Bus Talk

By Rica Roberts

“Waiting for the bus can take a “long time,” says 17 year-old Niya Harry, “but when it comes it’s alright.”

A few weeks ago the Bronx welcomed another bus line to its improved bus system. On the Concourse, many people wonder how this is going to improve the Bronx.

The first line to adopt the Select Bus Service in the Bronx was the Bx 12 line. Then the Bx 41 bus line was introduced, making transportation more efficient.

The SBS was created to speed up bus lines, and help people get where they want to be. This system first started in Manhattan, it was then brought to the Bronx in order to stop the crowds and shorten waiting time. But some people do not see much of a change.

“I like it. It’s faster than a limited,” says Harry. “I’m not gonna lie, it’s still crowded though.”

The express service has been “very effective” in Manhattan, says Harry, but there are many concerns on whether this will benefit the Bronx positively. Some people believe that it just encourages people to sneak on the bus.

“That thing easy to hop as heck,” says 15 year-old Aalayah Bennett. “It makes crime easier.”

Another concern is that some people will not understand the new system. It is different, and the bus ends up getting held back because they do not know how to work the ticket machines.

“I still miss the old system because I’m use to it,” says Harry. “I was scared I wasn’t gonna understand it, but when you’re on it, it speeds to your stop.”

The new Bronx SBS is supposed to improve people getting on the bus. As long as they have their ticket, they could enter using any door.

“It’s easier to enter in three doors, and bus lanes clear quicker,” says a bus superintendent, who has worked with the Manhattan Select Bus System. She declined to give her name because she is not allowed to speak to reporters without her employer’s authorization.

Does the Bronx SBS really shorten wait time, and make the bus line move quicker than before? The superintendent replied, “it follows a basic time schedule. Less time to wait. Pick up and leave.”

However, some people wonder what is the point of needing to have a ticket in order to board the bus. Even though this makes the bus move faster, the tickets are pointless, some say.

“Now it’s just more paper,” says the superintendent.

According to the MTA website, the Select Bus Service will spread to other bus lines in New York such as Brooklyn, and a similar line will lead to LaGuardia Airport.

“[It] is the only major airport in the New York metro area without a rapid transit connection,” says the website, referring to LaGuardia. “The idea of providing rapid transit for the airport and the surrounding community has been studied many times over the years, but nothing was implemented.”

But bringing change to the many slow transit systems in New York will take time.

“[It] takes a while to bring it into all the boroughs,” says the superintendent.

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