Category Archives: Bus

Uber Can’t Replace Transit — Here Are 3 Reasons Why

Transit projects from Detroit to Nashville are running up against a new argument from opponents. The latest line from anti-transit types is that ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are going to make fixed-route bus or rail service obsolete.

It doesn’t hold up if you’ve given some thought to the huge amount of space cars consume compared to buses or trains. But many people don’t spend their days thinking about the spatial efficiency of transit.

1. Uber and Lyft hog too much space

Let’s say, hypothetically, that a city gives up on transit service because officials think Uber and Lyft can take care of things from now on. Imagine what happens next: Everyone who rides the LA Metro Bus system suddenly crowds onto the 405 in an Uber, every passenger on New York’s L train has to hail a ride over the Williamsburg Bridge. The result would be total gridlock.

Uber and Lyft have some advantages in certain contexts. But car services can’t overcome urban geometry.

2. Even lightly-used transit beats heavily-used ride-hailing services

Not every bus is packed, but even a mostly-empty bus can use streets more efficiently than Ubercars. A bus carrying about 10 passengers per service hour is generally considered to be “low-performing,” TransitCenter points out. But that still beats the pants off ride-hail services.

“For an Uber or Lyft driver to serve ten people per hour,” writes TransitCenter, “it would mean the driver is picking up a new passenger every six minutes, physically impossible in American cities.”

3. Demand for transit peaks at different times than demand for taxis

If you look at when Uber and Lyft are most popular, it’s during the night, when transit runs less often. Meanwhile, transit is at its fullest during the a.m. and p.m. rush. Not many people use Uber and Lyft for regular commuting.

Transit and ride-hailing services can complement each other — especially at times or in places where transit is weaker. But don’t be taken in by anyone predicting the end of transit — buses and trains aren’t going anywhere.

CNE 2017 BUS TRIP

The annual CNE 2017 Trip will be on Sunday April 2, 2017.
We will be departing Renegade Stadium, Wappingers Falls at 9:00 AM.

Our route takes us on the mountain division of the NYNH&H between
Hopewell Jct. and Danbury which employed pushers up the hill.

Our route shows what we can see of the row which is still in place and we are using the
57 seat coaches which have PA’s and restrooms.

The cost includes lunch and guide book and is still $55 per person.

Make your check out to Joe Mato-CNE 2017 and mail it to
Joe Mato, 62 Wood Rd, Redding, CT 06896

For further questions, I can be reached at (203) 938-9992 or email at
joemato@sbcglobal.net

Please arrive at 8:30 AM for guide-book, coffee and muffin. We will depart
promptly at 9:00 AM.

Renegade Stadium Address:
1500 Rt. 9D
Wappingers Falls, N.Y. 12590

Find out more about the Central New England Railway

MTA unveils budget and financial plans, proposes fare hikes

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) earlier this week released its preliminary 2017 budget and four-year financial plan, which together propose more than $1 billion for a host of initiatives.

In particular, the budget and plan would provide funds for measures to improve customer experience, increase service and service support, increase support for MTA’s capital program, enhance safety and security, and invest in necessary maintenance and operations.

As part of the financial plans, MTA is considering implementing two 4 percent fare increases in 2017 and 2019.

The four-year plan includes $195 million from 2017 through 2020 to support capital projects aimed at improving the rider experience. These include adding Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital screens to 400 subway cars, MTA officials said in a press release.

Other investments will allow MTA New York City Transit to enhance and expand its Lexington Avenue subway line platform controller.

In addition, MTA will invest an additional $46 million in safety and security initiatives from 2017 to 2020 to augment existing measures. Those investments include upgrading railroad crossings, adding on-board vehicle cameras, providing more “Help Point” intercoms, and improving security operations throughout the agency’s system.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) earlier this week released its preliminary 2017 budget and four-year financial plan, which together propose more than $1 billion for a host of initiatives.

In particular, the budget and plan would provide funds for measures to improve customer experience, increase service and service support, increase support for MTA’s capital program, enhance safety and security, and invest in necessary maintenance and operations.

As part of the financial plans, MTA is considering implementing two 4 percent fare increases in 2017 and 2019.

