A brand-new report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign is handing out awards for the “coziest bus stops” with top honors being given to routes in Brownsville and East New York.
The first biennial “Cozies Awards” highlights the prevalence of close bus stops in New York City
But it turns out, when it comes to bus stops, cozy is actually way too close for comfort!
When bus stops are too close together, the route is prolonged and service is compromised. Every time a bus reaches a stop, not only does it have to wait for riders to exit and board, but also often has to wait to merge back into traffic. This not only slows buses down, but increases variability in timing, making riding the bus less reliable.
Currently, it is estimated that New York City buses spend almost 25% of their route at the stop, according to a report by the Comptroller’s office. It occurs most frequently in Brooklyn and in the most underserved, under-resource areas. And what’s worse, although MTA is aware, it does nothing about it!
International industry best practices recommend bus stops in an urban area be spaced about 1,000 feet apart, around a quarter-mile or about 4 New York City blocks. In the 1980s, the MTA adopted a minimum stop spacing goal of 750 feet (about 3 city blocks), but, according to the campaign, New York City bus routes fail to meet that goal one out of three times.
The B54 that runs along Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill actually takes the top spot, with a meager 64 meters (210 feet) between some stops. The B1 bus that runs through South Brooklyn takes second place. And then Brownsville and East New York take third and fourth place; Bed-Stuy’s B51 has the fifth spot; and then East New York again is in sixth place.
In Brownsville, on Hegeman Avenue, the Thomas Boyland and Bristol street B51 stops are just 220 feet away from one another, while the B14-serviced Sutter Avenue Van Sinderen Avenue and Junius Street stops are roughly 250 feet apart, according to the report.
On New Lots Avenue, the Bradford Street and Miller Avenue B83 stops are spaced just under 230 feet away, and the stops on opposite corners of Euclid Avenue and Linden Boulevard—serviced by the B13, B15 and B20 routes— are just 242 feet away from one another.
At these rates, and until the MTA takes action, residents in these areas might just do better walking.