Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Roosevelt Island Getting 2 New Red Bus Replacements This Week - RIOC Cancels Red Bus Shuttle To Manhattan During Tram Platform Work Due To Lack Of Ridership

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Beginning Monday, June 4, the Tram shuttle, a round-trip Red Bus to the Midtown Manhattan Tram Station that ran during the weekday afternoon rush hour, will no longer be in operation due to insufficient demand. The bus will be re-inserted into the Island's Red Bus rotation to help alleviate evening commuters’ wait times at the RI Tram Station during the current platform construction period.

A Roosevelt Island resident objects to the cancellation of the Red Bus Shuttle to Manhattan. According to the resident, the Red Bus Shuttle is:
... over 30 minutes late leaving the Manhattan side so it’s completely unreliable. I have a feeling it’s because of the helix ramp.... Regardless it’s not a demand issue if it actually ran as promised.
Another resident adds:
Low ridership doesn't make this right. Are they truly short of buses ?? Maybe short of drivers.

Bad for wheelchair-users, walker-users, others w. appliance-dependent disabilities. Bad for Stroller-pushers too.
I have heard from a number of residents that there is much more overcrowding on the Red Bus recently during evening rush hours at the subway station.

Also, RIOC announced today:
How much joy can the arrival of two new transit buses bring?

Plenty, especially if they are 2018 New Flyer XD40s with Cummins ISL straight-6, clean-air diesel engines.

The latest additions to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Red Bus fleet are bringing a huge smile to RIOC Motorpool Supervisor Joe Marino’s face.

“We can’t wait to put them on the road,” Marino said but first RIOC needs to complete registration, inspections and downloading the information on the destination signs.

The buses - which were driven and delivered directly from New Flyer Industries Inc.’s St Cloud, Minnesota manufacturing plant - are 40-feet long, can hold up to 60 “customers”, and are expected to make their first trips later this week.

Roosevelt Island’s very first public transit vehicles, that debuted in 1974, were noiseless, fumeless battery-operated minibuses that cost $10,000 apiece. Today’s Red Bus fleet, of eight, are a mixture of diesel/electric hybrids and clean-air diesels that cost $438,000 each.

The buses are expected to last up to 12 years. “We do all the vehicle maintenance here at the Bus Garage on the Island,” Marino said, “oil changes, brakes, engine repairs and minor body work from road damage.”

And based on seniority, the operators selected to drive the buses’ first Island routes are Angel Tinoco, a 24-year veteran and Edwin DeLeon, 11-years.

The Red Bus transit service is free and operates Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m.; on Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 a.m. – 4 a.m. It makes 12 stops at locations around Roosevelt Island.
I asked RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson:
Are these 2 new buses additions to the existing fleet of 8 or replacing 2 of the 8?

Also, how often and how many Red Buses operate during rush and non rush hours?
Mr Robertson replied:
Replacing two of the eight.

It takes about 15 minutes to make a complete route.

AM Peak – 4 local buses and one express

Mid-day – 2 locals

PM Peak – 4 local buses