Straphangers Campaign names annual Schleppie, Pokey awards for poor bus service

NEW YORK (WABC) -- If you are not in a rush, many New Yorkers say take the bus. And if you're REALLY not in a rush, the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign has the routes for you.

The Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter on Tuesday gave out its annual "Pokey" and "Schleppie" awards for poor bus service in New York City.

The 15th annual "Pokey" award for slowest local bus route in New York City went to the M42, which had the slowest speed of more than 200 local bus routes. It clocked in at 3.2 miles per hour, which the group points out is far slower than the 9 miles per hour a chicken can run. This is the fifth time the M42 has won the Pokey.

The award is a golden snail on a pedestal, and it is based on the average speeds of routes. High-ridership routes with 10,000 daily riders or more were considered.

"Riding a bus can feel like being in a funeral procession, where you are awaiting a slow caravan of crowded, crawling and bunched buses," Straphangers Campaign founder Gene Russianoff said. "It's maddening. Much more can be done to make them run faster."

Our own Michelle Charlesworth put the results to the test, racing the M42 on foot while her photographer rode on board.

The winner of the 11th Schleppie award for least reliable service went to the B12. The award, golden lumbering elephants on a pedestal, is based on the percentage of buses observed that "bunch," using data generated by BusTime.

"Bunching" occurs when two or more buses arrive at a stop at the same time, meaning that they are not on-schedule. One out of five buses arrive bunched on the B12, which in 2016 moved 15,380 riders on an average weekday.

To see the full report and for all the stats and information on each line in each borough, visit

The MTA issued the following statement:

"Improving bus service is the focus of the first major reform plan Transit President Andy Byford announced since starting the job this year. His comprehensive Bus Plan prioritizes completely redesigning the entire bus network in collaboration with NYCDOT and the NYPD, who are critical partners we need to unclog traffic and allow us to deliver the world-class service that New Yorkers deserve and that our fleet and personnel are capable of delivering. The Bus Plan is well under way -- a completely new Staten Island Express Bus network launches on August 19, and we've already begun working with NYPD to improve enforcement."

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