Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The Bus System in New York

Today I went running up the East River. It was a pretty good running day. But anyway, when I am at the point when I was about to turn around and head back, I stop for a quick stretch and this guy starts talking to me. It turns out that his job is to monitor the city busses. Now I never realized that the busses in New York were monitored by people on the ground. I always thought that there was someone who made sure that the drivers started on time, or the drivers were self-regulated. But it turns out that there is a fairly complicated system in place for making sure that the busses run smoothly on the route and that the spacing is kept reasonable .

As it turns out, I use the bus system often. And usually it is pretty good. The only thing is . . . that from time to time they really screw up. For example it may be a Sunday and there is no bus for a hour, or a driver late at night doesn't bother to stop to pick me up. These things leave such bad feelings that I often really hate the MTA.

However, meeting this guy really did help restore some of my faith in the MTA. They really do attempt to coordinate the bus system. This guy I met was chatting with me for almost an hour (while doing his job the whole time - I swear he did not miss recording a bus). And he was really friendly. He explained all these complicated things about spacing and routes and scheduling. I was impressed.