Annual Pokey and Schleppie Awards Name the City's Slowest and Least Reliable Bus Routes

by Kris Venezia
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Bus in a parking lot.

flickr, Stephen Rees

M60 and M42 Tie as Slowest, M4 Least Reliable

The Manhattan M66 and M42 bus routes are the slowest in New York City, and the Manhattan M4 is the least reliable, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group and Transportation Alternatives.

They released these results today as part of their annual "Pokey and Schleppie Awards." The Pokey award is a golden snail on a pedestal, and it goes to the bus route with the lowest average speed. Attorney for NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign (the division which conducts the research) Gene Russianoff said a bumper car moves quicker than the M42 and M60 lines. 
 
“The M66 and M42 would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car — and be a lot less fun! A bumper car can go 4.3 miles per hour compared to the 3.9 miles of the Pokey Award winning buses,” he said. 
 
Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, said more money needs to be invested in these two bus routes. 
 
“The M66 and M42 are falling behind their peers because they're children of neglect. It's high time the City and State invested in making every bus the high achievers New Yorkers deserve,” he said. 
 
According to a press release from the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives, nearly $800 million is in the MTA's 2012 through 2014 capital plan for buying hundreds of new buses. 
 
In a statement today, the MTA said, "NYC Transit is very aware that bus speeds in the city are low.  In an effort to increase bus speeds, NYC Transit continues to work with NYCDOT to establish dedicated bus lanes and the NYPD for lane enforcement.  Past efforts, particularly on Select Bus Service (SBS) routes, have resulted in increased bus speeds... It is not surprising that the M66 and M42 routes were identified as being particularly slow, given the construction along the two routes." 
 
NYPIRG spokesman Gene Russianoff said the M66 and M42 routes have to battle traffic from both cars and pedestrians.  
 
"You walk down 14th Street, 34th Street, or 42nd Street, you see the sidewalks jammed with pedestrians and cars sitting like they're in a parking lot," he said.
 
The Schleppie is a trophy with golden lumbering elephents on a pedestal, and it went to the M4 line which the report called the least reliable route. According to the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives, the M4 was 28.3% unreliable.
 
A list of the buses with the least reliable service can be found here
 
A list of buses with the slowest service can be found here.
 

 

 

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