The M42 and the M50 were today declared the slowest buses in all the land, based on a study conducted by the advocacy group Straphangers Campaign. The dubious honor makes them the two winners of this year's Pokey Awards.
"Slowest" is a tough assessment to make in a crowded city, but the group dispatched volunteers to test 34 of the city's lines, selected on the basis of popularity or known cross-town sluggishness. The M42 and the M50, both creeping across the city at the laconic pace of 3.4 miles per hour, take the cake. Remarkably, this is .5 mph slower than last year—for reference, a decent jogger can clock about 8 mph, so you're probably better off just curling up on the pavement and relying on the city winds to nudge you along. Or hopping on a big wheel.
“These crosstown buses are losers," concluded Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.
The good news for commuters is that select bus service now spans six routes, with another slated to arrive in spring of 2014. SBS offers passengers the most coveted bus riding experience, featuring dedicated bus lanes, off-board fare collection, bus bulbs and fewer stops, all of which combine to shave as much as 20 percent off of commuting times. Bill de Blasio has promised that he'll continue the proliferation of faster buses.
The M42 shuttles straphangers across town on 42nd Street between FDR Drive and 12th Avenue, while the M50 heads across town at 49th and 50th Streets between 1st and 12th avenues.