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Select bus service on 34th St. suffers growing pains

The MTA expanded its Select Bus Service on Sunday, but by Monday morningrush hour, straphangers were not impressed.

The MTA expanded its Select Bus Service on Sunday, but by Monday morning rush hour, straphangers were not impressed.

The M34 SBS and the M34A SBS replaced the M16 and the M34, which run the length of 34th Street. The bus routes have not changed, but riders must now pay at the curb before boarding, instead of swiping their MetroCard onboard.

MTA manager Allan Rabinowitz assisted riders with the sidewalk ticket machines and got quite the earful yesterday.

“I’ve heard a few curse words,” he said.

Metro watched dozens of straphangers fail to figure out the system. Those who tried to board the bus without a ticket were kicked off.

“This is my first time and it’s been a nightmare since Third Avenue,” said Michael Barrett, 61, as he exited the bus. “The driver kept stopping to wait for people to buy the tickets.”

Long Island salesman Steve E., 48, missed three buses as he tried to get the right change for the machine.

Still, some straphangers were optimistic that riders just needed time to adjust to the new fare collection method.

“I guess it’s easy,” Staten Island resident Enid Concepcion, 52, said. “I just couldn’t figure it out.”

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.

 
 
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