CUNY students demand better bus service in NYC

The city’s slow bus system is preventing CUNY students from reaching their academic potential — and Mayor Adams should do more to speed up travel, a group of students and transit advocates demanded Monday.

New York’s buses average a dismal 8.1 mph, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – among the slowest speeds of any major city system in the country.

“Any nervousness I have about an exam or presentation I might have one day is just exacerbated by the fact that I don’t know if I’m going to make it on time,” said Amani Davis, 19. , a student at Queens College, at a rally outside City Hall. by transit advocates.

“There were countless instances where I had to wait in the rain or freezing cold for the bus to show up, only to end up being late for school.”

And while the MTA operates the buses, it’s up to the city to manage the streets and give transit the right of way, rally participants argued – urging the mayor to keep his campaign promise to install 30 miles of new bus lanes in 2022.

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Adams has pledged to build 150 miles of bus lanes before his term ends by 2026. That’s more aggressive than the criteria required by the “Streets Master Plan,” which was passed by city council and former mayor Bill de Blasio in 2019 and mandates the installation of 150 miles of new bus lanes over the next five years.

But some supporters were skeptical that Adams intended to keep that promise. Its proposed executive budget in February included no specific funds to implement the plan, although Council this month requested $3.1 billion for the changes, which include more cycle lanes and walkable streets.

“This shouldn’t just be a vote to get 30 miles of extra bus lanes,” City Councilman Christopher Marte (D-Manhattan) said. “That should be the minimum.”

Charles Lutvak, a spokesperson for Adams, said the mayor had “presented an historic and ambitious plan to address the road rage crisis, make our intersections safer and speed up our buses,” and that he ” would welcome the opportunity to partner with any New Yorker committed to these goals.

At the rally, students also claimed that MTA fares may be too expensive for their ramen noodle budget. They called on Adams to make changes to the city’s Fair Fares program that offers half-price MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers.

CUNY students who live below the federal poverty level are currently eligible, but rally attendees called for the threshold to be doubled.

“A lot of times, students like me have to decide whether to spend their money on transportation or food,” said David Dugue, 22, a student at Brooklyn College. that and go home without sore feet at the end of the day.

Melvin Z. Madore