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If time is of the essence, Brooklyn commuters should take special care to avoid the B63.
The bus, which rumbles between Bay Ridge and Cobble Hill, was found to be the slowest bus route in the entire borough, according to the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives.
For this ignominious distinction, the line received a dishonorable mention at the groups’ seventh annual Pokey Awards, recognition of the city’s most speed-challenged buses.
The bus travels at a 4.9 mph crawl–the second slowest line in the city.
The Pokey Award–a golden snail on a pedestal–went to the M96 in Manhattan, which operates cross-town on 96th Street at a glacial 3.7 mph, according to the survey, released this week.
Commuters might be better served hopping aboard an elephant, which travels at a comparatively speedy 4.5 mph, or even hoofing it, sans beast. The speed of an average human is 3 mph.
The groups newer award, the third annual Schleppie, recognizing the city’s least reliable buses, also went to a Manhattan line, the M101/2/3, which travels between upper and lower Manhattan. Using data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority NYC Transit, the groups found the bus to be 26.1 percent unreliable.
Brooklyn’s least reliable bus was the B44, which travels between Sheepshead bay and Williamsburg, along Nostrand Avenue. It was found to be unreliable 24 percent of the time.
Coming in a close second was the B15, which travels between Broadway/Marcus Garvey Boulevard and JFK Airport, or the Brooklyn General Mail Facility, and was found to be 23.1 percent unreliable.
“Riders know from bitter daily experience that it can often be faster to walk than to take the bus,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “Or hop on board a strolling elephant.”
Still, Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives said hope springs eternal, particularly with the arrival of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which designates a special bus lane on the roadway, and is expected to improve reliability.
BRT has brought better transit to many cities around the world, and that New York City’s version of that, called Select Bus Service (SBS), is being tested here. The first SBS routes have started on Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road in the Bronx (Bx12) and on 34th Street in Manhattan (M34). In Brooklyn, SBS routes are planned for Nostrand Avenue (B44). Features to look for include pre-boarding fare payment, reconfigured bus stops to speed boarding, and tougher enforcement of exclusive bus lanes.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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