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Federal Transit Administration directs the NFTA to take a second look at a bus rapid transit option for the Amherst rail extension:

https://buffalonews.com/2020/05/03/costs-competition-may-substitute-rapid-buses-for-metro-rail-extension/

Between this and likely Covid-19 related financial cutbacks, this is probably the death knell for a Metro Rail extension beyond University station. 

 

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20 hours ago, edison said:

Neat little tour... (How do I shrink the size of the video in the post?)

 

I think there should be a little pop up that says "Display as link instead" so it doesn't show the thumbnail

Also! I am posting constant NFTA Videos from now until Beginning/Mid- August on my channel!

Be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications so you don't miss a thing!:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXm6ChGdySAFbUgm4tP37Rg

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5 hours ago, Brobinson said:

Wow! This is so interesting to see! https://youtu.be/_rHTik1ZOIM

NFTA in 1969. Well I guess it would be NFT Inc.

It's crazy how much things have changed.

I remember seeing the Fishbowls frequently on my trips from Downtown all the way out to Alden on the 4-Broadway.

I believe that I had mentioned it earlier in another post that it was common to see a line up of the 8 Main, 9 Parkside, 10 West Utica, 12 East Utica, 13 Kensington and 44 Lockport from Utica into downtown.  By the time you arrived at Allen, you could also expect the 7 Baynes Richmond to join in.

Buses also sported a rear window, and most of the buses had so much black exhaust belching out of the tailpipes.

The 4 Broadway, 8 Main, 13 Kensington and 15 Seneca were the routes with the most variations, necessitating the branches like the "8U" which follows much of today's 34 Niagara Falls Boulevard bus.  I even think that some of the routes went as far as using a "Z" branch.

You also had to watch some of the buses that were early versions of "limited" service.  Those buses had a red background where the letter was, and the side signage listed the "first stop", instead of the route.  With the very frequent service on Broadway, you could see occasional "first stop Fillmore", or "first stop City Line" indicators so that heavy-patronized trips with suburban passengers got a seat, while city passengers would be on a following "City Line" destined trip.  Wasn't perfect, but it did help distribute passenger loads.

The CPTDB wiki has a page for the routes at:  https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/Routes_of_the_Niagara_Frontier_Transportation_Authority.  It's an interesting read if you're curious about what routes did what at certain times.

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On 10/26/2020 at 11:28 PM, edison said:

On October 22nd, NFTA approved a 5-year contract with Nova Bus with a base order of 10 buses and an option to purchase up to 140 buses. There is more info at the NFTA website. I am having issues linking the exact location, this is as close as I can get... https://www.nfta.com/about/meetings

I wonder if Nova won because they had the highest overall score or if it's because they're the only bidder who quoted a price for all of the options.

The 6/10 grade for NFI under qualifications and experience is interesting. I wonder how much of that is from asking other agencies and how much is NFTA's own past experience.

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3 hours ago, Orion 1200 said:

I wonder if Nova won because they had the highest overall score or if it's because they're the only bidder who quoted a price for all of the options.

The 6/10 grade for NFI under qualifications and experience is interesting. I wonder how much of that is from asking other agencies and how much is NFTA's own past experience.

Because of the highest overall score. I wondered the same thing... The 6/10 grade kind of surprised me. It must be both, I would imagine there would be other agencies that had positive feedback as well. IIRC though, New Flyer scored pretty poor in that category last time as well. It says that the Battery Electric order should be awarded by the end of the year. We will see how that goes...

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On 2/27/2021 at 10:23 PM, JAX Transit 2000 said:

Are Nfta Metro selling 2000 NovaBus and Gilligs for auction yet according to Wikipedia when the Covid-19 Pandemic passes over 

There are surplus buses on the property that could be auctioned off. When they decide to do that is unknown right now. 

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3 hours ago, orionbuslover said:

NFTA is currently in the process of spicing things up!

https://metro.nfta.com/2021network

https://metro.nfta.com/bsb

Albany and Rochester have done it. NYC is tentative. Time for the guys and gals at Centro to get with the times. Hopefully, before 81 comes down.

There are some good route proposals, but overall I don't expect much difference in frequency which is a shame. 

