New York City

NYC Bus Gets Award for Being the Worst, Slower Than a Manatee

What to Know

  • Two commuter groups — NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and Transit Center — announced winners of two awards for slowest and least reliable buses
  • The M14, which clocks at a sluggish 4.3 mph, is the slowest of over more than 60 high-ridership routes, making it the winner of the "Pokey"
  • The 12th annual “Schleppie,” which is given to the city’s least reliable bus route, was awarded to the B15

Congratulations to the M14 on being the absolute worst.

The 16th annual Pokey award on Tuesday dubbed the M14 bus line, which runs along 14th Street and down to the Lower East Side, the slowest out of more than 60 high-ridership bus routes.

Even with the implementation of Select Bus Service, the M14 is slower than a manatee, clocking in at 4.3 mph, according to data by New York Public Interest Research Group and TransitCenter.

During the busiest travel times, the MTA says 60% of the trips is spent stopped at bus stops or in traffic.

"The recent implementation of SBS along the route has been a welcome change for M14 riders. Still, there is no better way to speed up service along the route than by rolling out the red carpet for bus riders with a dedicated busway," Jaqi Cohen, Campaign Director for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, said in a statement.

The MTA argues that the M14's speed is improving due to new features such as off-board fare collection and all-door boarding. "NYC Transit is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to enforce existing traffic rules and to keep moving lanes cleared of double parked vehicles or cars blocking bus stops," the agency said in a statement.

Other slowest bus lines in the rest of the boroughs include: the B35 in Brooklyn at 4.8 mph; the Bx19 in the Bronx at 4.8 mph; the Q54 in Queens at 6.4 mph; and the S48 in Staten Island at 7.8 mph.

The good news is that none of the buses have gotten slower compared to last year's data. The MTA says that it is working on redesigning the bus network in all the boroughs and building a new command center to improve service.

"As part of the redesign, we’re assessing where new residential and commercial development has impacted bus routes. The commonsense objective is to make routes more direct and serve more New Yorkers, so that our buses can get them to their destinations faster," MTA communications director Tim Minton said in a statement.

Another congratulations is also in order for B15. The Bed-Stuy and JFK Airport line received the "Schleppie Award" for being the most unrealiable route.

According to BusTime data, one out of five B15 arrived "bunched" in 2019, meaning longer wait time and too much unpredictability for riders.

"Bunching" occurs when two or more buses arrive at a stop at the same time, which means that the buses are not on-schedule. Other unrealiable routes in other boroughs are B15, Bx3, M11, Q24 and S78.

And last but not least, the "Lifetime Depreciation Award" goes to the M42. The service is considered so bad that it is now no longer eligible for a Pokey award due to the dip in ridership.

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