Community Board 7 and State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal are vowing to fight the MTA’s proposed cuts to the M72 and M66.

As we first reported in July, those two bus lines along with the M10 (which travels on Central Park West) are slated for service cuts as part of an annual MTA process to realign bus frequency with ridership trends.

But Andrew Albert, the co-chair of the community board’s transportation committee and an MTA board member, said that ridership is only declining because the MTA has allowed service to deteriorate. Taking away service will only add to the problems. “This is a never-ending cycle of decline,” he said. The community board voted to formally oppose the cuts, which were set to go into effect this month. Rosenthal also said that the MTA had created a “self-perpetuating cycle of fewer riders,” and she said she’ll look to reverse the cuts.

Omar Vera, who attended the latest community board meeting to advocate for better bus service, said that the MTA should “install Select Bus Service on both routes, especially the M66.”

Select Bus Service, which has been implemented on the M79 and M86, speeds up bus service by having passengers buy tickets at kiosks before boarding, and by allowing buses to travel on dedicated lanes. Albert questioned whether the M66 in particular could become a Select Bus given that some of the streets where it travels are narrow.

NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Jens says:

      What about the M10? I just tried to take the bus uptown on Amsterdam.It was wall-to-wall traffic thanks to the bicycle lane. Had to walk my forty pounds of groceries over to CPW where thankfully I got a bus. No bus cuts ever!

    2. jezbel says:

      The select bus line is a sham. It’s not any quicker to get from west to east (vice versa) but is DOES hold more people. To eliminate the M66 and the M72 & M10 would be a travesty and add to the downhill slide this City seems to be hellbent on going. More, cleaner, safer transportation is what we need. Uber & Lyft are doing record business because the trains are aweful, filthy, slow & dangerous. And the buses are a rag-tag fleet of aging polluting turds. We need to get a new fleet of clean-burning buses (or electric) and keep them ALL running.

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “And the buses are a rag-tag fleet of aging polluting turds.”

        Like ALL generalizations, only PARTLY true:
        Yes, the M66 and M72 use the older more-polluting type of bus…evidence of how unimportant MTA management considers these routes compared to other cross-town routes like the M79, M86, M96, and even that rara avis, the M106.

        BUT, the major north/south “M” lines (5, 7, 11, 55, 104) use newer, larger, and much-less-polluting bus types that do their job efficiently.

        And as for Uber, Lyft, etc.: they are the major cause of the increase in traffic-clogged avenues, causing buses to take much longer to get someplace. AND the Uber/Lyft drivers seem to think that they can wait for their passengers IN BUS STOPS, something that used to be a ticket-able offense.

    3. B.B. says:

      Actually have found the M79 Select Bus service slightly better than previous incarnation.

      What would help things immensely is if NYPD would ticket and or force vehicles to move that are parked or standing in select bus lanes. Whole new schools of drivers now treat those lanes as a place to stop or even park.

      There is a nursing home on 79th and Third where nearly all the hours of SBS their ambulances park in the SBL. That and or various vehicles picking up/waiting for workers or whatever from that place block the lane.

      Took the M86 last night and noticed two things; some drivers will wait while for someone to get off the bus, go and get a ticket from machine. This obviously holds up the bus.

      The other is so many people simply walk on and give the driver some flannel about “machine doesn’t work” or whatever and not paying. Or just don’t pay at all.

      Part of this one thinks is simply people see the bus at stop and run to get on, then realize it is a SB and they need to get off to pay. Rather than risk missing the bus they just get on and remain.

      MTA needs far more aggressive policing of fare evasion on these SB routes.

    4. Emily says:

      I’d also note the change in service starting this week on the M57 bus. They’ve decreased service on an already terrible line!

      As an avid bus rider I do feel like the SBS has helped routes move faster. It’s particularly noticeable on the M86 route compared to the non SBS M96 & M66 routes where people wait on line to board.

    5. Ellie says:

      There’s a lot of people who depend on the M72, including me. I already wait along time for the damn bus, then 2 come back to back. Now you want to make us wait longer? There are a lot of elderly people who use off peak hours. As far as Select buses, I’ve missed it a few times because the lines were long at the machine and the bus driver didn’t wait for everyone to get their ticket. So that sucks.

    6. Lynn says:

      M66 and M72 buses are always crowded because there is a large hospital, with hundreds of employees, at the eastern end of the routes. Service should be increased, not cut.
      Re: SBS, they are only marginally faster, and it must have cost a great deal to install machines, with paper receipts, and to higher inspectors.
      I know that bus drivers are supposed to adhere to schedules, but it is outrageous for them to slam the doors while passengers are trying to purchase tickets.

    7. I am absolutely dismayed by this – the service stinks as it is and they are only going to make it worse – the #10 hardly runs at all

    8. Nan Lowe says:

      With all of the people pouring on and out of NewYork Presbyterian and HSS, how can you cut Service to 72nd St. crosstown? The MTA has been a poor manager of it’s income for years. The more money they make, the worse they become.

    9. F. Ames says:

      I take that bus frequently, and overcrowding is not the
      problem. here.
      This bus is essential because there is no other way to
      go crosstown to the eastside.

    10. Ed says:

      This is yet another example of MTA callus indifference to and disregard for the transportation needs of the elderly and disabled. Subways aren’t a viable option given lack of escalators and elevators throughout the system. Bad enough that MTA is forcing a need to transfer to get downtown and between UWS and LES/Midtown East with the truncation of the 104, 10, 5 bus lines as well as the change of route for the 7 which used to terminate at Union Square. Going by bus takes long enough, transfers add time and now fewer buses per hour. Shame!!!

    11. Juliet says:

      The 10 bus line continues to get worse and worse. By cutting back even more, the city will be making travel for so many users so much more difficult and particularly more dangerous especially for those relying on the 10 to get all the way uptown. I see people on CPW give up on the 10 and grab taxis. Few of us on parts of the 10 line have that kind of financial flexibility. A disgrace. Presently, the entire Mass Transit is a disgrace to what was once a great city! Give MORE not less.

    12. Debra Silverman says:

      It’s beyond me why they’d cut M66 service.
      The first stop is at 68/York, and usually riders
      at that stop alone fill the entire bus. There are a
      large amount of employees of Memorial
      Sloan Kettering, NY-Cornell and HSS,
      three very large hospitals, who use that bus.
      I ride that bus often, and usually by the
      time it gets to 1st Avenue, which is
      just the second stop, there are no seats left.
      already no seats left.

    13. not happy says:

      It amazes me that our city council rep. isn’t involved. Again, Helen Rosenthal isn’t saying anything. Bravo to LINDA Rosenthal…who we CAN count on. (Sorry, I don’t think we can ever count on HELEN Rosenthal…and therefore, that is why I am NOT voting for her.)

    14. Laurie Spear says:

      For me, the M66 is one of the best features of living in 142 West End Ave. A decline in the frequency of service would be a most unwelcome loss.