I also don't believe adding limited service is a good idea especially with the current frequencies so I wouldn't even operate the 19L and the 25L bus

I still think some service to the East Side can be consolidated so the remaining routes could run more frequently. Some example that comes to the top of my mind is

Reducing or eliminating route 6 Sycamore, and reallocating service to 4 Broadway and 22 Best St, with 4 being extended to Galleria. 4 then can run every 15 minutes 7 days a week and 22 every 30 minutes 7 days a week

Eliminating 49 bus with 48 extended from Eastern Hills to Millard Suburban via Young, Sheridan, Hopkins

Eliminating all 74 service between Athol Springs and Hamburg

Eliminating all 72 service with 14 extension from ECC South to Orchard Park

Eliminating all 8 service with 11 bus replacing service along Main Street south of Delavan Avenue

Converting 24X and 22L into local 24 service

Eliminating all 60 service. 

These changes are good, but doesn't do enough to improve the frequency of other routes. We need a Rochester Style route rationalization if we really want to have any sort of usable off-peak service.

Routes such as 3, 4, 5, 12, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 32 should have service every 15 minutes both weekdays, nights and weekends. 14 and 16 should be consolidated and coordinated so service is every 15 minutes between Bailey Ave and Downtown 7 days a week

Most other local routes should have service minimum every 30 minutes on weekends

 

CENTRO on the hand. I'm amazed on how convoluted and terrible the system is. Its seems like the only thing it does reasonably well is to bring people into and out of Downtown (and MAYBE to Syracuse University/Destiny USA. They have a million different service patterns and completely uneven weekday headways and terrible headways outside of rush hours 

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3 hours ago, Rapidbus said:

There are some good route proposals, but overall I don't expect much difference in frequency which is a shame. 

I saw the headways on the Remix site and noticed they weren't that great. NFTA is definitely taking a more reserved approach to overhauling their system compared to Rochester. 

Changing the way things have always been done at any organization takes fearless leaders.

You have some great ideas! I hope you make an official comment, as this is just the beginning of the process.

RE Centro: You nailed it! I understand why all the routes go downtown because its smack dab in the middle of the city. But, so many service hours are wasted doing so. What should be straightforward, quick trips turn out to be grand tours of the entire city.

 

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4 hours ago, Rapidbus said:

There are some good route proposals, but overall I don't expect much difference in frequency which is a shame. 

I also don't believe adding limited service is a good idea especially with the current frequencies so I wouldn't even operate the 19L and the 25L bus

I still think some service to the East Side can be consolidated so the remaining routes could run more frequently. Some example that comes to the top of my mind is

Reducing or eliminating route 6 Sycamore, and reallocating service to 4 Broadway and 22 Best St, with 4 being extended to Galleria. 4 then can run every 15 minutes 7 days a week and 22 every 30 minutes 7 days a week

  • I think the 4 and 6 are well enough patronized to keep both services operating.  Distance-wise, I can understand the duplicity, but I don't see passengers walking longer distances to bus stops in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Eliminating 49 bus with 48 extended from Eastern Hills to Millard Suburban via Young, Sheridan, Hopkins

  • Although there is limited service on the 49 route, the streamlining is serving a number of passengers west of the hospital on Maple or Sheridan.  My concern is if there are a lot of passengers losing service due to the realignment.

Eliminating all 74 service between Athol Springs and Hamburg

  • The site actually shows the Boston to Hamburg portion being removed.  This route gets passengers from Hamburg into Downtown faster than the slower 16H variation.  Having service only between Downtown and Athol Springs isn't worth running.

Eliminating all 72 service with 14 extension from ECC South to Orchard Park

Eliminating all 8 service with 11 bus replacing service along Main Street south of Delavan Avenue.

  •  I remember an earlier (~1988) that would have the Colvin operating into Delavan Station instead of operating over Delaware into Downtown.  I can see this happening, however am curious how the passengers east of Delavan will cope with less service (Tri-Main Center has a program for special needs that regularly has their clients learning how to navigate the bus system, using it to head to Aldi's or University Plaza as destinations for shopping.  Additionally, the distance between stations is wide, and not an easy walk.

Converting 24X and 24L into local 24 service

  • Defeatment of the goal they had to operate the limited service.

Eliminating all 60 service. 

  • Service remains as a modified route 77.  Metro created the express network with a clock face numbering scheme.  They could call it the 60 and just modify it.

These changes are good, but doesn't do enough to improve the frequency of other routes. We need a Rochester Style route rationalization if we really want to have any sort of usable off-peak service.

Routes such as 3, 4, 5, 12, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 32 should have service every 15 minutes both weekdays, nights and weekends. 14 and 16 should be consolidated and coordinated so service is every 15 minutes between Bailey Ave and Downtown 7 days a week.

