It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's ... a Bus!

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Photo: MTA.info

The Second Avenue subway may be on the fast track, but you know what? Too late. We're over you. We've moved on. We're going to have buses — ultra-fast buses — instead.

These superbuses — revealed in a Times piece this morning — will stop only once every mile. They'll be painted a special color. They'll have their own lanes, also painted a special color. And they'll carry cameras that will capture — and rat out to the cops — all cars and trucks that block these lanes. Most awesome, the stops will have curbside turnstiles that allow people to board without lingering on the steps. In other words, pure urban Utopia.

But it all raises several inevitable questions: What color? Can you jump the turnstile? (Or maybe even just walk around it?) Are we actually going to see any of these wonders, or are they the new standing-room-only flights? Interestingly, the spokesperson for NYC Transit, Paul Fleuranges, who has clearly received more than one phone call on the issue today, would not confirm the program's existence. The transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall, however, says in the Times that two of the five routes will start operating by next fall.

In the meantime, the tireless Straphangers Campaign awarded its annual "Pokeys" for the city's slowest buses; M14A, which trudges crosstown along 14th Street at the average speed of a pedestrian who's had his coffee (3.9 miles per hour), took the top honors. It is not one of the five routes targeted for the rev-up treatment.

5 Bus Routes Picked for High-Speed Runs [NYT]
"Pokeys" Awarded For Slowest City Buses [Straphangers.org]