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More Riders on Buses Than the Subway in New York City, in a Historic First

Buses in New York City are proving to be a crucial tool as New York recovers from a brutal experience at the beginning of the pandemic.
July 7, 2020, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Coronavirus and Transportation
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For the first time since New York City started keeping track more than half a century ago, buses carried more daily riders than the subway in April and May of this year, according to an article by Christina Goldbaum and Winnie Hu—444,000 on the subway and 505,000 on the buses.

"Buses have held on to their lead even as the city has begun reopening after a three-month shutdown and more commuters return to work. Average daily counts in June were 752,000 riders for the subway — and 830,000 riders for the buses," according to the article. 

"Buses are being counted on to keep people out of cars and to relieve subway crowding as more commuters come back, drawing many riders who said they felt buses were a safer and less-stressful alternative because riders can wait outside for the bus, see how clean or crowded a bus is before paying the fare, and hop off at any time and be back outside again," according to Goldbaum and Hu. 

The usefulness and popularity of buses in this troubled economic and public health climate could help explain Mayor Bill de Blasio's June decision to prioritize buses on 20 miles of streets around the city. But just because Mayor de Blasio and more than 800,000 daily riders are convinced, doesn't mean everyone is convinced. The article includes soundbites from stakeholders in Queens who are angered by the bus's encroachment on public space previously reserved for the automobile.

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Published on Monday, July 6, 2020 in The New York Times
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