Jennifer Vanasco is a News Editor at WNYC where she edits the newscast for air and web and is the newsroom's theater critic.
Two transportation advocacy organization have given out their annual "awards" for slowest and least reliable New York City bus service.
The big winners—if you can call them that—are the M42 and M50 buses, which won a Pokey Award after they were clocked at 3.4 mph at noon on a weekday. That, said a joint statement from NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives, is slower than a wooden rowboat. They said a wooden rowboat moving in still water can travel at 3.5 mph or more.
The Pokey Award is a golden snail on a pedestal.
"Our advice to the M42 and M50: Don't challenge a row boat to race around the Central Park Reservoir," said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers Campaign. "These crosstown buses are losers."
The M42 travels crosstown on 42nd Street between FDR Drive and Twelfth Avenue. The M50 travels crosstown on 49th and 50th streets between First and Twelfth avenues.
The eighth-annual Schleppie for the city's least reliable bus routes was awarded to the M101/2/3, which goes from Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan to the East Village.
The awards are based on the speed of rides taken by Straphangers Campaign staff and volunteers on 34 routes. Lines were selected because they had high ridership or were historically slow Manhattan crosstown routes.
The MTA responded by saying they are continuing to work with the New York City Department of Transportation to increase the number of bus lanes and the locations where buses would have traffic signal priority.