The four-year plan includes $195 million from 2017 through 2020 to support capital projects aimed at improving the rider experience. These include adding Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital screens to 400 subway cars, MTA officials said in a press release.

Other investments will allow MTA New York City Transit to enhance and expand its Lexington Avenue subway line platform controller.

In addition, MTA will invest an additional $46 million in safety and security initiatives from 2017 to 2020 to augment existing measures. Those investments include upgrading railroad crossings, adding on-board vehicle cameras, providing more “Help Point” intercoms, and improving security operations throughout the agency’s system.

We Know How to Fix Traffic, We Just Don’t Want to

It’s shaping up to be Traffic Week here at L.A. Weekly, with a cover story on the MTA’s new $120 billion transit plan, plus coverage of a new study showing that, yes, L.A. has the nation’s worst traffic jams (but the 405 isn’t as bad as you think).

It’s tempting to think that traffic is one of those insoluble dilemmas of Los Angeles — just the price you pay to live in a thriving megalopolis that a lot of other people also want to live in. But the fact is that transit experts do have a pretty good idea of how to fix traffic.

There is a catch, however. The situation is sort of like that Citizen Kane quote about making a lot of money — it’s not so difficult, if that’s all you want to do. Similarly, it’s not that hard to solve traffic, if all you want to do is solve traffic.

The solution is congestion pricing. The MTA does this, on a pilot basis, on the 110 freeway south of downtown and on the 10 freeway in the San Gabriel Valley. It’s had a mixed record so far — a lot of people use it, but a lot of people don’t like it. But if you ask James Moore, the director of the Transportation Engineering Program at USC, it should be used everywhere.

“If I were king, I would price all the capacity,” Moore says.

The tolls on the 110 and 10 “Express Lanes” range from 25 cents to $1.40 per mile.  As traffic slows, the tolls go up. The goal is to maintain a minimum speed of 45 mph. (Many more details can be found here.) The idea is that putting a price on use of the freeway internalizes the external costs of driving, and forces people to make more efficient use of the freeways.

“If you don’t use price to allocate resources, other mechanisms emerge, such as queueing,” Moore says.

A traffic jam is thus little different from a Soviet-era bread line.

So now, on those segments of the 110 and the 10, drivers finally have a choice. They can pay a toll and zip along in the fast lanes, or pay with their time to use the congested, non-toll lanes. The problem is that too many people are choosing to pay the toll.

About 500,000 people have obtained the transponders that allow them to drive in the toll lanes. In January, the MTA staff reported that the lanes are so crowded that speeds have dropped. When traffic gets too slow, all the toll-paying drivers are kicked out and lanes revert to carpool-only.  To address this issue, the MTA decided to boost the maximum toll in increments of 10 cents per mile.

During the debate, some of the board members voiced concerns about the whole concept. Supervisor Don Knabe complained that there is “no rhyme nor reason to the pricing,” and noted that people sometimes dart in and out of the lanes to avoid paying.

“None of this makes any real sense,” argued Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I have never liked letting people pay to ride in these lanes.”

Kuehl said she could see the argument for allowing hybrid and electric vehicles in carpool lanes, because it lowers carbon emissions. But she did not see a case for letting solo drivers pay congestion tolls. She also noted the problem of allowing access for low-income drivers, which the MTA has addressed to a degree through a rebate program.

“Nothing is gained but money,” Kuehl said.

There is another gain — a faster commute for people willing to pay for it — but to see that, you’d need to be able to imagine yourself using the toll lanes. Kuehl’s argument is similar to one you sometimes hear from rail critics: if it doesn’t benefit non-users, then there is no benefit. In fact, the real benefit of either mode goes primarily to those who take advantage of it.

What non-users really want is free-flowing traffic, even in peak hours, in one of the greatest cities in the world, for free. But you can’t have all of those things. If you’re against congestion pricing, it just means you prefer to have bad traffic than to make the tradeoffs required to improve it.

That all said, the Express Lanes might work better if they were set up differently. For instance, when traffic in the toll lanes slows, all the electric cars and carpools could be kicked out, giving priority to the toll-payers. That would make traffic a breeze for the toll-payers. But the MTA has chosen to encourage carpooling and electric vehicles, at the cost of greater congestion.

