Manhattan Buses Dominate Pokey and Schleppie Awards

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Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign (l) and TA's Paul Steely White unveil this year's honorees

Two Manhattan bus routes took home awards for slowest and least reliable service in the 2008 Pokey and Schleppie Awards, issued today by the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives.

The Pokey went to the M96 crosstown, which clocked an average speed of 3.7 m.p.h. as measured at noon on a weekday -- .7 m.p.h. faster than the average human walking speed, but slower than a walking elephant or running chicken, according to Straphangers and TA.

The 2008 Schleppie, meanwhile, belongs to the M101/2/3 3rd/Lexington/Amsterdam/Lenox Avenue bus from Upper to Lower Manhattan, for bunching and gaps in service. 

"Riders know from bitter daily experience that it can often be faster to walk than to take the bus," said the Straphangers' Gene Russianoff. "Or hop on board a strolling elephant."

While bemoaning the current state of service on many routes, the groups hold out hope for the future, pointing to new and planned Select Bus Service routes.

The first SBS routes have started on Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road in the Bronx (Bx12) and on 34th Street in Manhattan (M34). SBS routes are planned for Nostrand Avenue (B44), First and Second Avenues in Manhattan (M15) and Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island (S79).

Given current conditions on 34th Street, we humbly suggest two new awards for future consideration: Time-wasting Trucker and Officer Obstacle. And maybe a special lifetime award for those with an apparent abiding grudge against bus riders? Call it The Meanie.

Click here for award methodology, and follow the jump for a complete list of Pokey and Schleppie nominees. 

Slowest bus routes:

  • B63: 4.9 m.p.h., Between Bay Ridge and Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
  • Bx19: 5.3 m.p.h., Between Botanic Garden in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan
  • M96: 3.7 m.p.h., Crosstown on 96th Street in Manhattan
  • Q56: 6.1 m.p.h., Between Jamaica, Queens and East New York, Brooklyn
  • S42: 11.4 m.p.h., Between New Brighton and St. George Ferry Terminal

Most unreliable bus routes with the greatest bunching together or big gaps in service:

  • B44: 24.0% unreliable, Between Sheepshead Bay and Williamsburg on Nostrand Avenue
  • Bx41: 20.7% unreliable, Between Wakefield and the Hub on White Plains Rd/Webster Avenue
  • M101/2/3: 26.1% unreliable, Between Upper and Lower Manhattan on 3rd/Lexington/Amsterdam/Lenox Avenues
  • S74: 22.1% unreliable, Between Ferry Terminal and Tottenville on Richmond/Arthur Kill Rds
Photo: Transportation Alternatives