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Downtowner late evening service

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  • (no author)
    Thank you for your comments. They have been sent to the entire committee and to Suburban. The committee will be shortly having a formal survey that the entire
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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      Thank you for your comments.

      They have been sent to the entire committee and to
      Suburban.

      The committee will be shortly having a formal survey
      that the entire commuting populace will have an
      opportunity to express their views on this and many
      other issues. We hope that you will complete it. We
      will then be relying heavily on these responses in
      designing the contract bid specifications.

      The Commuter Parking Advisory Committee

      Visit us at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EBCommuter/messages

      ---

      > Hello
      >
      > I've been commuting on Surburban for over 15
      > years...
      >
      > Regarding the contract renewal, I think Surburbur
      > should address the
      > following issue:
      >
      > On the Downtowner, the last bus is 8:15., if there
      > are no seats - you're out
      > of luck you must go uptown & take the subway
      > downtown - They will only get
      > another bus if 20 or more people are 'left over' - I
      > think when that last bus
      > pulls in, if there are twenty or more people in line
      > and they have less than
      > twenty seats available - they should pull up a new
      > bus and then everyone will
      > have a seat.
      >
      > Thank You
    • (no author)
      Thank you for your comments. They have been sent to the entire committee and to Suburban. Many of use on the committee agree that the service level that we
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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        Thank you for your comments.

        They have been sent to the entire committee and to
        Suburban.

        Many of use on the committee agree that the service
        level that we have been receiving from Suburban on the
        trip home from Downtown is lacking. It certainly is
        the committee�s objective that improving this service
        will be a major point of emphasis in our contract bid
        specification design process. If you check our web
        site you will see he have forwarded to Suburban
        numerous complaints about overcrowding and lack of
        adequate seating on the return downtown service.

        The committee will be shortly distributing a formal
        survey to the entire commuting populace giving them an
        opportunity to express their views on this and many
        other issues. We hope that you will complete it. We
        will then be relying heavily on these responses in
        designing the contract bid specifications.

        The Commuter Parking Advisory Committee

        Visit us at
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EBCommuter/messages

        ---

        > To Whom it might concern:
        >
        > I am writing to voice my displeasure with the bus
        > service that the downtown
        > commuter is receiving.
        > Granted the weather conditions were not the best
        > yesterday Thursday
        > 03/22/01.
        >
        >
        > OUTBOUND P.M. Downtown
        >
        > Date: 03/22/01
        > Bus #: 36127
        > Bus Time: 4:10PM (according to Woman Driver)
        > Bus arrived at 4th Stop: 4:25PM
        > People standing: 3 from 3rd stop
        > People standing: 2 from 4th stop (4 left on the
        > street)
        > Picked up & standing 2 from 5th stop (3 approx.
        > left on the street)
        >
        > Total of people standing were 7
        >
        > If this was the 4:10PM bus I don't understand where
        > the 3:55PM bus was
        > since I was waiting at the 4th stop
        > from 4:00PM.
        >
        > Something is seriously wrong when the 4:10PM bus, is
        > picking people from
        > the 3rd stop and they have to stand.
        > I do not care how many schedules they print with
        > changes that I personally
        > feel they don't adhere to.
        >
        > The OUTBOUND Downtown bus does not stop at Chambers
        > Street can they remove
        > that location from their
        > schedule and correct the P.M. Outbound schedule to
        > reflect the proper
        > Outbound Stops.
        >
        > As a commuter do I have to go to the 1st or 2nd stop
        > to be guaranteed a
        > seat?
        > Remember that we don't have the luxury of waiting
        > indoors for the Bus to
        > arrive.
        >
        > Thank you, for taking the time to read this note and
        > perhaps address some
        > of the concerns the downtown
        > commuter has to face in taking Coach USA. Perhaps
        > there should be an
        > option of 2 Bus Lines.
        >
        > A dissatisfied commuter,
      • (no author)
        Thank you for your comments. They have been sent to the entire committee and to Suburban. Many of use on the committee agree that the service level that we
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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          Thank you for your comments.

          They have been sent to the entire committee and to
          Suburban.

