This past Sunday, the city rolled out select bus service on the M15 route, in which buses ideally zip along their own lanes and riders purchase tickets before getting on so as not to hold everyone up while fumbling for their MetroCards. Reviews weren't great, with people complaining about ticket machines running out of paper, buses running late, and MTA workers being generally unhelpful. And if you think that was bad, you might not want to read about what it was like on its weekday debut yesterday. It's pretty gruesome.
The trip from East Harlem to South Ferry took about 98 minutes yesterday, 27 minutes longer than the scheduled time and 10 minutes longer than regular M15 service. Most of the delays were caused by red lights and construction, but rider confusion over the new system didn't help. Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign told the Epoch Times, "There was some confusion about paying the fare, and there were a number of vehicles blocking the (bus) lane. There are three doors on the buses, and a lot of people thought they had to go through the front door because that’s what they’ve been doing their whole lives." Another man who waited 10 minutes for a bus only to have five show up at once, simply said, "This is absurd."
Bloomberg, however, took the time to yell at all those disgraceful reporters attempting to ruin the SBS with their facts. "I'm sure there's going to be confusion this morning," he said. "I'm sure you'll write a big exposé that it's a total failure, and six months from now, you will never write the story that it's the success that it's going to be." Well yes, because it's not news when things operate the way they should. (Actually, in this city, it probably should be.) But once people figure out how to use the buses, and construction stops, and people stop driving in the bus lanes, and red lights cease to exist, riders believe the SBS will be a success. "I think it's a great idea," said rider Diana Domenech. That's what they said about zeppelins.