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M42, M50 Top Straphangers Campaign's List Of Slowest City Buses

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Thinking of taking the crosstown M42 or M50 bus? You may want to think again.

"If the M42 or M50 were in a race with a wooden rowboat, the rowboat would beat it out," said Gene Russianoff of Straphangers Campaign.

On Thursday, the lines topped the list for the Pokey Award, given annually to the slowest buses in the city by the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives.

Plodding along on weekday afternoons at 3.4 miles per hour, the M42 and M50 test the patience of riders who rely on buses to get around.

"It's more slow than the turtle," said one regular M50 rider.

"Very, very, very slow," said another.

The two lines got to share the Golden Snail trophy. It's the second in 12 years for the M50, which serves more than 3,300 riders daily, but it's the fourth time for the M42, which has close to 15,000 riders every day, including some who'd rather not take a walk.

"It's not that bad," said one regular rider. "And it's cold out, so I prefer to take the bus."

In addition to those buses, a line in each borough received a Pokey, including the Bx19, the B41 Limited, the Q58 and the S48, which cruises along at 7.7 miles per hour.

The groups and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did point out that speeds have picked up on the six corridors where Select Bus Service has been added, making fewer stops and offering riders the chance to pay before boarding from any entrance.

One thing giving advocates hope for improved bus service is a pledge by the incoming mayoral administration to add at least 20 new Select Bus Service lines.

"They've increased bus speeds by about 20 percent and also improved reliability," Russianoff said. "It's now time to step it up, which is what Mayor-elect de Blasio says."

That might help on Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue, where the busy M101/2/3 routes earned the Schleppie Award for least reliable service.

"More than 30 percent of these buses are arriving with big gaps in service," said Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives.

The agency said it's working with the city to boost bus service citywide, something to think about when you're on a bus going nowhere fast.

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