Since 2006, Streetsblog has provided red carpet coverage of the annual Pokey and Schleppie awards, given out by the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives to the city buses with the slowest average speed and the least reliable service, respectively. This year, Manhattan buses took the crown in both categories.
Although the awards spotlight the routes most notorious for crawling through traffic, stopping at every block, and bunched three in a row, there is a bright spot: Select Bus Service has been living up to its promises — with more routes set to get the speedier service in the coming years.
In the survey, the Bx12 SBS on Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway traveled at 7.9 mph, 19.6 percent faster than the Bx12 local’s 6.6 mph. Meanwhile, on First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, M15 Select buses moved along at 7.8 mph — 50 percent faster than the M15 local, which lumbered at 5.2 mph.
These numbers didn’t come from nowhere: Although not as robust as Bus Rapid Transit in other cities, SBS features limited-stop service, camera-enforced bus lanes, off-board fare collection and, in many cases, transit priority at stop lights. Buses without these improvements remain stuck in gridlock.
The result? This year, there is a tie for the Pokey award, with the M66 and M42 crosstown buses both clocking in at 3.9 mph. In a statement, Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said these buses “would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car,” which can hit top speeds of 4.3 mph.
Straphangers and TA analyzed bus data citywide, and each borough has its very own Pokey award winner. The full list, plus the highly-anticipated Schleppie award results, after the jump.