MTA's bus service changes in Bronx get mixed reaction

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Monday, June 27, 2022
Bronx bus service changes draw mixed reaction
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Derick Waller spoke with riders as well as the MTA's new president about the changes.

WEST FARMS, Bronx (WABC) -- There was mixed reaction Monday from those who take public transportation in the Bronx after the MTA rolled out some major changes to bus service in the area.

The upgrades, according to the transit service, are designed to provide more buses, shorter wait times, and easier access to school and work.

It is part of a major transit network redesign effort that started over the weekend and will eventually include all five boroughs.

But while some riders Eyewitness News spoke with are liking the changes, other feel the opposite.

Terry Moses said he loves that the BX36 now skips several stops on Tremont Avenue.

"I think this was a great idea in moving the 36, this route, because it's less obstacles to where I got to go," passenger Terry Moses said. "White Plains Road, make a right...simpler than that? Can't make it more simpler."

But Michelle Barrow said she found out about the changes the hard way.

"You don't know where to get off at, because (the driver)'s not even announcing it," she said.

The MTA deployed agents at bus stops Monday, handing out pamphlets detailing the changes.

Those include changing some bus stops, lengthening some routes, reducing the number of turns, and adding more service in neighborhoods like Parkchester, Highbridge, West Farms and Co-Op City.

"In New York, we have one of the slowest average bus speeds of any bus system in the United States, around 8 miles an hour," NYC Transit President Richard Davey said. "I mean, think about that. Some people can walk, maybe run, faster than that."

While the goal is to speed up service by making fewer stops, for some that will mean a longer walk to the bus.

"These riders need and deserve a strong system, a system that gets you from place to place faster than walking, a reasonable goal, I would say," MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber said earlier. "It's got to be faster than walking. And it actually moves you to jobs and education and health care."

Eyewitness News asked Davey about what consideration was given to passengers with disabilities when planning this kind of change.

"We looked at where the bus stops were located," he said. "So, for example, perhaps near hospitals or, you know, elder care facilities, to make sure that was brought into consideration. But to your point, for some, it might be an extra inconvenience. They might have to walk an additional block or so. But it's for the greater good."

One thing that is not changing is transfers, which are still free.

While Monday's focus was on the Bronx, the MTA is also redesigning the bus maps in both Queens and Brooklyn, too.

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