The President of MTA Bus Operations, Darryl Irick, made his first visit to the NYCTRC at the September meeting. He was accompanied by his senior staff: Craig Cipriano, Assistant General Manager Manhattan Division; Norm Silverman, V.P. Planning MTA Bus; Anna Peck, General Manager, Road Operations; Shelly Prettyman, Director of Policy and Analysis, Department of Buses; and Steve Lopiano, Assistant General Manager, Department of Buses. Under Irick’s responsibility is NYCT Department of Buses, the MTA Bus Company (the former private lines that were under contract to NYC) and the Long Island Bus service (which will end December 31, 2011).
In his presentation, Mr. Irick gave some impressive facts about bus service in New York City:
— 2.7 million daily riders
— 18,100 employees
— 5,900 buses in the fleet
— 350 bus routes
— 30 depots across the region
He also noted some troubling statistics: Approximately 32% of the fleet is reaching the end of its 12-year useful life. In the 2010-2011 portion of the current capital program, 1,590 new bus procurements are funded; however, in the remainder of the current capital program, 2012-2014, another 1,074 procurements are not funded. Irick also pointed out that bus ridership has flattened, even as subway ridership has increased significantly. A key factor in this falloff is that bus speeds have declined overall in the last 15 years.
To counter this decrease in ridership and service, MTA has introduced and expanded Select Bus Service around the boroughs; added bus lane enforcement cameras; is introducing contactless fare payment; and is developing a real-time, digital tracking system. NYCTRC members questioned Mr. Irick on many of these issues and brought up more topics such as safety for both passengers and bus drivers and service to persons in wheelchairs. He indicted that he would be happy to meet with various groups to address specific concerns. Click here for his presentation.