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'Pokey' and 'Schleppie' awards for bus service

December 11, 2012 9:14:11 AM PST
If you are not in a rush, many New Yorkers say take the bus. If you need a nap, some might say try the M66 or M42.

The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives on Tuesday gave out its annual awards for poor bus service in New York City.

The first is the 11th annual "Pokey" award for slowest local bus route in New York City. The uncoveted Pokey award is a golden snail on a pedestal, based on the speed of rides taken by Straphangers Campaign staff and volunteers on 34 routes.

Lines were selected because they had high ridership or were historically slow Manhattan crosstown routes.

The "winner" of the 2012 Pokey is a tie between the M66 and M42, which both had the slowest bus speed at 3.9 miles per hour as clocked at 12 noon on a weekday.

"The M66 and M42 are excruciatingly slow," said Gene Russianoff, attorney for NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign. "The M66 and M42 would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car, and be a lot less fun. A bumper car can go 4.3 miles per hour compared to the 3.9 miles of the Pokey Award winning buses."

In 2011, the M66 moved 12,764 riders on an average weekday and ranked 61st in riders out of the 177 local bus routes. The M66 travels crosstown on 65th and 66th Streets between York and West End Avenues.

In 2011, the M42 moved 14,996 riders on an average weekday and ranked 49th in riders out of the 177 local bus routes. The M42 travels cross-town on 42nd Street between First and Twelfth Avenues.

Meanwhile, the seventh annual "Schleppie" award, giving to the city's least reliable bus, goes to the M4.

The award is based on official transit statistics that measure how well buses keep to scheduled intervals.

The Straphangers Campaign says nearly 30 percent of M4's arrived with big gaps in service or bunched together. The M4 goes from Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan to Penn Station on 5th and Madison Avenues and Broadway.

The M4 moved 20,352 riders on an average weekday in 2011. The M4 was ranked the 24th highest route in bus ridership in the city out of a total 177 local buses.

To see the full report and for all the stats and information on each line in each borough, visit StraphangersCampaign.org/PokeyAwards/12

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