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Bus full o’ complaints - Survey reveals dissatisfaction

Overcrowded buses and long waits are the main complaints of riders who use express buses in southwestern Brooklyn.

With approximately 75 responses to a survey now being distributed already in hand, John Quaglione, a spokesperson for State Senator Marty Golden, said that preliminary results indicate that residents want more, better service, particularly during rush hour.

Comments on the forms made the issues that matter most to riders crystal-clear.

“Because many people (myself included) find it difficult and dangerous to stand on the bus, the main problem in the mornings is having to wait up to half an hour for a bus with seats,” wrote one commuter.

“There are also not enough buses between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.,” the writer added. “I often wait 20 minutes for a bus at that time, and see long lines of people waiting at my stop and the following two stops.”

Other riders agreed. “If I get to the bus any time after 7:00 a.m., it’s standing room only,” another commuter wrote, adding, “And if, on that day, I happen to be wearing heels, it’s all I can do to keep my balance and not fall. I can’t imagine what it might be like for an older person. More rush hour buses are definitely needed.”

A third rider commented, “There should be enough buses, for $5 each way, that no one stands.”

Golden began giving out survey forms to commuters who utilize the X27, X37, X28 and X 38 buses at two stops, 86th Street and Seventh Avenue on October 8th and 69th Street and Third Avenue on October 9th.

The goal, said Quaglione, is to compile a list of issues to present to New York City Transit (TA). “Last time we did this, we were able to get an extra bus in the morning and two extra buses for the return in the evening,” Quaglione recalled, “so the survey works.”

The senator’s office, Quaglione added, often gets calls from frustrated riders, particularly during the evening rush hour. “We get calls from people at bus stops in Manhattan or emails from their Blackberries about waiting for 45 minutes for a bus,” he remarked.

“They get frustrated and call us, and want to know what the problem is,” Quaglione went on. “We take the information and call the complaints in to the executive director’s office or the TA president’s office or the government relations unit.”

Quaglione urged riders to continue to fill out the surveys and return them to the senator’s office. “We are going to keep giving them out so we can effect positive change. We will address whatever concerns are raised,” he stressed.

Besides giving the surveys out at bus stops, the office is mailing them to people who have requested them. In addition, the survey can be found at Golden’s website, www.senatorgolden.com., or can be faxed to riders. Call Golden’s office at 718-238-6044 for further information.

The TA declined to respond at this time to specific concerns expressed in the survey responses. “We’d rather wait till we see the entire results for the survey,” explained agency spokesperson James Anyansi. “We will comment from that, at that time.”

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