M14A Bus Wins “Pokey Award” For Slowest Route in New York City

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

Congratulations, Lower East Side commuters! The 14a bus route has won this year’s “Pokey Award” from the NYPIRG Straphanger’s Campaign and Transit Center.

After analyzing average speeds on high ridership routes, the public transportation advocates found that the M14a clocked in at just 4.3 MPH. As the Daily News quipped, “cows move faster than the slowest bus in the city.”  “For years, the M14A has been one of the slowest buses in New York City, so this year’s Pokey Award should come as no surprise,” said Jaqi Cohen of NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign. “The recent implementation of SBS along the route has been a welcome change for M14 riders. Still, there is no better way to speed up service along the route than by rolling out the red carpet for bus riders with a dedicated busway.”

The dedicated busway was blocked, at least temporarily, by a state supreme court judge. Neighbors in Chelsea and the West Village filed a lawsuit against the MTA’s busway plan.

A spokesperson for the MTA told Channel 4, “NYC Transit is working with NYCDOT and NYPD to enforce existing traffic rules and to keep moving lanes cleared of double parked vehicles or cars blocking bus stops.”

MTA Agrees to Retain Local Bus Service on M14A Line

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

Local activists and community activists are celebrating the MTA’s decision to retain at least some local service on the M14 A and D lines through the Lower East Side. The transit authority had proposed the elimination of numerous stops, including along Grand Street, to accommodate express bus service. This week, officials backed away from an earlier version of the plan in the face of intense community opposition.

The MTA expects to launch 14th Street Select Bus Service next month in an effort to alleviate impacts of the L Train slowdown. As the Daily News reported, “The MTA said the proposed route will include 68 stops, leaving a total reduction of 16 from the 84 stops on the current M14 A and D routes… Earlier iterations of the MTA’s plan included fewer stops, but elected officials and community groups pushed for more to be maintained in order to better service elderly and disabled commuters.”

An MTA spokesperson said, “We arrived at this final compromise plan through close consultation with residents, community groups, advocates and elected officials. Once the new route is implemented we will actively monitor it to ensure it is providing the best possible service for our customers, seeking to balance convenience and increased speed, which is desperately needed along this line.”

Happening This Morning: Rally to Save MTA’s 14 A & D Bus Service

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

14a bus on Grand Street. File photo.

If you’re around the neighborhood this morning, you might want to stop by Ahearn Park.

There’s a rally coordinated by Educational Alliance in response to the MTA’s plan to institute Select Bus Service, eliminating several stops along the M14 A and D bus routes. Here’s part of the press advisory:

The M14 bus is the lifeline for thousands of senior citizens in Manhattan. The line, including its M14A and M14D routes, serves New York City’s largest neighboring Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) on the Lower East Side and in the East Village. These New Yorkers – many of whom struggle with their mobility — will be unfairly and dangerously affected by the MTA’s proposal to create Select Bus Service and eliminate several local stops on the line. There is no denying the need to improve bus service in Manhattan. The solution, however, is not to ask our most vulnerable neighbors to walk longer distances in frigid cold, driving rain, and stifling heat. Join us on the first day of Older Americans Month as we call on the MTA to #SaveOurStops.

The rally takes place today, May 1, at 10 a.m. Ahearn Park is located at Grand Street and East Broadway. Seniors will march to the bus stop at Grand and Clinton streets. Representatives from the offices of local elected officials are expected to attend.