Today’s news:

MTA to post timetables on express bus routes

If you ride buses of the MTA Bus Co. in Queens, there is no way to find out if your bus is late. But the New York City Transit Authority says for those who take express buses, help is on the way.

When the Metropolitan Transportation Authority completed its takeover of seven private bus lines in 2005, it provided no posted schedules.

There are still none but Transit Authority representatives said the agency plans to soon start posting schedules for express lines.

“We plan to start installing posted schedules on routes of MTA Bus Co. express bus lines sometime in the next few weeks,” said Transit Authority spokesman James Anyansi.

For the thousands of straphangers who patronize local former private lines, there is no target date for schedule posting.

None of this has to do with buses operated by the New York City Transit Authority, which has always maintained posted schedules on all its routes.

Transit sources said posting schedules not only along Queens local lines but local routes in the Bronx and Brooklyn — 46 in all — would cost millions at a time when many projects, including repairing and painting subway stations have been put on hold.

The seven private lines serving all boroughs except Staten Island were taken over by the MTA in 2005 after more than a year of negotiating and a series of public hearings at which City Council members of the Transportation Committee, headed by Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), frequently expressed frustration at the takeover delay.

Witnesses at the hearings told of dilapidated buses, frequent breakdowns, late arrivals that left freezing passengers at bus stops and passengers fighting one another for space on already-jammed buses.

The privately owned bus lines had been subsidized by the city Department of Transportation.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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