Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bus Blues

So, in the weekend edition of the Albany Times-Union there are two articles involving public transportation.

BEFORE we get to those, I still don't think CDTA "gets it" regarding the Central Avenue bus corridor. as a regular rider of those routes, I have suggested (many times) to the bus company that it would make sense to "stage" busses from downtown: Have the busiest line, #55, depart from downtown (on time) at, for example, 9, 9:10, 9:20, 9:30, 9:40 and 9:50. Have the second busiest-line, #1, depart at 9:05, 9:25, 9:35 and 9:55. Have the #2 West Albany leave downtown at 9:15 and 9:45. That way, you have uninterrupted service going uptown (without as many as 5 busses all lined up at the same stop, as you see now at stops along the routes!) And if the CDTA were really smart, they'd engage in similar "staging" on the return routes!

But nope - they don't get it! They build shiny new shelters and put up little light poles so riders can signal busses that somebody is waiting at the shelter. But mark my words, this winter riders will be shivering at a bus stop in downtown Albany, waiting as long as THIRTY minutes (which actually happened to me last winter near the State Capitol) only to finally see 2 #1's, followed by #2, followed by 3 #55's all 5 busses showing up at the same stop at the same time!!! Overkill! Poor planning! CDTA officials have a variety of "explanations" for what they call "bus bunching," yet can't seem to apply a solution as simple as SCHEDULING DEPARTURE TIMES - and yes, they may have to have a couple of busses on "standby" downtown, which can depart if perhaps traffic is heavy and the #1 that was supposed to leave for uptown 5 minutes ago is still 10 minutes away as it heads downtown!

Kid Left on Bus; Parents Outraged (From the Albany Times Union)

Here's a bus story that is GOING SOMEWHERE. This kind of take usually involves some poor little kid who lives in a project or a "bad" neighborhood, gets stuck on the bus or left off at the wrong place, the parent(s) bitch about, it gets on local teevee news, and we all go home.

THIS TIME the 6-year old child's parent is a prominent member of the community. So like the old saying at the street where the traffic light is needed "They won't put one up until somebody gets killed here." Somebody gets killed and they put up the light. This privileged child gets involved in a bus incident and now some big heads have some rolling to do. I like it!!!

Our last Bus tale involves the project known as the downtown Albany Convention Center. Always looking for a new way to get this thing built, a new plan that calls in the CDTA may help get this thing on the front burner! (Maybe the new terminal can then become a "staging area" for those off-schedule busses!)
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