These are awards you don’t want to win.
The M102 bus line — a line that runs from the East Village to Harlem with 8,000 daily weekday riders — won the 17th Annual Pokey Award, given to the slowest local bus route in the city by transit advocates with the New York Public Interest Research Group’s Straphangers Campaign and TransitCenter.
The M102 had an average speed of 4.6 mph, slowed by heavy congestion on busy Manhattan streets, the advocates said.
“For years, the M102 has been on the list of slowest buses in New York City, so this year’s Pokey Award should come as no surprise,” NYPIRG Program Director Megan Ahearn said in a press release Monday. “With buses maintaining higher ridership levels throughout the pandemic, the city’s transit leadership should be rolling out the red carpet for riders by enforcing bus lanes and opening all doors for boarding.”
NYPIRG and TransitCenter awarded the M102 a golden snail on a pedestal during a Monday afternoon ceremony, and noted in the statement that “at 4.6 mph, the M102 moved slower than a fluttering butterfly, which typically has a pace of 5 mph.”
The B12 bus line won the Schleppie Award — golden, lumbering elephants on a pedestal — given to the city’s most “unreliable” bus route. The B12 carries Brooklyn residents between Lefferts Gardens and East New York and frequently “bunches” when no bus comes for a long time and then many come in succession.
Approximately one out of five buses arrived bunched on the B12, the groups said, inconveniencing its 7,965 daily weekday riders.
“For daily users of the B12, at least one of their buses is bound to show up bunched and late each week, so they can essentially never count on it arriving on time,” TransitCenter Research Manager Mary Buchanan said. “This is very unfair to the thousands of people who rely on the B12 and have continued to ride throughout the pandemic. The MTA must enable all-door boarding on buses, which will lessen dwell time at bus stops, making service more reliable.”
Overall, buses are bunching slightly less since 2019, with an average bunching of 15.66% this year compared to 15.92% in 2019, according to NYPIRG and TransitCenter.
High-ridership routes with 5,000 daily riders or more were considered for the two awards. The study looked at 77 high-ridership bus routes.
According to NYPIRG and TransitCenter, the slowest, high-ridership buses in each borough were:
- M102 between Harlem and the East Village: 4.6 mph
- Bx19 between New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx and Riverbank Park: 4.8 mph
- B35 between Brownsville and Sunset Park: 5.1 mph
- Q32 between Jackson Heights, Queens and Penn Station: 5.5 mph
- S481 between St. George and Mariners Harbor: 8 mph
According to NYPIRG and TransitCenter, the buses with the highest rate of bunching in each borough are:
- B12 between Lefferts Gardens and East New York: 19.5%
- Bx3 between Riverdale, the Bronx and Washington Heights: 18.9%
- Q58 between Ridgewood and Flushing: 18.4%
- M102 between Inwood and East Harlem: 10.8%
- S783 between Bricktown Mall and St George Ferry Terminal: 10.7%