72nd Street Select Bus Stop Restoration Sought Ahead of Second Avenue Subway by Thousands of Petitioners and Backed by Upper East Side Electeds

10/07/2016

2,700 Sign Petition to Restore Select Bus Service at 72nd Street

 New York, NY - Today the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit were petitioned by over 2,700 Upper Eastside residents and the five elected officials that represent this area at every level of government to restore the M15 Select Bus Service stop at 72nd Street ahead of the completion of the Second Avenue Subway.

 When Select Bus Service was introduced to First and Second Avenues on the M15 route these stops replaced Limited Service stops in every location above Houston Street other East 72nd Street. Residents who live near 72nd Street must choose between walking as much as half a mile to Select Bus Service at 67th or 79th Streets, too far for one-third of households in the immediate neighborhood with children or seniors.
 
Valerie Mason and Lizabeth Patrick, leaders of the newly formed, East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association brought new attention to restoring the M15 Select Bus Stop at 72nd Street collecting signatures from over 2,700 residents.
 
In response to this petition and an effort to correct this problem ahead of the opening of the Second Avenue Subway Council Member Ben Kallos and State Senator Liz Krueger have co-authored a letter with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and Assembly Members Dan Quart and Rebecca Seawright in support of restoring the M15 Select Bus Stop at 72nd Street outlining the following arguments:

  • High Concentration of Seniors and Children – 32.7% of households in local census tracts
  • Infrequent Local Service – local service ran more frequently than limited but is now as much as 4 times slower
  • Precedence for Serving Hospitals – Cornell, New York Presbyterian, Hospital for Special Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering/Hunter all currently unserved
  • Unconnected Crosstown Bus Service – M72 is the only crosstown unserved
  • Only Second Avenue Subway Station Unserved – millions of riders each year will be stranded without a transfer to Select Bus Service

 One of the major reasons listed in the letter for having a bus stop at East 72nd Street is the high concentration of seniors living in the neighborhood around the area. A Select Bus Service station at 72nd Street would serve from 69th to 79th between Third Avenue and the East River with a population of 44,756, one of the highest near any Select Bus stations. In this neighborhood 8,679 or 32.7% of households include children (under 18) or seniors (65 and over) who may rely on bus service due to age:

  • 3,326 or 12.5% of households have children under 18 years-old.
  • 5,353 or 20.2% of households have seniors 65 years-old and over.

 “Residents feel abandoned by our buses. Watching five Select Buses go by what used to be a Limited stop makes seniors with limited mobility feel abandoned as they wait for a local bus that never seems to come,” said Council Member Ben Kallos who grew up on 72nd Street.  “Seniors and children live in one-third of the households near 72nd Street and they must be able to rely on bus service to get where they are going.
 
“When the MTA implemented the Select Bus Service (SBS) -- New York City's answer to bus rapid transit--it hoped to make service along popular routes like the M15 faster, more efficient, and more appealing. But it seems that what we've gained in speed, we've lost in accessibility,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “Current subway lines that stop on 34th and 86th Streets have become important transfer points for strap-hangers to access SBS routes, and when the Second Avenue Subway opens later this year, E 72nd Street should be no exception. Since the local M15 is plagued by infrequent service, an SBS stop at E 72nd that serves our seniors, hospital patients and staff, and nearby universities is a no-brainier!”
 
“72nd Street is a major local hub that is currently undeserved by bus or subway,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “Over 2,700 residents have signed a petition seeking a restoration of M15 Select Bus Service at 72nd street to accommodate the needs of the thousands in the area who are considered bus-dependent populations: seniors, students, and hospital visitors. Furthermore, with the December opening of the Second Avenue Subway Stop on 72nd, demand for an easy transfer to a bus line is going to greatly increase. I encourage the MTA to take steps now to restore bus service at 72nd Street, and commend Council Member Kallos and Senator Krueger for their leadership on this issue.”
 
“Accessibility and reliability of public transportation is imperative to the quality of life in our neighborhood. I am joining my fellow local elected officials in calling for a 72nd Street M15 Select Bus Service (SBS) Stop because all our neighbors should be able to use the bus service to get to work, school, their doctor’s appointment, or their local grocery store without having to walk long distance and wait for long periods of time. If we do not meet the need to improve access to M15 bus by having a 72nd Street (SBS) bus stop, we have failed to provide adequate transportation to our community,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.
 
“Select Bus Service works best when it meets the needs of the population it serves. Restoring a stop to E 72nd will allow hospital workers, patients, seniors, and countless others in the neighborhood to use the M15-SBS more comfortably and effectively. Let's continue working together to ensure that transit options in our community meet the needs of our community,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart. 
 
“We are thrilled that our first major initiative since the formation of E72NA in February has the overwhelming and enthusiastic support of our community and our electeds.  We hope that the MTA will react positively to our request,” said Valerie Mason President of East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association.

"While the M15 local stop at 72nd Street has low ridership due to infrequent service, our petition demonstrates that local residents are eager to utilize the M15 SBS at 72nd Street, given its reputation for reliable service and limited stops," said Liz Patrick Vice President of East 72ndStreet Neighborhood Association.

 Recent Media Coverage:  

 
Additional Media Contacts:
 
Congress Member Carolyn Maloney: Grace Harman, 212-860-0606grace [dot] harmanatmail [dot] house [dot] gov
Assembly Member Dan Quart: Amanda Wallwin -212-605-0937- wallwin [dot] ad73atgmail [dot] com
Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright: Rebecca Graham 212-288-4607- grahamratassembly [dot] state [dot] ny [dot] us