THE ASSEMBLY CHAIRMAN

Committee on Corporations,
STATE OF NEW YORK Authorities, and Commissions
ALBANY COMMITTEES
Rules
Judiciary
JEFFREY DINOWITZ Health
st
Assemblyman 81 District Election Law
Bronx County MEMBER
Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force

CHAIRMAN
August 22, 2017 Bronx Delegation

Joseph Lhota
Chairman, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
2 Broadway
New York, NY 10004

Dear Chairman Lhota:

We undersigned members of the State Assembly are requesting your attention to the steady
decline of New York City bus service in recent years. Although our buses do not receive the
same amount of media attention as the crisis underground in our subway system, over 2.5 million
New Yorkers depend on the bus to get around every day. The state of bus service is poor, with
riders suffering through slow travel speeds and near-certain unpunctuality. We are requesting
from you, as the new Chairman of the MTA, a comprehensive plan to improve bus service within
six months.

Bus ridership has been steadily declining, and it is not because of lack of demand. Average bus
speeds in New York City are seven miles per hour, and as slow as four miles per hour in
congested areas such as Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens. New
Yorkers who take the bus do so because they do not have other options, either because there is
no train nearby or because the subway is not fully ADA compliant. Some of our most frequent
constituent complaints are about the (poor) quality of bus service, from lateness and
overcrowding to schedules that reflect neither user demand nor rider experience.

This May, many of us sent (and are waiting on a response to) a letter to Governor Cuomo to
suggest two basic changes that would drastically improve the quality of bus service for riders:
transit signal priority and all-door boarding technology. These two changes are relatively low
cost, and we are happy to see that NYCT and NYC DOT are working together to expand transit
signal priority to 10 additional lines. However, we cannot wait until 2020 to improve conditions
for people who are suffering now. Transit signal priority has the potential to reduce total travel
times by over 15% and all-door boarding by almost 10%. Together, these two changes alone can
reduce commute times of bus-dependent New Yorkers by 25%.

Beyond these two changes, a comprehensive plan for better bus service needs to include
systemic changes to the routes themselves. Current bus routes are based on antiquated population
distributions and many contain extraneous turns that add significant amounts of travel time

□ ALBANY OFFICE: Room 422, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248 ● 518-455-5965, FAX 518-455-4437
□ DISTRICT OFFICE: 3107 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, New York 10463 ● 718-796-5345, FAX 718-796-0694
dinowitzj@nyassembly.gov
without serving the most possible people. NYCT needs to consult with NYC DOT and local
communities to identify locations that are suitable for dedicated bus lanes as well as bus islands.

The vitality of New York City depends on a well-functioning and diverse mass transit system,
and buses are an integral part of that equation.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Dinowitz Nily Rozic
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Rebecca A. Seawright Stacey Pheffer Amato
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Clyde Vanel Carmen N. De La Rosa
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Dan Quart Robert J. Rodriguez
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Thomas J. Abinanti Francisco P. Moya
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Ron Kim Vivian E. Cook
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Aravella Simotas Joseph R. Lentol
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Catherine Nolan Carmen E. Arroyo
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly
Felix W. Ortiz Linda B. Rosenthal
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Robert C. Carroll Latoya Joyner
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Michael Miller Matthew Titone
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Jo Anne Simon Luis R. Sepulveda
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Brian Barnwell Yuh-Line Niou
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Andrew Hevesi David I. Weprin
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Michele R. Titus Walter T. Mosley
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Michael Benedetto Steven Cymbrowitz
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Michael G. DenDekker Mark Gjonaj
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Charles Barron Jaime R. Williams
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly
Latrice Walker Deborah J. Glick
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Pamela Harris Helene E. Weinstein
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Brian Kavanagh Michael Cusick
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Victor M. Pichardo Michael Blake
Member of Assembly Member of Assembly

Cc: Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, NYC Department of Transportation