  • I'd like to see a consolidation of the 14 and 16 in some form.  A clock-face frequency would make the routes a lot easier if you can safely expect the route to arrive at an evenly spaced interval.  I remember a couple Sunday trips operating within a few minutes of each other due to the addition of a lunch trip.

Most other local routes should have service minimum every 30 minutes on weekends

 

CENTRO on the hand. I'm amazed on how convoluted and terrible the system is. Its seems like the only thing it does reasonably well is to bring people into and out of Downtown (and MAYBE to Syracuse University/Destiny USA. They have a million different service patterns and completely uneven weekday headways and terrible headways outside of rush hours 

 

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The issue, as always, is funding. 

The NFTA changes make sense but they are certainly not the type of redesign that has been done in other cities.  Let's see how many additional buses actually end up on the streets of Buffalo. 

Centro redesigned its system in the early 2000's.  Several 'direct' routes between major points were introduced which did not go downtown, but they were all gone by 2009 due to low ridership and funding losses.  Centro is planning on rolling out its BRT project in the next few years - hopefully the funding will be available not only for frequent service on those routes but for greater frequency on the rest of the network as well.  

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NFTA's current plan isn't a major overhaul, but it's a start. That they're even considering streamlining these routes is a huge step forward from the days of the not so distant past when transit agencies operated as if their current routes are set in stone for all of time.

Centro's 'Suburban Direct' routes from the early '00's didn't go downtown and they also didn't serve transit dependent riders in the city in any capacity. Very much along the lines of its current Syrculator route. It's almost as if Centro would do anything to NOT run an extra bus in city neighborhoods. 

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5 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:
  • I think the 4 and 6 are well enough patronized to keep both services operating.  Distance-wise, I can understand the duplicity, but I don't see passengers walking longer distances to bus stops in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

The 6 is close to the 4 and the 24, as well as the 22 in some areas. There could be a debate regarding the general safety of the area, but Sycamore is no more than a 10 minutes walk up or down to Genesee, or Broadway. I figure that by cutting this route, the service could be reallocated in improving 4,22, and 24 service instead. In short prioritizing frequency vs network coverage

5 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:
  • Although there is limited service on the 49 route, the streamlining is serving a number of passengers west of the hospital on Maple or Sheridan.  My concern is if there are a lot of passengers losing service due to the realignment.

My proposal will still have the 48 serve all the areas 49 currently serve as far as Sheridan Dr and Hopkins to serve the shopping center there. My routing after leaving Eastern Hills is Transit Rd to Maple Rd to Young Rd to Sheridan Drive up Hopkins Rd and into Millard Suburban. West of Hopkins, Sheridan Dr turns into low density development, and there really isn't any activity until closer to Millersport Highway. My proposal essentially converted the 49 trips into 48 trips via Main Street, extended to Millard Suburban. Resources could be freed up to run the 48 every 30 minutes on weekends and nights instead of the current 80 minute headway

5 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:
  • The site actually shows the Boston to Hamburg portion being removed.  This route gets passengers from Hamburg into Downtown faster than the slower 16H variation.  Having service only between Downtown and Athol Springs isn't worth running.

On my numerous trips on both the 74 and 76, the 1-5 people on the bus downtown, nearly ALL of them get off at Athols Spring Park and Ride. I suspect a large chunk of the ridership on the 76 also only goes to Athol Springs. Ridership is heavier on the 76 south of Athol Springs than the 74. 

I took it to N Boston once, and the driver was like "You sure you are going down there? So I could definitely see that going.

6 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

I remember an earlier (~1988) that would have the Colvin operating into Delavan Station instead of operating over Delaware into Downtown.  I can see this happening, however am curious how the passengers east of Delavan will cope with less service (Tri-Main Center has a program for special needs that regularly has their clients learning how to navigate the bus system, using it to head to Aldi's or University Plaza as destinations for shopping.  Additionally, the distance between stations is wide, and not an easy walk.

Ridership on the 8 seems to be more focused on the southern half of the route, closer to Utica Station than the northern part of the route. For people from Tri-Main, the 23 will continue to operate on Main Street between Amherst and Hertel, where Aldi is one block north on LaSalle. For University Plaza, the MetroRail will drop you off at the same place as the 8 anyways. Tri Main is also closer to the 23 than the 8 today. 

