Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives announced the annual Pokey,

Posted by admin | Queens News | Posted on November 5th, 2009

Some bus riders who feel their route is painfully slow received validation today when the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives announced the annual Pokey, Trekkie and Schleppie Awards for New York City’s slowest, longest and most unreliable bus service. NY1’s Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.
Manhattan’s M42 bus, seen above, has more wheels than a tricycle but would likely lose to it in a road race.

For that dubious distinction, the Straphangers Campaign and Transit Advocates gave the snail-like crosstown bus the 2009 Pokey Award, for being the city’s slowest bus route.

“When it’s really cold, waiting for this bus, forget it,” said a rider.

Staff riding the M42 at noon on a weekday clocked it at a sluggish 3.7 mph.

“The crosstown buses are plagued by two things,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “One, many customers. People get on and off, the time to put your card in, that’s called ‘dwell time’ and it takes a long time. And those streets are just congested, there’s a ton of traffic on them already.”

Regular riders were not surprised.

“Anytime there’s building and congestion and everything else, it’s a perfect storm out here,” said one commuter.

As they do every year, the slowest bus routes in each of the other boroughs garnered honorable mention.

• The B63 between Fort Hamilton and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn was clocked at 5.1 mph.

• The Bx19, which runs between the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and Harlem, only goes 4.9 mph.

• The Q56, which trails between Jamaica, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn, goes 6.3 mph.

• The S42, which ambles between New Brighton and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, only goes 10.6 mph.

A new award, called the “Trekkie,” premiered this year for the city bus route with the longest scheduled running time.

This year’s winner, the M4 running between Penn Station and Fort Tryon in Manhattan, takes an hour and 50 minutes to ride the entire route.

The Straphangers Campaign also handed out the Schleppie Award, given to the city’s least reliable bus route. This year, the B44, running on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, received the deplorable distinction.

Reacting to this year’s Pokey awards, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said they are working to improve bus speed and reliability. They also said there are plans in the works for new payment methods, stricter enforcement of bus lanes and a system that will let riders know when their bus is coming.

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