In the world where James Moore is king, and all lanes are subject to congestion pricing, there would be a real concern about equity. Rich people would happily pay the tolls, while a lot of poor people would stay home. That’s one argument for building out a functional transit system, which would offer decent mobility for the low price of $1.75 per trip.

But in the world where toll lanes are an option alongside non-toll lanes, drivers have a choice of paying with their time or their money. By not offering that choice more broadly, the MTA is forcing everyone to pay with their time.

Bernie Sanders Just Scored a Powerful Endorsement in NY City

Bernie Sanders receives the endorsement of Transit Workers Union Local 100 in Brooklyn.

In the social media age, where everyone has the power to endorse or denounce a presidential candidate online, traditional endorsements tend not to matter all that much.

This one might.

Today, less than a week before the New York primary, the Transit Workers Union Local 100 endorsed Bernie Sanders at a press conference in Brooklyn. The meeting was attended by hundreds of New York City transit workers, all dressed in matching T-shirts and baseball hats, carrying signs that read, “TWU says Feel the Bern.”

The reason this endorsement matters so much is because it’s not just coming from a single powerful individual or publication. The Local 100 is 42,000-members strong. With immediate family included, their reach stretches to roughly 100,000 people. They’re already organized, and they understand full well the importance of turning out the vote, as they’ve done so many times before to protect transit workers’ interests in New York City.

As union president John Samuelsen says, “It’s tens of thousands of dependable votes.”

This is the second major endorsement Sanders has gotten today in the lead up to the New York primary on Tuesday. Earlier this morning, in an op-ed for The New York Times, Senator Jeff Merkley also threw his support behind Sanders, becoming the first sitting Senator to back Sanders over Democratic rival and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton. OOOhhhhhh Hillary just lost one of her “SUPER DELEGATES”

Wonder what will happen with VERIZON strike in New York today???

Bernie was marching with them!

Road Worrier: Uber and GoTriangle could become a dynamic duo

A bicyclist takes off from between two GO Raleigh city buses at the Moore Square Station in downtown Raleigh. A new app will make riding the bus more convenient by allowing riders to plot the best bus route and book an Uber driver to take them between the bus stop and their destination, if it’s too far to walk. Harry Lynch hlynch@newsobserver.com

This week we might begin to see whether Uber can help smash public transportation’s “first mile, last mile” barrier.

Yes: Uber, the new-fangled nemesis of old-fashioned taxis everywhere. Uber, so cheap and ubiquitous that it has begun luring riders off Charlotte’s trains and buses.

Why didn’t each of us relax on the bus to work this morning, reading books and digging WiFi? One answer is that most of us live too far away (hi, Cary!) from the nearest stop. First mile.

And maybe the office is a long hike (yo, Research Triangle Park!) from the last stop, too. Last mile.

So we drove the car instead.

Here’s a new option with the potential to overcome this considerable obstacle: Use one smartphone app to plot the best bus route – and, if it helps, book an Uber driver to cover that “first mile” to the bus stop or the “last mile” to the destination, or both. All with the proverbial one click.

Uber has made modest moves to acknowledge public transit options in other parts of the country. But the San Francisco-based company is going farther with GoTriangle.

It all comes together in the Rider app distributed by Durham-based TransLoc, which shows commuters where their bus is and how soon it will arrive.

“Our mission is to make transit so great that it becomes everybody’s first choice for transportation,” Doug Kaufman, the TransLoc CEO, said in an interview. “This Uber partnership is a way to make transit more viable, by making it easier to get people to the bus stop.”

GoTriangle, better known as Triangle Transit, is the three-county bus agency that hauls students and commuters from one town to another. TransLoc’s Rider app tracks buses for GoTriangle and 140 transit agencies across the country. Rider will be Uber-enhanced for transit users in Memphis, Tenn., starting March 22 – and for GoTriangle riders starting Thursday.

