Bus mystery: MTA removes Bx20 schedules from stops

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It’s the case of the disappearing Bx20 bus schedules.

Until last month, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority posted schedules of the arrival times at bus stops along the route, which generally travels southbound from West 246th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway to Broadway and Isham Street. However, with no warning and no notice to the community, MTA removed schedules in at least four locations in the northwest Bronx, leaving an empty space next to the Bx10 schedule.

And, depending on where you look, you will find different information about the route.

MTA didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment on why the schedules were moved, or if the future for the bus line was in question. Also contacted was Deirdre Parker, the assistant director to the office of the executive vice president for government and community relations, who only said she would look into the matter. She offered no further comment.

“When we see this, we don’t know if it’s because (MTA) are actually changing the schedule for the 20, or if they are going to erase the line entirely,” said Deborah Wallace, a member of the Ad Hoc Committee, a group of residents who have called for increased Bx20 and Bx10 bus service.

“That’s our problem. We don’t know what they are going to do.”

Wallace’s committee recently completed a letter-writing campaign to Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for more buses for both routes. The committee also sent copies of the letters to MTA chair Joe Lhota, Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz and Councilman Andrew Cohen.

Last year, Ad Hoc organized a petition to MTA calling for more service that received more than 1,000 signatures. It resulted in an additional Bx10 bus during the morning rush hour.

To Wallace, the Bx20 is vital to how residents in Spuyten Duyvil can directly connect to the A train at the West 207th Street stop in Inwood. Without the Bx20, southbound riders could take the Bx10 and get the 1 train at West 231st Street and Broadway, transfering at the 168th Street stop for the A train.

Or, riders could take the Bx10 to West 231st and Kingsbridge Avenue, transfering to the Bx7. Then they can reach the A train at West 207th.

Dinowitz said he wasn’t aware of the schedule removal until getting a call from The Riverdale Press. He suspected the removal might a part of the MTA’s planned schedule service change to the line, adding a Bx20 bus to the route during the evening rush hour. That would give the route four buses per hour instead of three to help alleviate some overcrowding on the bus.

Those changes, however, were scheduled to begin last month, said Dinowitz, who chairs a standing committee in Albany that oversees MTA.

However, MTA has posted different information about the route in different places.

A schedule on the MTA main website lists the weekday service schedule lists stops at four locations.

During the 7 to 9 a.m. hours, the Bx20 would make seven southbound trips.

Meanwhile, all 24 stops along the route and number of stops away at another website MTA runs known as BusTime.

During a January meeting of Community Board 8’s traffic and transportation committee, Parker said MTA had no plans at the time to make any changes to the bus line.

Wallace blamed the drop in ridership to Bx20’s infrequent schedule. It only runs weekdays during morning and evening rush hours, has no service on the weekends, and MTA does little to promote the line.

Annual ridership on the Bx20 fell by 4 percent to 196,000 riders in 2016, according to the MTA.

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