Transit group calls Q58 boro’s slowest bus

A Q58 bus, which the Straphangers Campaign says travels about 7.2 mph normally, waits to be dug out during last year's blizzard.
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The 50th Street crosstown bus in Manhattan has won the title of slowest bus in New York City with the Q58 earning the title of the most tardy in Queens.

“You can push a lawn mower faster crosstown than it takes the M50 to go from First Avenue to 12th Avenue,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.

The transit advocacy agency said the M50 averages no more than 3.5 mph on its crawl across midtown.

Russianoff said research revealed that a human-powered lawn mower could reach 4 mph compared to the 3.5 mph the M50 averages.

Straphangers announced that the Q58 was the slowest bus in Queens at 7.2 mph on its runs from Ridgewood to Flushing-Main Street.

At 31st among the 35 slowest buses was the Q44 Limited from Jamaica Avenue to Main Street in Flushing.

The nonprofit transit group surveyed the 10 slowest bus routes in the city, which all turned out to be in Manhattan, and the three slowest in each of the boroughs, based on data from New York City Transit.

Straphangers also bestowed its Schleppie Award for unreliability because of gaps in service or bunching of buses. That designation went to the M101/102/103, which operate on the same “trunk route” in Manhattan, running on Third and Lexington avenues between the East Village and Washington Heights and the East Village and Harlem.

Queens did not make the Schleppie list since it had no buses found sufficiently bad in bus bunching or service gaps.

“This year’s Pokey goes to yet another sad example of our underfunded transit system,” said Paul Steely White, executive director of the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives. “The M50 might be slow, but the bus system itself is racing toward catastrophe at full speed. New Yorkers deserve better.”

White said he was troubled by official transit statistics showing that breakdowns had increased on city buses by 12 percent since last year.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Posted 1:09 am, December 8, 2011
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