The slowest bus currently making its miserable trek through New York City is the M42, according to the just-announced "Pokey" awards. The tongue-in-cheek "awards" are presented by mass transit advocates every year to the slowest as well as the "schleppiest" (read: most unreliable) bus lines in the city.
The slowest buses in the city, according to @Straphangers, M42, M14D, M66, M14A, M102. The M42 receives the Pokey Award (as in slow poke) averaging 3.2mph. The least reliable line (Schleppie Award) goes to the B12 in Brooklyn. @wcbs880 pic.twitter.com/TNsJq1fK6K
— Peter Haskell (@peterhaskell880) July 24, 2018
The awards, bestowed by the New York Public Interest Group's Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter, were calculated using data compiled by the MTA and analyzed by TransitCenter. The M42 clocks in at an excruciating average of 3.2 MPH—slower than the pace of a chicken, which can run up to 9 MPH, according to a press release for the awards. M42 buses run between the west side Circle Line Pier and the East Side in Midtown, via 42nd Street.
To be considered for the "Pokey" award, a bus must be part of a high-ridership (10,000 daily riders or more) route, in addition to clocking distressingly slow speeds, of course. This is fifth time out of fifteen awards that the M42 has won, the release explains.
The groups also handed out the "Schleppie" award, which recognizes the bus with the most off-schedule arrivals. Citing a phenomenon called "bunching," wherein several buses arrive at a stop at the time (and therefore not on schedule), the groups awarded this year's "Schleppie" to the B12. One out of five, or more than 20% of buses on the B12 route arrive "bunched," and in 2016 the line moved 15,380 riders on an average weekday, according to the release. The B12 runs between Brownsville and Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn.
Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign likened riding a bus to "being in a funeral procession," and called the entire process "maddening" in a statement. "Much more can be done to make them run faster," he added.
And Mary Buchanan, a research associate at TransitCenter, questioned the validity of claims stating that New York has the best transit system of the entire nation. "Can we call ourselves the best transit system in the U.S. when our buses are dead last in speed and reliability?"
An MTA spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. But today's a busy day; they're talking about raising fares again.