NEW YORK — With bus ridership low even as car travel has virtually returned to normal, transit officials want to create a better bus network to bring riders back.
Ridership is still down about 40 percent compared to what it should be. Allan Rosen, who spent decades working on transit, said routes need to be redesigned.
“The problem is, their goal is wrong,” he said. “They’re obsessed with having buses travel faster when the goal should be to reduce passenger trip time. Those two sound like they’re the same, but they’re not.”
Rosen started a petition he’s been sharing on social media. About 2,000 people have asked the MTA not to remove bus stops.
The MTA has public meetings planned for the fall. They’re set to start in the Bronx, then move to Queens and Brooklyn.
In the next year, 750 intersections will begin to get transit signal priority, which help move along buses. Enforcement aimed at keeping other drivers out of bus lanes will be increase.
Bronx resident Darlene Jackson’s only option is the bus. It’s the case for many who don’t have a subway or rail within walking distance of their homes.
She said fixing buses is key toward a more equitable city.
“We need buses to show up for the riders that depend on them,” she said. “Buses need priority on our congested streets.”