New Yorkers rally to share accounts of bad MTA bus service, demand action

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ByCeFaan Kim via WABC logo
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Riding buses in the city can be painful and slow and advocates are demanding more from the MTA.

CITY HALL, Manhattan (WABC) -- Riding buses in the city can be painful and slow and advocates are demanding more from the MTA.

But what is surprising is the man in charge of the MTA, on the receiving end of their criticism, is on their side.

From riders demanding better accessibility to riders with medical conditions to college students and young professionals -- they all know the pain and struggle of riding the bus.

All of the testimonies they gave are what the Riders Alliance call the "Bus Rider Blues."

The alliance spoke to hundreds of riders throughout the summer and compiled the 50 most compelling stories to a book.

"This not a usual thing, the MTA chair to come to a demonstration by advocates," said MTA acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

And there was a surprising addition to the Bus Rider Blues from the MTA chair.

"I've been riding the bus since I was 6 years old," Lieber said. "My brother and I got to school that way. I ride the B35 now on Church Avenue and you know, you know it's going to be a little while. You know who else is dissatisfied with bus service? This guy. The MTA is dissatisfied with bus service. We have a lot of things we have to do better but we've also gotten on record again and again that what we need is bus priority. We need bus lanes, we need busways and we need the cars and trucks to stop blocking the bus lanes and bus ways. So we reached out to DOT and said let's do more."

A Department of Transportation spokesperson said:

"We have installed a record number of busways this year, speeding the rides of over half a million New Yorkers, and we work in close partnership with the MTA and NYPD to keep lanes clear."

"The only thing that a horrible commute does is add more stress and anxiety to your day," said Ashley Price with the Transit Center.

Bus lane camera tickets are effective. Eighty percent of people who received one ticket did not get another one.

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