Statement of William Henderson for the New York City Transit Riders Council
to the MTA Board NYC Transit Committee
on the Bus Plan
April 23, 2018
Good Morning I’m here to speak about the Bus Plan. We’re pleased with what we have seen so far and are looking forward to learning more about the implementation of te plan. We hope that as you put the plan into force and as others evaluate what is being done that all can keep in mind three factors that we believe are crucial for the plan’s success.
First, the plan must deal with reality and not past conditions or what we wish would exist. Congestion is a fact of life. NYC Transit does not control the streets over which buses operate. Residential and activity patterns have changed and are not being served by bus routes that have not changed appreciably while this development has occurred. Recognizing these realities and dealing with them is a critical first step. We think that the Staten Island express bus plan recognizes these realities and is a good example of how planning can proceed in this environment.
Second, the plan must aggressively take advantage of changing technology, but not get ahead of it and not make changes just because they are possible. We already are beginning to see the advantages that can be gained by giving road control personnel real time operations, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. For example, all-door boarding is appropriate in many situations, but without the New Fare Payment System in place there is the potential for it to become a failed experiment that diminishes public support. Further, it may not be the best path forward on all routes, particularly those with lower ridership. We look forward to the benefits that intelligent use of technology can provide for buses.
Third, the changes that the bus plan brings to the system must treat all riders fairly. Riders who pay their fares should not have to watch others ride for free. Riders at the end of lines shouldn’t wait without service because of short turns intended to make operations more efficient. We look forward to working with MTA Bus leadership on ensuring that fares are equitable and equitably collected and that service is provided in accordance with riders’ needs. The presentation of this plan is an important first step, and we are ready to do all that we can to ensure its success.
Download here: 042318 NYCTRC NYCT Committee Bus Plan