6 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:

Defeatment of the goal they had to operate the limited service

I would still prefer more frequent buses compared to slightly faster buses. If the wait time is 30 minutes for the local, 30 min for the limited, chances are most people will simply take which ever comes first. Instead of operating a limited when frequency obviously does not warrant it, they should re-balance the stops (which they are doing to some route)

15 hours ago, map.man (Darrin) said:
  • I'd like to see a consolidation of the 14 and 16 in some form.  A clock-face frequency would make the routes a lot easier if you can safely expect the route to arrive at an evenly spaced interval.  I remember a couple Sunday trips operating within a few minutes of each other due to the addition of a lunch trip.

In some ways, they are "kind of" coordinated with each other, but I would like to see better coordination such as like you said, clockface scheduling

 

BTW I just remembered, they really need to get rid of that loop 42 does just to serve Lackawanna Transit Center

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14 hours ago, orionbuslover said:

Centro's 'Suburban Direct' routes from the early '00's didn't go downtown and they also didn't serve transit dependent riders in the city in any capacity. Very much along the lines of its current Syrculator route. It's almost as if Centro would do anything to NOT run an extra bus in city neighborhoods. 

The Centro redesign two decades ago and the resulting suburban direct routes were based on public input, same as this NFTA redesign.  Riders told Centro in the public meetings that they wanted to be abele to travel between major trip generators without having to go through downtown.  This all sounds great in theory, but designing routes that people would actually use is difficult, especially when funding limitations result in 60 minute or longer headways.  

You keep bringing up the Syrculator bus, but to my knowledge Centro is receiving funding to operate that route - it is not taking away a bus from a city neighborhood.  If Centro didn't operate it, the business group would contract it out to another operator. 

I don't think Centro's network is missing large areas of transit-dependent riders - I think the issue is the opposite, in that they are running too many variations trying to cover as many areas as possible.  In Eastwood there are the 21 Sunnycrest and 58 Parkhill routes paralleling the James St corridor.  On the south side the 54 Midland and 72 East Colvin parallel the South Salina corridor.  If Centro had the funding to operate 15-20 minute headways all day long on James and South Salina, most riders on those parallel routes would likely walk 10 minutes instead of waiting 80 minutes for the one closer to them.  The BRT plan wisely straightens out the South Salina, North Salina and James routes and this principle should be applied to other areas of the city.  All of that is dependent on funding that will allow frequent service that will help push back against the backlash in discontinuing duplicative routes and allow a few important variations to be run without taking service away from the key corridors. 

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Apologizing to everyone for hijacking this thread and making it about Centro. This will be my last post here about them. 

I wasn't at those meetings and I find it hard to believe that people from the most affluent areas of CNY showed up and asked for a bus to connect Manlius, F'ville, and Dewitt to Shoppingtown. You say they did, and the routes did exist, so it proves my point further that Centro's priorities have always been out of whack. Choice riders over serving those in need.

I bring up the Syrculator because I have yet to find one source that says Centro isn't paying the cost. I've read news clips, board minutes, and skimmed through board meeting videos on YouTube. And nothing. They found enough money to pay an operator to drive for ~8 hours a day, geared toward office workers during a pandemic/work from home way of life. So, it shouldn't be hard to do the same for a city route or two.

Route variations aside, Centro operates a spoke and hub network, not much of a network at all. If you're on the Eastside and want to travel to Shop City? Go downtown and back out. In Eastwood or near Grant Blvd and want to go Destiny? Go downtown and back out. Instead of straight up Teall or across Grant Blvd, respectively. So, the current network is missing large swaths of potential riders because they won't bother riding the bus when you can walk somewhere faster. Atleast, when the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice.

There isn't anything inherently wrong with parallel routes. Especially, when they travel through dense, low income areas. Might not be a popular opinion, but density + low incomes = high transit ridership. I grew up off of Midland and yes we would walk over to Salina because it was more frequent. Come winter time? Uh, maybe not.

BRT was first proposed like ten years ago. And Centro has never been the lead agency on that project. SMTC has led that effort. Other than a few public comments here and there over the years, Centro has been extremely silent about BRT. It's not apparent to me that BRT is a priority for Centro. 

Did you read the new 81 report yet? Even the NYS DOT called out the rather sucky service.

 

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To steer this back to NFTA - let's see how much money is devoted to additional service along with the route changes.  The low-hanging fruit (7, 29, 54) were cut off, but otherwise the existing network is still in place.  NFTA does a decent job of headways on major routes but there are plenty of examples of routes on irregular headways (especially on weekends).   The 1, 2 and 15 all have oddball headways on Saturdays - perhaps they should focus on only one or two routes through this area on 30-minute headways or better.  And the 44, 46, 47, 48 and 49 are coverage routes with irregular headways, just like suburban routes in other cities.  

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