GoTriangle, Uber and TransLoc will roll out the new app in an event scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Durham Station, the downtown bus hub. Wool E. Bull and Mayor Bill Bell will be there.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/traffic/road-worrier-blog/article63211972.html#storylink=cpy

What The L.A. Times Missed In Their Story About Declining Metro Ridership

The Los Angeles Times‘ front page Wednesday declared, provocatively, that despite the billions of dollars invested into Southern California mass-transit, fewer people are using the system than were in the 1980s.

The piece touched off a firestorm of conjecture asking why this might be the case, and whether or not we should continue collectively pouring billions into a transit system people seem to be leaving. This is not a new issue. L.A. Weekly covered the issue briefly last October, with similar conclusions as the L.A. Times piece yesterday.

But the Times’ piece did spur advocates of Los Angeles’ transit ecosystem to rise to the defense of public transit, explain why there might be a decline and point out faults with the Times’ reporting.

What the Times Missed

Ethan Elkind, a faculty member at UCLA Law School and author of the seminal transit history of Los Angeles Railtown, argues that the Times’ reporting amounts to climate-change deniers who pick an artificially warm year in the 1990s as evidence of the phenomena’s absence. By picking a year in the mid-80s as a high-water mark, the Times headline could alternatively have read “Metro Ridership up nearly 30% in past 20 years.”

Elkind continues, arguing that the Times; claim that “billions have been spent” misses the point:

In addition, the article is a bit unfair to Metro in citing the billions of dollars that have been invested in rail during this period of declining ridership. Sure, since 2006 the region has been spending a lot of money on rail, but those investments have not yet resulted in actual, open rail lines. Since that year, only the East Side Gold Line and half of the Expo Line (to Culver City) have opened.

Projects funded by these “billions” that have not opened yet include the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, the Gold Line extension to Azuza, the Purple Line extension to Westwood, the Downtown L.A. Regional Connector (connecting the Expo/Blue Lines to the Gold Line), and the Crenshaw Line which bridges the gap between the Expo Line and LAX.

Steve Hymon, editor of Metro’s blog entitled The Source, made the case that decreased transit ridership is an indication that, more so than ever before, we need to be investing in a robust transportation system that isn’t car-centered.

Hymon takes serious issue with a quote from the Times’ piece from James Moore, a USC professor who was quoted as saying “it’s the dream of every bus rider to own a car. And as soon as they can afford one, that’s the first purchase they’ll make.”

For Hymon, and undoubtedly several others, this signals nostalgia for a bygone era when cars ruled supreme. Cars still lord over Los Angeles, but saying everyone on the bus dreams of purchasing a car and parking on the 10 Freeway for an hour-and-a-half each day is, shall we say, unwise.

Hymon hammers his point home, underscoring how dangerous Moore’s claim is. “You think traffic stinks now?” he writes. “How do you think traffic would be with even a small fraction of Metro’s 453 million boardings behind the wheel of a car on your local freeway/arterial/residential street? 😩”

The dream of Angelenos has nothing to do with cars or buses, bikes or trains. Angelenos, just like people in other cities, dream of being able to get from point A to point B with minimal inconvenience. Whether this is in a buses with their own dedicated lanes, or in computer controlled cars smart enough to make traffic a thing of the past, we aren’t picky. Pledging allegiance to cars or transit as superior naively ignores that the future will depend on both.

So why the recent decrease?

L.A.’s transit history is complicated and contradictory. Ridership peaked in the mid-1980s when the then-Rapid Transit District Agency operated a network exclusively composed of buses. A decade of price increases and service cuts caused a decline in ridership until 1996, when the Bus Riders Union successfully litigated Metro in a civil rights lawsuit. A federal court decreed the agency halt fare increases and dramatically increase bus service.

As the Times points out, transit ridership following the court decision increased until it began falling again in the mid-2010s. This new decline can at once be explained by Metro’s recent fare increases, service cuts to several heavily-used bus lines, an improving economy, cheaper gasoline, and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

Yet these explanations fall short of describing any substantive trend away from transit ridership. Each one on its own undoubtedly has some effect on the overall numbers, but to make a significant dent in 500 million annual boardings demands a better explanation. The decline is somewhat of a paradox since Los Angeles’ interior is increasingly better connected by transit than ever before.

Could gentrification be to blame?

