By Philip Newman
The slowest bus in Queens is the Q58, which averages 7 miles an hour, but that is practically speeding when compared to the winners of the Straphangers Campaign Pokey Award, which creep along Manhattan crosstown routes.
The Q58 bus, the slowest in Queens, runs from Ridgewood to Flushing-Main Street.
The Straphangers awarded the “prize” jointly to the M42 and the M66 of Manhattan, which tied for slowest in the agency’s 11th annual Pokey Awards.
The award, represented by a golden snail on a pedestal, is for the slowest local route bus.
Both the M42, which runs crosstown on 42nd Street, and M66, which runs crosstown on 65th and 66th streets, in Manhattan were clocked at an average speed of 3.9 mph.
“The M66 and M42 would lose a race to an amusement park bumper car — and be a lot less fun!” said Gene Russianoff, attorney for the Straphangers.
He said some bumper cars reach or surpass 4 mph.
The Schleppie Award for the least reliable bus went to the M4 in Manhattan, which runs from The Cloisters to Penn Station. The Straphangers said almost 30 percent of M4 buses arrive bunched together or with major gaps.
“The M66 and the M42 are excruciatingly slow,” said Russianoff.
The M4 won the Schleppie for least reliable service with nearly 30 percent of its buses arriving bunched together or widely gapped.
Other slow buses were the B35 Limited, between Sunset Park and Brownsville in Brooklyn; the Bx19 between the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and Harlem in Manhattan; and the S48, between Mariners Harbor and the St. George ferry terminal in Staten Island.
“It’s our hope that this will encourage the city to make greater progress on speeding up bus service,” Russianoff said.
The Straphangers also praised the new Select Bus Service, which the agency said was “living up to their promise” by improving bus service. The Select super express buses have features such as pre-boarding fare payment, boarding through any door and exclusive lanes to save time.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at [email protected] or phone at 718-260-4536.