Bx10 changes little for commuters

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An additional Bx10 bus during the rush hour does not spell relief for riders.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz announced the addition of a southbound bus for morning rush hour as a way to address infrequent service, as well as a commitment from Metropolitan Transportation Authority to continue studying ridership figures.

The additional bus began rolling April 19 in time for the 7:30 a.m. rush hour. However, riders like Deborah Wallace and husband Rodrick said they’ve experienced little change to their commute.

“Rod saw no improvement in morning bus service,” said Wallace, who helped organized a petition urging the MTA to improve service for the Bx10 and Bx20 lines. It received more than 1,000 signatures and support from residents in places like The Whitehall on 3333 Henry Hudson Parkway.

“The additional bus is a tiny step in the right direction,” Wallace said. “But (it) cannot fill the need for service.”

During a meeting last January of Community Board 8’s traffic and transportation committee, Wallace said Bx10 riders typically waited as long as 20 minutes for buses scheduled to come every six to seven minutes. Drivers sometimes skip stops, she added, because of overcrowded buses, and an inconvenient phenomenon known as bus bunching, which occurs when two or more buses arrive at the same location at the same time.

Wallace and her husband aren’t alone. Another Bx10 rider, Vera Donnelly, said she hasn’t noticed any difference from the extra bus either.

“It does not mean overcrowding will end,” Dinowitz said. “Just because we got one additional bus does not mean I’m stopping. That’s a small down payment, in my opinion, of what’s actually needed.”

Beginning this summer, MTA will change arrival times at southbound stops shared by both the Bx10 and the Bx20 beginning at 246th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway during morning peak rider times, and at 231st Street and Broadway northbound during the evening peak. The hope, Dinowitz said, was to prevent buses from arriving at the same location at the same time.

The move should alleviate overcrowding, Dinowitz added and that MTA would continue to study ridership statistics to see if further changes should be made to its fall schedule.

Wallace was skeptical of even that plan.

“We’ll see how this works,” she said. “It may help a bit.”

The change, however, still would not make up for midday ridership needs, Wallace said, calling on Dinowitz to seek an independent study outside of the MTA to examine the area’s public transportation needs.

The Bx20 runs from 246th Street and Henry Hudson Parkway to Broadway and Isham Street in Inwood traveling south.

The Bx10’s southbound route goes from 263rd Street and Riverdale Avenue to 206th Street and Bainbridge Avenue.

Ridership on the Bx10 increased 5 percent since 2011, MTA officials said.

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