One condition that the Times didn’t particularly pay attention to is the demographics of most transit riders themselves. There is no data readily available on this issue, but it might be worth investigating how rising rent prices affect transportation habits.

The average household income of a typical L.A. bus rider is less than $17,000 annually, according to a 2014 survey by Metro. People who live in households making less than $17,000 annually don’t take Uber. They ride transit because it is the only option they can afford. Given that income inequality is increasing in Los Angeles, it’s not likely that the working class suddenly became affluent and can now afford to drive instead of taking the bus.

Could gentrification be the culprit? Over the past few decades, working class families have been getting priced out of neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Hollywood, Venice, Palms, East Hollywood, University Park, North Hollywood and Highland Park. Taking public transportation to work within Los Angeles proper might be doable from these neighborhoods, and owning a car seems like a luxury. But as this class get priced out to far-flung parts of the city, like Pacoima, or suburbs like Cudahy, public transportation becomes increasingly impractical. A worker not only won’t want to sit on a bus for four hours a day, it might be impossible if they need to get to a second or third job to pay the bills. The car, while previously an expensive luxury, has become a necessity in this case.

The pace of gentrification shows no signs of stopping. Los Angeles needs more housing and most of the housing being built is hardly accessible to the demographics who ride transit; much of this housing actually often displaces them.

More research is needed on this issue. Without serious attention to who actually rides transit—and for what reason—the city’s push for building dense housing and making public transportation service more regular may not solve L.A.’s impending gridlock.

Amtrak, U.S. transit agencies step up security after Brussels terrorist attacks

ISIS 1 over Metro Car 0

Following yesterday’s terrorist attacks at a Brussels airport and subway station, Amtrak and several major U.S. transit agencies increased their security efforts.

In response to the attacks — which left more than 30 people dead and injured hundreds more — Amtrak deployed extra officers at its stations. Additionally, the national passenger railroad’s police force is working with state, local and federal law enforcement partners to gather and share intelligence, according to a statement posted on Amtrak’s blog.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City is working with the New York State Police and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to elevate police presence at subway and rail stations, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release.

Additionally, PANYNJ increased its police presence at all of its airports, bridges, tunnels and the World Trade Center, as well as the PATH and Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority also beefed up police presence at three rail stations, including L.A.’s Union Station.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced it is deploying additional security to major U.S. airports and at various rail and transit stations, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a prepared statement.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) encouraged riders to remain vigilant and report any unattended bags or suspicious behavior.

“We all need to work together to make sure that our public transit systems are as safe and secure as possible,” said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy.

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Belgium left 31 people dead and more than 200 others wounded. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks, which were carried out by two suicide bombers.

One of the bombers targeted Brussels’ Maalbeek subway station.

NJ Transit, MTA prep for possible rail strike

New Jersey Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced alternate service plans in the event that NJ Transit’s rail workers go on strike starting March 13.

The date marks the end of the so-called “cooling-off” period after a Presidential Emergency Board in January selected a coalition of labor unions’ offer of a contract as most reasonable.

The agency is still working to reach an agreement with its rail labor unions, which have been working for five years without a new contract. Today, NJ Transit and a coalition of rail unions are scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., for final talks to avoid the strike, local media reported.

NJ Transit’s contingency plan calls for adding capacity to existing New York commuter bus routes in close proximity to rail stations, contracting with private carriers to operate bus service from key regional park-and-ride locations during weekday peak periods, and maximizing the use of available capacity on Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) routes and ferry service.

Additionally, NJ Transit would increase capacity on its three light-rail systems, agency officials said in a press release.

The alternate service plan would accommodate up to 38 percent of the agency’s existing New York-bound customer base.

“NJ Transit will operate a plan that the overall system and region can safely handle to accommodate as many customers as possible who absolutely must travel into and out of New York, bearing in mind that bus service cannot replicate the railroad,” said NJ Transit Interim Executive Director Dennis Martin, noting that the worker stoppage could lead to 10,000 additional cars on the road per peak hour.

In developing the plan, NJ Transit primarily focused available resources on New York-bound riders, which comprise the largest segment of the agency’s rail customer base.  Approximately 105,000 customers make up the total rail-based interstate market, including customers who transfer from NJ Transit rail to PATH trains at Hoboken Terminal and Newark Penn Station.