          Many of use on the committee agree that the service
          level that we have been receiving from Suburban on the
          trip home from Downtown is lacking. It certainly is
          the committee�s objective that improving this service
          will be a major point of emphasis in our contract bid
          specification design process. If you check our web
          site you will see he have forwarded to Suburban
          numerous complaints about overcrowding and lack of
          adequate seating on the return downtown service.

          The committee will be shortly distributing a formal
          survey to the entire commuting populace giving them an
          opportunity to express their views on this and many
          other issues. We hope that you will complete it. We
          will then be relying heavily on these responses in
          designing the contract bid specifications.

          The Commuter Parking Advisory Committee

          Visit us at
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EBCommuter/messages

          ---

          > A notice was handed out today stating that due to an
          > increase in riders
          > between 5:05 PM and 5:27PM, there is a revised
          > schedule effective March
          > 26th.
          >
          > OLD SCHEDULE (3/5/01) NEW SCHEDULE
          > (3/26/01)
          > 5:05
          > 5:08
          > 5:12
          > 5:14
          > 5:20
          > 5:20
          > 5:27
          > 5:27
          >
          > Effective March 26th, one bus departs 3 minutes
          > later, one bus departs 2
          > minutes later and the other two depart at the same
          > time. I can not figure
          > out how this increases seating between 5:05 and 5:27
          > to cover the increase
          > of riders between 5:05 and 5:27, there will still be
          > four buses during this
          > time frame. Maybe Suburban can explain to the
          > Committee and the Commuters.
        • (no author)
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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            > I do think I have a solution that would help some of
            > the problems:
            >
            > About 2 years ago, I and other passengers have asked
            > that a bus go directly
            > to the E.B.T. C. - An express. Suburban had done
            > this in the past but the
            > problems were:
            >
            > 1 No one knew about it until the bus came
            > 2 More importantly, the bus was at 5:30 so by the
            > time it came to the
            > last stop, it was near 6:00. The majority of us get
            > out at 5:00 so who
            > wants to wait an hour for this bus. It should be
            > brought back again but
            > instead of 5:30 it should be at 5:00.
            > 3 Also, it would take 20 minutes off our commute.
            > By the time we stop
            > at Tower Center, unload the passengers and then deal
            > with the rush hour
            > traffic on route 18 (including 3 lights to get
            > around the circle) it is an
            > extra 20 minutes.
            >
            > I had noticed last week that suburban is accepting
            > all these other
            > passengers who pay cash getting on the bus and there
            > are others that are
            > handing in these tickets which are orange and I
            > truthfully don't know what
            > ticket that is so that may be the major problem too.
            > Because so many people
            > who have to go to Princeton and other parts of NJ
            > they have to go to Tower
            > Center to get their transfers.. So what bus are
            > they getting on, the EBTC
            > buses. The Princeton bus doesn't stop at all the
            > stops. I have heard that
            > they turn down Vesey St and avoid the other stops.
            >
            >
            > Question:
            >
            > Have you heard from any other passengers since I had
            > given out the e-mail
            > address? Why isn't that e-mail address available to
            > more passengers through
            > the bus stations or by circulation?
          • (no author)
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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              > Gary,
              > I'd like to know what actions have been taken since
              > our last meeting to
              > correct this situation. It appears that the problem
              > is as bad as ever if not
              > worse. If you agree with that assessment, then I'd
              > like to know what plans
              > you have to improve the situation. If you disagree,
              > I'd like to know what
              > your perspective on this is. This definitely needs
              > a senior person on your
              > staff auditting and tracking ridership with an eye
              > on how many people are
              > left standing per stop per run.

              > ----- Original Message -----

              > Just an update for you on last night's disaster.
              > I was at the last stop at
              > 5:07 and 4 buses passed us up again. I was so
              > disgusted that me and four
              > other passengers walked down to Century 21.
              > I am 5 months pregnant and should not have to go
              > through this every night.
              > I think getting back the buses at 5:00 and 5:05
              > worked out much better.

              > The new schedule has the buses at 5:05 and 5:12 which
              > are the main buses. By the time they hit century 21, it fills because it
              > is 5:15 and 5:30 so forget about our stops.
              >
              > I also gave the email address out to some of the
              > passengers at my stop so you will be hearing from some of them today.

