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Jamaica Ave.’s Q56 named slowest boro bus: Survey

The Q56 bus has earned the distinction of being the slowest in Queens in the Straphangers Campaign’s seventh annual “Pokey” Awards at a rate outdone by fast−footed chickens.

The Straphangers said the Q56 bus averages 6.1 mph, slower than a chicken (9 mph) or a running mouse (9 mph).

“Riders know from bitter daily experience that it can often be faster to walk than to take the bus,” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.

The Q56 services Jamaica Avenue from Jamaica to East New York in Brooklyn and although it pokes along, it has a record of faster service than the slowest in Manhattan (M96, 3.7 mph), the Bronx (Bx19, 5.3 mph) or Brooklyn (B63, 4.9 mph). Staten Island’s slowest bus was the S42 with a speed of 11.4 mph.

The title of slowest bus citywide also went to the M96, which travels across uptown Manhattan.

The Straphangers said the M96 provided transportation “not much faster than walking (3 mph) or slower than an elephant walking (4.5 mph).”

The group also named the M101, M102 and M103, which run along Lexington, Amsterdam and Lenox avenues, respectively, as the winners of the 2008 Schleppie Award for overall unreliability.

“More than one in four buses bunched together or had big gaps in service,” the group said of the three buses.

The Straphangers conducting the Pokey survey checked 22 bus routes on weekdays at noon.

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said, “hope is around the corner with the coming of faster service with Bus Rapid Transit.”

White was referring to a new super express service the New York City Transit Authority calls Select Bus Service, which began last August on Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road in the Bronx.

The buses run faster because riders buy tickets from a machine before boarding, the buses run in lanes from which other vehicles are barred and the buses are equipped with transponders to prolong green traffic lights until the buses have passed intersections.

Transit officials, however, say it could be years before such service is available in Queens. Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn and 34th Street in Manhattan are next for Select Service, although the authority has designated Hillside Avenue for the first Queens BRT buses.

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