the public transportation we’re entitled to. The focus needs to change to eliminating traffic congestion, not eliminating our bus service.
Diane, Lower Manhattan
The bus complaints keep pouring in. Two weeks ago, David wrote of the M104 and M7 cutbacks. Here’s the sad story of what’s happened in Lower Manhattan; sometimes when you don’t settle for half a loaf, you get no loaf at all. Bus ridership to Lower Manhattan has been weak for a long time, and the service was fragmented and often irregular. About a year ago, NYC Transit sought to normalize it by eliminating the M6 and adding service to the M1 (which would’ve maintained an alternative to the subway). Faced with strong community and political opposition, they relented at the eleventh hour. But when the deficit-driven service cuts became necessary this spring, Lower Manhattan bus service was in the crosshairs, and ridership apparently couldn’t even support the earlier plan. It’s clearly inconvenient for you and others, but the MTA insists the numbers aren’t there. Yes, Diane, you are just a number to the MTA. I’ll keep pressing away, but you should be pressing your elected officials, especially at the state level. I’ve asked NYC Transit to look into the inconsistencies you (and reader David from last issue) describe with respect to the lengthy wait times.
Dear Transit Sam,
I parked at a broken meter recently and received a ticket about an hour later. I thought I could now park for the time permitted by sign (I was parked in a two-hour zone).
Paul, Battery Park City
The officer was living in the past (pre-2009) when the law was changed to make the regulation for parking at a broken meter consistent with a missing meter. In both scenarios, you can park for the time allotted by sign, in this case for up to two hours. Check broken meter on the back of the ticket, which the city will then verify. I predict a swift dismissal.
Tell me how the MTA service cuts are affecting your day-to-day commutes! Transit Sam wants to know! E-mail me at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write Transit Sam, c/o SSE, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, NY, NY, 10012.
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