              > When I finally got on a bus at century 21 walking over from the Salomon Smith
              > Barney stop, which there are 3 of us there, it was 6:00. Sure enough when
              > I past my last stop, the people who were on line when I was there, were
              > still there. Waiting for over 1 hour.
              >
              > As far as another stop, why can't it be on the block before the turns down
              > for the tunnel.
            • (no author)
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 25, 2001
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                > I recently exchanged e mail with the East Brunswick
                > Commuter Parking Advisory
                > Committee regarding cell phone usage on Coach
                > USA/Suburban Transit buses
                > commuting between East Brunswick, Tower Center to
                > the Port Authority, New York.
                >
                > I now submit to you my complaint and my suggestion.
                >
                > I would hope you will all agree with me that the
                > commute from East Brunswick
                > to New York City (sometimes well over an hour) is a
                > long and sometimes
                > (traffic-wise) stressful commute. Using a cell
                > phone to advise your office
                > (at the beginning of the day) you will be late or to
                > call your family (at the
                > end of the day) to say you are delayed is a great
                > convenience. Bosses,
                > managers and supervisors at offices appreciate
                > knowing that you are only
                > delayed by traffic and are given an approximate
                > arrival time. Family members
                > also are comforted to know the time they can expect
                > you home (for dinner,
                > doctors appointments, family time, etc).
                >
                > The close quarters of a commuter bus do not allow
                > for much personal privacy.
                > Most commuters I have conversed with enjoy the quiet
                > "commuter" moments (in
                > our case an hour) to sleep, read, catch up on
                > paperwork or to just day dream
                > at the beginning and end of their day. When another
                > passenger uses their
                > cell phone for an inordinate amount of time to
                > continue to transact business,
                > call all of their friends and family or to in
                > general treat the confines of
                > the bus as their private living quarters it impacts
                > on all of the other
                > passengers of the bus. Confrontations can ensue if
                > one passenger asks
                > another to please stop talking on the phone. This
                > is quite a different
                > situation from asking another passenger to turn the
                > volume on their walkman down.
                >
                > My suggestion to you is to post a sign at the front
                > of each bus limiting cell
                > phone use to 2 minutes -- the "two minute rule" (as
                > they do on the Hampton
                > Jitney). I am aware an employee of Coach other than
                > the driver will not be
                > posted (as they do on the Hampton Jitney) BUT given
                > the fact that the sign is
                > posted clearly at the front of the bus will give the
                > requesting passenger the
                > clear right to ask that cell phone usage be stopped.
                >
                > There are many places where cell phone usage has
                > been and is now restricted -
                > theatres, restaurants, etc. I do not think that
                > this suggestion is
                > extraordinary and would hope that Coach UsA values
                > the interests and comfort
                > of the majority of its passengers.
                >
                > I look foward to hearing from you.
              • (no author)
                To: Gary Mariano ; Ronald Kohn ; Shalondra Wright Sent:
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 26, 2001
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                  To: "'Gary Mariano'" <gary.mariano@...>; "'Ronald Kohn'"
                  <ronald.kohn@...>; "'Shalondra Wright'"
                  <shalondra.wright@...>
                  Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 2:25 PM
                  Subject: AM Downtown Seating Inadequacy

