Should the Downtown Connection bus service we pay for be exclusive to BPC residents?

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September 12, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

I rode the Downtown Connection “free” bus service yesterday, and experience some really concerning things. When I boarded the bus on Water Street, the drivers were still playing games and taking long breaks at Starbucks and not allowing passengers to board. But more concerning, I saw some real dirtbags on the bus.

On this particular bus ride, I saw some extremely cute young kids on the bus being escorted by their partners as they left the Blue School. Then, next to them were troublemaking teens. A woman sitting next to me who spoke Spanish told me that the teens were speaking in Spanish about hitting a passenger in the head, like the “Knockout game”.

Then, the woman, who lives in Gateway, had a good idea. She said that people should have to show an ID proving they live in Battery Park before being allowed in the bus. After all, the BPCA pays for the “free” buses.

What do you think? Post your comments.

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3 Responses to Should the Downtown Connection bus service we pay for be exclusive to BPC residents?

  1. hunyejohn says:

    Wasn’t it a while back that some were saying the Shuttle was only used by the “suits” at Goldman Sachs and not the BPC populace and should be eliminated. As that was ludicrous, so is the “Shuttle only for BPC” residents…do you recall its history?

    After 9/11 the MTA was not sending buses into BPC for many months. Unless one was willing to walk, a long walk, out of the area – and many people were physically unable to do so, you were stranded. The BPCA put in the Shuttle as an emergency remediation.

    Eventually, the MTA was back, and per my conversation with an administrator of BPCA, since they were not in the transportation business, nor was the expense part of their charter, they turned it over to the Downtown Alliance.

    The Alliance took the responsibility, and expense, as a way of PROMOTING AND ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO STAY AS RESIDENTS, BRING IN NEW RESIDENTS, AND ATTRACTING TOURISM. If you did not live here then you do not realize how quiet the area was, and how many vacant apartments there were.

    You keep pushing for a Shuttle for BPC residents only you may wind up with no shuttle for anyone. Its bad enough we live in a country devoid of historical perspective on a grand scale, but could we at least have comments from people who know their local history?

  2. Editor says:

    John

    I appreciate the discourse, but your facts and logic are wrong. This “free” service is not free at all, but rather paid for by tax dollars of people who live in BPC. The people in FiDi and Tribeca do not pay a dime for the buses. BPC residents should expect the shuttle to serve their needs.

    BPC resident should not have to ride a bus in fear that unruly teens will cause a fight. Toddlers going to Blue School should not have to sit next to mentally ill who ride the bus.

    Since not all of the bus is paid for by the BPCA, a fair solution could be one of using Downtown Resident ID cards to board the bus. People using the Downtown Shuttle buses to get to work should use the city MTA that runs the same routes.

    I would wager that you have never taken these buses, yet have strong opinions based out of lack of experience with just how bad these buses have become.

    Another solution would be to have a separate bus that only drives a loop through BPC and Tribeca, and have the Water Street FiDi bus be managed by the Downtown Alliance. The CEO of the Downtown Alliance, Jessica Lappin, makes $500,000, which alone could fund a bus service.

  3. Kloreece says:

    Interesting. I will say it’s annoying for buses to pass stops full (no standing allowed) when 50% of the riders are riding from Fulton to the South Street Ferry. Much more walkable than south street ferry to TriBeCa or BPC but those riders can’t get in for those riding a few blocks. Let people stand.

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