by Lynn A. Higgins
I have been an NFTA daily bus rider for 15 years, longer if you include my high school years. As you are aware, the NFTA had a study done by an out-of-state company that stated our routes needed to be re-done. Well, have they been re-done. Some routes are every 15 minutes, some like mine are every 30 minutes. I ride the 2 Clinton. They eliminated numerous buses on this route. On weekends, there are no 2 Clinton buses travelling to and from the suburbs at all.
The 2 Clinton buses during peak travel hours, 7-9am and 3-6 pm, are so horribly overcrowded and packed with travelers that the rides are standing-room-only on most trips to and from downtown Buffalo. The 7:09 and 7:39 Clinton buses towards downtown Buffalo are so crowded and packed with travelers that once the bus hits the Jefferson/Clinton area they are unable to pick up any more riders and pass up teenagers trying to go school and adults trying to go to work. This is occurring almost on a daily basis.
I have been in contact on numerous occasions with James Morrell, Director of Route Planning, on numerous occasions and at first was told the routes were “set in concrete” and no changes could be made. Over the past few weeks buses have been added, but at odd times when they do nothing to eliminate the overcrowded conditions during peak hours. Buses added at 6:30am and 6:54 am do nothing to eliminate the overcrowded and unsafe, standing-room-only conditions. I have also made the Buffalo Board of Education aware of the situation regarding the high school children not being picked up by the buses due to the overcrowded conditions.
This morning on the 7:39am Clinton bus, two lovely gentlemen decided they didn’t like each other and wanted to fight—on a standing-room-only bus. So now tempers are flaring, bus drivers are frustrated, the conditions on the buses are overcrowded, and now we as riders have to be afraid of fights on overcrowded buses? There is also currently a petition circulating to get the 2 Clinton route changed.
The 2 Clinton is not the only bus route experiencing problems. I have also been told that the 16 South Park, 20 Elmwood, and 11 Colvin are experiencing the same conditions.
Metro made easy…it takes you were you want to go. Some slogan. If you are lucky to get a seat or get on the bus.
Lynn A. Higgins, Buffalo
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