Thursday, July 28, 2011

Help Improve B61 Bus service

Brad Lander's office is still looking for volunteers in the effort to improve B61 service:

Councilmember Brad Lander, Councilmember Sara Gonzalez, and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez are looking for volunteers to help improve the service of the B61 bus. Our goal is to find easy ways to speed up the bus line and reduce travel time for those who depend on the B61, especially as the Smith-9th Street station closed for rehabilitation through March 2012.

As the MTA is advising riders to take the B61 bus to the 4th Ave-9th St station as an alternative, we are expecting heavier ridership on the route. By collecting data on B61 performance, you can help us determine what can be done to help improve the speed of the B61.

What We Are Doing
We are collecting ridership data to assess:

  • The number of riders that use the B61;
  • Which bus stops have the highest and lowest ridership;
  • Which buses are the most chronically delayed;
  • How the closure of the F train is impacting B61 riders’ commute; and,
  • Where “bunching” most frequently occurs among buses along the route
This data will be used by the Councilmember’s office to identify issues with the bus line and recommend possible service changes to help improve the riding experience on the B61 bus.

How You Can Help
We need volunteers to collect data about the B61, including rider count and bus arrival time, to help us know more about overcrowding and delays along the B61 route. Our office will provide volunteers with the necessary field sheets to record their data.

Volunteers will collect data Monday-Thursday. Morning shifts are 7-9am and evening shifts are 4:30-6:30pm.

Bus Stop Monitoring: Volunteers will collect data at several major bus stops, including the 4th Ave/9th Street and Atlantic Ave/Hicks bus stops, among others. Our volunteers will count the number of riders at each bus stop for roughly 2 hour shifts. We will collect data at peak hours of bus service in both the morning and evening.

Ride the Whole B61 Route: To help us know more about B61 ridership characteristics, volunteers will also ride the complete B61 route and count the number of passengers who get on and off the bus at each bus stop. We would like volunteers to ride the complete bus route both northbound and southbound so we know more about ridership levels throughout the B61 route.

Rider Surveys: During August, we will get a more detailed picture of who is riding the B61 bus by conducting a survey of passengers who board the B61 at the Park Slope 9th Ave / 9th in the Red Hook direction. Contact Matt Green at or 212-788-6969 to volunteer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The number of riders that use the B61: Tons and tons. Compared to the, oh maybe three that ride the B63. All of them are packed to the gills. If you don't want to be wedged into your neighbor's armpit, you better have a 4AM commute.

Which bus stops have the highest and lowest ridership: Highest: Van Brunt & Dikeman, Atlantic and Court, and Jay Street bourough hall.

Which buses are the most chronically delayed: When has anyone ever seen a B61 that WASN'T chronically delayed? Has this ever happened? No really, I'm serious. Does this bus even have a schedule?

Where “bunching” most frequently occurs among buses along the route: It's not "bunching," it's the great caravaning tradition of the nomadic B61 bus driver culture. Who am I to say that the bus shouldn't be routinely an hour late just to have three show up all in a row? That would be insensitive.

I hope these volunteers are going to be "undercover" or this project will be useless. Everytime the bus drivers know there's an MTA supervisor around, somehow, miraculously, that's the day the bus shows up on time.

There, I just solved your survey for you.