Riders Get Countdown Clocks at Bus Stops on Upper East Side Following Participatory Budgeting Victory and Investment by Council Member Kallos

08/03/2017
New Bus Countdown Clocks to Added to M15, M31, M57, M66, and M72 to Fight Service Cuts

Upper East Side CitiBike Expansion Completed 

Watch the Press Conference
 
New York, NY – Upper East Side bus riders may have noticed something new on their rides, bus countdown clocks showing when the next bus is coming. The bus countdown clocks were actually voted for by local residents in Participatory Budgeting and are a part of Council Member Ben Kallos’ fight against service cuts to the M31, M66, M72, and other bus routes in the neighborhood.
 
“I hope that new bus countdown clocks will bring more riders back to our buses, as they walk by and see a bus on the way to help get them where they are going faster,” said Council Member Ben Kallos who rides the M15, M31, and M79 through the district. “Riders will finally know when the next bus is coming or if it isn’t coming at all, so they can make that crucial decision of whether it is faster to ride or walk. I hope to have a bus countdown clock anywhere my constituents will use them so please reach out for one at your bus stop today.”
 
“Neighborhoods flourish when they have a multitude of transportation options, and NYC DOT is proud to work with the community and CM Kallos to continue bringing transportation upgrades to the Upper East Side,” said DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez.  “With the arrival of Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) bus countdown clocks, and a new Citi Bike station in this district, Upper East Siders are able to receive visual and audible real-time bus arrival information should they decide to get around by bus, as well as a denser Citi Bike network should they choose to bike.”
 
The bus countdown clocks were three years in the making. In 2014, Rider’s Alliance advocated for bus countdown clocks in the city’s capital budget, but was met with some skepticism by Council Member Ben Kallos, who agreed to add the bus countdown clocks to Participatory Budgeting where residents voted on how to spend one million dollars in the community.
 
$300,000 for bus countdown clocks for cross-town buses was a top vote getter for Participatory Budgetingin the district, leading Council Member Kallos to invest an additional $340,000 in downtown and crosstown stops on the M31, for a total of $640,000 spanning 32 locations. In order to ensure a more complete bus clock system, Council Member Kallos advocated for colleagues to also invest in bus countdown clocks leading to $950,000 in funding for additional bus countdown clocks for Midtown East and the Upper East Side and a citywide total investment from the City Council of $2.75 million.
 
Once the $2.75 million was allocated for bus countdown clocks for fiscal year 2015, Council Member Kallos led a coalition of Council Members who had invested in bus countdown clocks in regular meetings with the Department of Transportation as they analyzed progress from the initial pilot, re-bid the project in order to provide accessibility for the visually impaired, and worked towards the launch of bus countdown clocks on an expedited timeline for capital projects.
 
By February 2016, the Mayor even announced bus countdown clocks as part of his State of the Citypromising to provide bus countdown clocks for 350 stops across the city inclusive of those already funded by the City Council for more than 200 additional bus countdown clocks.

The bus countdown clocks known as “Real Time Passenger Information” (RTPI) are installed and maintained by the City Department of Transportation (DOT) and are built on new MTA technology that shows where the bus really is at any given moment. Riders Alliance members had requested that the City Council allocate discretionary funds to expand the successful “bus countdown clock” program that has been popular in its first two locations on Staten Island to more communities around the city.
 
“Thanks to Council Member Ben Kallos for his leadership in bringing bus stop countdown clocks to the East Side.  The bus should be a modern, convenient, accessible transportation option for the two million New Yorkers who rely on bus service every day, and countdown clocks get us a step closer to that goal.  These countdown clocks will help bus riders plan their travel and will prompt New Yorkers who have given up on slow and unreliable bus service to give the bus another try.  The countdown clocks are just one of many steps we need to take to improve bus service, but they are a noticeable improvement and an accomplishment that Council Member Kallos and the East Side community should be proud to achieve.  Thanks also to the Department of Transportation for working closely with the community to install the clocks, in this neighborhood and in communities around the city,” said John Raskin, Founder and Executive Director of Riders Alliance.

Bus countdown clocks have been installed and are active or being activated at:
M15 (Northbound) on First Avenue: 70th, 72nd, and 75th
M15 (Southbound) on Second Avenue: 94th
M31 (Northbound) on York Avenue: 72nd and 76th
M31 (Southbound) on York Avenue: 74th, 77th, 79th, 84th, 86th, and 88th
M57/M31 (Westbound) on 57th Street: First Avenue
M66 (Westbound) on 67th Street: First Avenue
M72 (Westbound) on 72nd Street: First Avenue
 
Feasibility for bus countdown clocks are being studied at the following locations:
M15 (Northbound) on First Avenue: 64th
M31 (Southbound) on York Avenue: 67th, 69th, 72nd, and 82nd
M57 (Westbound) on 55th Street: Sutton Place and First Avenue
 
Following feasibility studies bus countdown clocks could not be installed at:
M15 (Northbound) on First Avenue: 62nd and 77th
M15 (Southbound) on Second Avenue: 90th
M31 (Southbound) on York Avenue: 62nd and 64th
M31/M57 (Eastbound): 57th and Second Avenue
M31/M57 (Westbound): 58th and Sutton Place
M96 (Westbound) on 96th Street: Third Avenue
Q102 on Roosevelt Island
 
Following the bus countdown clock, announcement Council Member Ben Kallos unveiled the final station in the Upper East Side expansion of CitiBike.

WATCH PRESS CONFERENCE CITIBIKE STATION INAUGURATION
 
Media Contacts:
Department of Transportation
Scott Gastel
SGastelatdot [dot] nyc [dot] gov
(212) 839-4850
 
Kallos
Josh J. Jamieson
JJamiesonatBenKallos [dot] com
516-369-2921 Mobile

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