                  > Gary,
                  >
                  > I arrived at Tower Center today, 3/26/01, at 5:57AM to catch the 6:08AM to
                  > Wall Street. There were about 18 or so people ahead of me on line. When I
                  > boarded the bus, the driver counted me as the 44th passenger. The last I
                  > checked, there were at least 7 people behind me and some to spare in the
                  > waiting area. This bus left completely full. Maybe the 20min gap from the
                  > 5:48AM is too long around this time. As always, I would be interested in
                  > seeing what the ridership stats have to say about overcrowding during this
                  > time of the morning. Looking forward to a reply.
                • (no author)
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 27, 2001
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                    --- Gary.Mariano@... wrote:
                    > Subject: Delayed Bus Service - Holland Tunnel Fire
                    > From: Gary.Mariano@...
                    > Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:39:13 -0500
                    >
                    > I received your e-mail regarding the extraordinary delay on your commute of
                    > February 22. There was indeed a fire in the Holland Tunnel which resulted
                    > in the delay.
                    >
                    > This information was conveyed by our dispatch epartment to all operators.
                    > However, this particular driver failed to pick up on the communication and
                    > thus heading directly into the delay without warning to the passengers.
                    >
                    > As such, a vioaltion was written up on this driver and ultimately he was
                    > suspended for his poor job performance. We will continue to montior the
                    > performance of this operator and evaluate his future with Suburban Transit.
                    >
                    > Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I sincerely apologize for the
                    > lengthy delay.
                    >
                    > Gary
                  • (no author)
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 27, 2001
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                      --- Gary.Mariano@... wrote:
                      > Subject: Re: Revised Downtown Schedule
                      > To: Commuter Advisory Committee
                      > <ebcommuter@...>
                      > From: Gary.Mariano@...
                      > Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:36:57 -0500
                      >
                      > The schedule changes implemented on the downtown service back on March 5th
                      > weere made to address three (3) specific pinch-points in the ridership
                      > trends. After reviewing this situation for two weeks, we found that the
                      > new schedule sucessfully handled two of these problems, but left the third
                      > unattended. As such, on the 26th we readjusted the schedule to shorten the
                      > headway during the period in qurestion from 7 1/2 minutes to 6 minutes.
                      > This should help alleviate the problem. We will continue to monitor the
                      > situation and study the resultant passenger counts.
                      >
                      > Gary
                    • (no author)
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 27, 2001
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                        --- Gary.Mariano@... wrote:
                        > Subject: Downtown Overcrowding
                        > CC: ebcommuter@...,
                        > From: Gary.Mariano@...
                        > Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:18:40 -0500
                        >
                        > I received your e-mail pointing out numerous dates where passengers are
                        > left at the last stop on the downtown service because the buses are full
                        > upon arrival at the stop.
                        >
                        > Prior to March 5th, we discovered there were three pressure points in the
                        > schedule during the evening rush hour where the service level was
                        > insufficient to meet the demand. The schedule change implemented on March
                        > 5th solved two of those pressure points, but ultimately did not resolve the
                        > third. Therefore, on March 26th we implemented an additional schedule
                        > change to address the specific problems between 5:05 pm and 5:25 pm,
                        > reducing the headway from 71/2 minutes to 6 minutes to relieve the
                        > pressure. We will continue to monitor the ridershiip patterns and make
                        > further adjustments as necessary.
                        >
                        > Quite honestly, the ridership patterns are very inconsistant. This
                        > however, is probably due to the inconsistancy of the service prior. As
                        > such, we will follow the trend and adjust accordingly.
                        >
                        > Gary
                      • (no author)
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 27, 2001
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                          > To: "'Gary.Mariano@...'"
                          > <Gary.Mariano@...>
                          > CC: "'ebcommuter@...'" <ebcommuter@...>
                          > Subject: RE: Downtown Overcrowding
                          > Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 13:36:21 -0500
                          >
                          > Gary:
                          >
                          > I do appreciate that you are finally being aware of this problem. But it
                          > still remains that with the elimination of the Princeton bus, this problem
                          > can still exist even with the new schedule. I am now going to try to leave
                          > earlier because I can't risk waiting for 25 - 45 minutes for a bus anymore,
                          > nor can I walk all the way to the WTC when I am starting out from 388
                          > Greenwich St. because I am 5 months pregnant.
                          >
                          > You do not realize how many people come out of the World Trade Center in 6
                          > minutes at rush hour. That is why the stop at Cortland St. meets the
                          > capacity of the bus and the remainder stops usually are left stranded. And
                          > forget about a rainy or snowy day; everyone leaves at least � or more
                          > earlier and that ruins it as well. And it is not that the buses are that
                          > late, it's that they ARE FULL.
                          >
                          > I don't know how Coach does not realize the need to add earlier buses on bad
                          > weather days or on holidays when the market closes earlier. A 3:45 bus from
                          > the 1st stop gets to the last stop at 4:00. That is not early when we have
                          > the opportunity to get out from work at 2:00 or 3:00. And in the 6 years
                          > that I am doing this commute, I have NEVER been able to make the first bus
                          > if I don't go to the stop BEFORE the WTC.
                          >
                          > Isn't it obvious by the books that the dispatcher keep that the number of
                          > passengers on buses as early as 5:40 and 6:00 am going downtown have
                          > increased in the past couple of years? And why cut service on Fridays, of
                          > all days? Have you ever done a commute home yourself on a Friday during
                          > rush hour? If not, you have no idea what you are in for.
                          >
                          > Meanwhile the PA passengers are absolutely content because 1) the have buses
                          > that start as early as 2:00, 2) they HAVE NEW BUSES, 3) they have a place
                          > to wait inside so they are not affected by weather and 4) their buses
                          > usually ran every 10 minutes during rush hour, not 15 to 20 minutes as ours
                          > did.
                          >
                          > Can you tell me, Gary, why there are no direct buses to EBTC? By stopping
                          > at tower center it adds 20 minutes to my commute. Or why can't we be
                          > dropped off first and they be dropped of next? Doesn't the driver go back
                          > in that direction after we are dropped off?
                          >
                          > I have also started to give out the email address for the Advisory Committee
                          > to other passengers. I hope the new schedule does make the commute
                          > better. I will keep you posted.
                        • (no author)
                          Thank you for your comments. They have been forwarded to the entire committee. They also have been forwarded to Suburban with a request that they respond to
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 28, 2001
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                            Thank you for your comments. They have been forwarded
                            to the entire committee. They also have been
                            forwarded to Suburban with a request that they respond
                            to you with a copy to the committee. Please let us
                            know if you do not hear from Suburban in a reasonable
                            period of time.

