Ron LeeJul 13, 2017, 10:16 am

MTA cuts bus service at 3 pickup locations, adjusts schedules due to low ridership

A commuter who took bus to NYC says she would resort to it again if there are train disruptions

Low ridership forces MTA to reduce ‘park and ride’ service 

Due to low ridership on many of the charter buses that were being offered, the MTA made some major changes Thursday such as discontinuing service from three of its eight scheduled pickup locations.

Paula Turkel-Simon of Merrick took the 7:32 train a.m. out of Long Island Railroad station in Merrick Thursday morning to get to her job in the Garment District by Penn Station. While the clothing designer feels fortunate that the chaos that had been predicted has not lived up to the hype, she says she was initially worried so she took a bus into the city Monday morning for a trial run to get to work.

"I thought things would be really bad, so I opted for the bus, and I was alone, and it was actually kind of nice, except it took an hour and a half to get in," Turkel-Simon says.

She adds that the bus ride added 40 minutes to her commute. And while she thinks the MTA is making the right decision by adjusting its shuttle schedule due to low ridership, she is glad that the complimentary bus service is not being eliminated completely.

"I think it's a great option, the bus. I found it to be very comfortable. I know there's a lot of traffic, but if the trains start to get messed up and causing big delays and problems, I would go back to the bus. It was really comfortable and relaxing," Turkel-Simon says.

Following low ridership systemwide on its charter buses, the MTA has discontinued shuttle bus service from pickup points at the Roosevelt Field Mall, North Hempstead Beach Park, and Bethpage State Park. The hours of operation are also being adjusted a bit.

Buses out of Belmont Racetrack, Nassau Coliseum, and the LIRR stations in Valley Stream, Seaford, and Melville will now run every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and no longer until 10 a.m. Evening hours, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., stay the same.

Meantime, Manhattan-bound buses will no longer serve the area around Grand Central Terminal or other locations along 42 Street. The focus now will be on 34th Street.

One stop will be near Penn Station while the other will be on the East Side of Manhattan.

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