The slowest MTA bus in New York City is the M42 and the most unreliable is the B12, according to two transit advocacy groups that unveiled their annual “Pokey and Schleppie” “awards” Tuesday.
A joint effort between the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphanger Campaign and TransitCenter, the “Pokey and Schleppie” awards name the city’s slowest and least reliable MTA bus routes with 10,000 weekday riders or more.
“Riding a bus can feel like being in a funeral procession, where you are awaiting a slow caravan of crowded, crawling and bunched buses,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “It’s maddening. Much more can be done to make them run faster.”
The 15th annual “Pokey” winner is the M42, which clocked in at 3.2 mph and “had the slowest speed out of more than 200 local bus routes reviewed by the Straphangers Campaign,” the organizations said in a statement. This year marks the fifth time the M42 nabbed the award.
Comparatively, the groups noted that the M42 bus is slower than a chicken, which can run 9 miles per hour.
The 11th annual “Schleppie” award went to the B12 MTA bus, which saw one out of five buses, or 21.4 percent, arrive bunched, which is when two or more buses arrive at a stop at the same time, “meaning that they are not on-schedule,” the groups said.
"Bus riders in NYC are used to the stressful and frustrating experience of waiting for a bus that doesn't arrive when it's supposed to, only to show up bunched with two or three other buses," said Tabitha Decker of TransitCenter. "Bus lanes, priority at traffic signals and better dispatching are needed to take these buses from schleppie to peppy."
For the “Pokey and Schleppie” awards, the Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter considered routes with at least 10,000 average weekday riders traveling between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in May of this year. They relied on MTA BusTime data to determine the MTA bus speed and bunching.
"Improving bus service is the focus of the first major reform plan Transit President Andy Byford announced since starting the job this year," the MTA said in a statement. "His comprehensive Bus Plan prioritizes completely redesigning the entire bus network in collaboration with NYCDOT and the NYPD, who are critical partners we need to unclog traffic and allow us to deliver the world-class service that New Yorkers deserve and that our fleet and personnel are capable of delivering. The Bus Plan is well underway — a completely new Staten Island Express Bus network launches on Aug. 19, and we’ve already begun working with NYPD to improve enforcement.”
The slowest MTA bus by borough
According to the Straphanger Campaign and TransitCenter’s research, the slowest high-ridership MTA buses in each borough are:
• B63: 4.7 mph between Fort Hamilton and Brooklyn Bridge Park
• Bx19: 4.6 mph between New York Botanical Garden and Riverbank State Park
• M42: 3.2 mph between Circle Line Pier and East Side via 42nd Street
• Q20A: 6.4 mph between Jamaica and College Point
• S48: 7.2 mph between St. George and Mariners Harbor
The most unreliable MTA bus by borough
According to the Straphanger Campaign and TransitCenter’s research, the most unreliable MTA buses in each borough are:
• B12: 21.4 percent between Brownsville and Prospect Lefferts Gardens
• Bx21: 17.9 percent between Westchester Square and Mott Haven
• M4: 15.3 percent between Washington Heights or Fort Tryon Park and Midtown
• Q43: 17.2 percent between Floral Park and Jamaica
• S78: 10.6 percent between Bricktown Mall and St. George Ferry Terminal