                            As for appropriate functioning of the heating (and air
                            conditioning), I am not aware of any member of the
                            committee that does not believe that there is much
                            room for improvement on this issue. The committee and
                            Suburban has concluded that the only reasonable way to
                            address the issue of temperature is to mandate a
                            fixed constant ideal temperature at the front of the
                            bus (where the controls are) and hope for the best.

                            Unfortunately the other problem we and Suburban face
                            is that many of the buses are old and have systems
                            that are far from state of the art. Many of the
                            heating/air conditioning systems are far past their
                            prime and virtually none of them can be programmed for
                            a specific temperature such as the agreed upon ideal
                            target of 72 degrees. Hopefully in the future newer
                            buses with better systems will permit this problem to
                            be dealt with more effectively.

                            Given this approach the best we can hope for is that
                            some passengers will be cold and some will be hot, but
                            hopefully over time people will learn to dress
                            appropriately and sit in the appropriate seat since it
                            is inevitable that the entire length bus will not be a
                            uniform temperature.

                            As for the safety issues that you raise, they are the
                            exclusive province of the NJ Department of
                            Transportation. East Brunswick and the committee are
                            expressly forbidden by the state from addressing
                            safety issues. However, as a commuter you can
                            directly address any safety complaints/concerns in
                            writing addressed to NJ DOT, Commercial Bus Inspection
                            Unit, PO 177, Trenton, NJ 08666. You must include
                            your phone, name and address although this information
                            will be held confidential by the DOT. They will not
                            accept complaints by phone, fax or e-mail. The phone
                            number for questions only is 609-777-4186.

                            When and if you file such a complaint I would
                            encourage you to include as much detail as possible
                            such as date, time, bus number, driver name, etc. I
                            am sure that the DOT will find the investigative
                            process much more effective with this information.

                            The Commuter Parking Advisory Committee

                            Visit us at
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EBCommuter/messages

                            ---
                            >
                            > Lack of ventilation/bus interior too hot continues to be a big issue. One
                            > particular rainy night, the driver could not see out of his front window unless
                            > he blasted the heat and even then someone had to stand up there and constantly
                            > wipe the window off for him. Such conditions create danger for both the driver
                            > who could not see and for the passengers who almost passed out from the extreme
                            > heat. I myself became ill on the bus due to the heat and almost asked to be let
                            > off on the side of the highway. The driver was particularly obnoxious and
                            > continued to ignore our pleas for air (be it opening the emergency vent or
                            > doors).

                            > I have steadily watched service decline in the past year. I am not hopeful that
                            > anything will every change.
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