Express bus service slows down

Express Bus riders to Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck have noticed that their commute is taking a little bit longer these days, but the MTA says there have been no cuts in service.

According to straphangers who use the bus service as a quick commute to go to and from midtown Manhattan on the two lines, they are experiencing longer waits on the BxM7A and BxM9.

Many constituents have contacted Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office in an effort to find out if the MTA has cut service to the two lines, and now Vacca, also the City Council Transportation Committee chairman, is investigating.

“I have gotten complaints and based on them it appears that service has declined specifically on the Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck lines, but this is by no means limited to those lines,” Vacca said. “We use to have exemplary service, but ever since the MTA took over, the fare keeps going up. People are paying more and getting less.”

Privately owned New York Bus Service ran express bus service to the city in a more efficient matter, Vacca said. Several things could be responsible for a decline in service, including fewer buses and schedules not being adhered to, Vacca said.

“I am going to hold the MTA’s feet to the fire on this one,” Vacca said. “I have already had a meeting in my office asking a representative of the MTA for an explanation.”

Rider Sandi Lusk, who takes the Pelham Bay run, said that service has gotten steadily worse over the past few months, and it is now delaying her commute home.

“Buses come late, and are often so filled that you have to wait for the next one, or sometimes the one after that,” Lusk said, specifically speaking about the commute home from Manhattan. “We pay a lot for this service and it has been really terrible lately, wasting a lot of our time.”

While waiting for a bus on East 45th Street in Manhattan, Lusk said that a line stretched down the entire block on Thursday, July 28. The first two buses zoomed right past her stop, which is only the third on the route, and were already filled, she said.

Aside from some minor changes in the morning two routes servicing the Bronx, the MTA has not made any major changes in the past 18 months, said spokesman Charles Seaton. The MTA will monitor the situation, he said.

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