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Get Dem Buses Not Dem Dollaz

You few, faithful readers know I am passionate about the need for sensible improvements at the MTA. Buses, in particular, need to be rethought. They are a cheap, effective way to move people around without the infrastructure hurdles (not to mention expense) of digging subway tunnels. I’ve previously covered the oh-so-simple but brilliant suggestion to eliminate fares on crosstown buses, including here. Its hard to get across town and buses are a great way to move commuters along routes little-served by underground transit. Experts such as Charles Komanoff have noted that the lost revenue from making crosstown buses free would be more than offset by the increase in productivity realized from a more mobile workforce.

Yesterday evening I found myself waiting for the M86 at Broadway heading to an appointment on York. This crosstown trek is speedy (though pricey) in a cab but painfully slow on the bus. But today I was fortunate enough to board a bus which, as luck would have it, had a non-functional farebox. I have an unlimited metrocard so the broken box in no way affected my pocketbook. But it had a profound effect on my commute. The half hour ride took all 18 minutes instead, landing me at my destination a grand 12 minutes early. So what did I do with this found time you may wonder? I popped into a pizza place and grabbed a slice, adding $2.45 to our bustling, metropolitan economy.

That’s why the economics of free crosstown buses makes sense. It enables us to work – and spend – more efficiently. And that benefits all of us.

xx

-B

 

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