Through a combination of added capacity to existing New York bus routes, operation of regional park-and-ride service and private carriers expanding capacity where possible, NJ Transit expects to carry approximately 40,000 New York customers.

Meanwhile, MTA in New York City also announced preliminary preparations if the NJ Transit strike occurs.

The agency would provide limited peak-direction shuttle bus service between New York’s Rockland and Orange counties and the MTA Metro-North Railroad‘s Hudson Line. This bus service would accommodate riders on Metro-North’s Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines, which are operated by NJ Transit.

Additionally, MTA New York City Transit will evaluate road conditions on a daily basis and may opt to reroute express buses that normally travel through New Jersey between Manhattan and Staten Island. These buses instead could travel through Brooklyn in the mornings and evenings, MTA officials said in a press release.

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Simple, predictable stops. Regular service. Good connections. The Q70 isn’t a train, it’s a bus line that actually works.

Buses have always been the stepchild of New York City’s mass transit system, and LaGuardia Airport is the butt of every commercial aviation joke.

But put the two stalwarts together and you get a nearly magical experience, at least until you remember that you’re still stuck at the gate.

Last week, the MTA acknowledged the usefulness of one of NYC transit’s pleasant surprises — the Q70 Limited bus to LaGuardia, which will enjoy boosted service starting in the spring.

The bus picks up passengers from the LIRR at Woodside and the subway at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and continues to LaGuardia. Passengers can go from midtown to New York’s very own “third-world airport” in just over half an hour, barring traffic.

The increased service will cut wait times, with buses running every eight minutes during the day and every 20 minutes at night. And by the end of the year the MTA plans to make the Q70 a select bus line, with riders purchasing tickets before entering to speed the vehicle along.

A bus that solves a problem

The Q70, originally introduced in 2013, is a point of focus for the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group that pointed to the Q70 as a practical solution while the city waits for a direct rail link from airport to city which was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year.

That project is targeted to take five years to complete and has a nearly half-billion-dollar price tag, so we’ll hold our breath to see whether it’s done before the Second Avenue subway.

In the meantime, the Riders Alliance wants the Q70, transformed into a free shuttle between LaGuardia and the subway, to serve as a convenient, simple option.

The MTA hasn’t made changes on pricing or branding yet, but Nick Sifuentes of the Riders Alliance calls the increased service a “10 percent success” at least, and was gratified that the MTA was addressing the issue.

Sifuentes says the bus system is a major point of concern for Riders Alliance — making them faster, through dedicated bus lanes, more select bus service, and new technology, such as transponders which communicate with traffic lights to extend green lights slightly as buses are approaching.

Failing to pay attention to buses is a very “Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn-centric approach.” The outer boroughs rely on the workhorses for transport.

“We hear from riders all the time that buses need improvement, that they’re not working for them,” he says, citing bunching — when there’s no buses in sight and then suddenly two in a row — and long waits.

The fastest way to LGA, except when it’s not

At Roosevelt Avenue, the buses load up visitors and airport workers alike directly from the subway, and take them straight to the airport.

Robert Broaddus, 45, had taken the Q70 on the way to Manhattan and was about to take it back to LaGuardia. He took a cab once a few years ago, which he says cost $70. “Never gonna do that again,” he says.

Of course, they’re still buses, and it’s still LaGuardia.

This was John Tyler’s second time waiting for the Q70 in as many days, on the tail end of a visit to his boyfriend. On Monday night, his bus was stuck for three hours in a monumental traffic jam en route to LaGuardia, the result of a car fire and congestion on the Grand Central Parkway from the missed flights after our blizzard weekend.

Though they weren’t far from the exit ramp, the bus driver couldn’t let them off, Tyler, 33, says, even as passengers in taxis and private cars got out of their vehicles and hustled toward the pit of air despair, a stream of red lights ahead.

Tyler took the setback with good bus-rider stoicism, saying the Q70 was “actually a lot quicker and cheaper” than any other option.

He shrugs. “I had a place to go,” he says.

Mark Chiusano