2008-07-25 / Letters

No Stopping Without A Sign

Dear Editor:

You can call the MTA bus company but no one ever answers the customer service phone. You can report the absence of a sign to the Rockaway Bus Depot but nothing is done. Meanwhile, drivers refuse to stop on the south side at Beach 106 Street (across the street from the bus shelter on the other side) because the sign has been torn down. So I made my own, probably punishable but an anti-littering law.

I went through all the channels after getting the numbers from 311, I've asked drivers to stop, pointing out the shards on the pole where the sign was ripped off, but to no avail. Last Saturday at 4:55 p.m., I stood in the street at Beach 106 Street forcing the driver of bus 5719 to stop, explained the situation but she refused to let me on. She hailed a passing police car either from transit police or 100th Precinct, the officer stubbornly threatened to arrest me rather than let me on the bus. This sign went missing once before with the same consequences.

Frankly, if I had a job which required that I drive up and down the same boulevard every day, I'd know the stops by heart - who wouldn't? Only numerous MTA bus company drivers.

I should add that many drivers are nice, recognize the passengers, and go out of their way to be helpful.

Aside from the lack of pride in doing one's job, like so many things here in Rockaway, I believe this shows a lack of management skill and training (the fish stinks from the head down syndrome). In London, taxi drivers must memorize a map of the entire city; here in Rockaway, where Q22 drivers go up and down, up and down, the same boulevard all day, you would think if they didn't know the stops they would take a passenger's word for it. Don't get me wrong, I have come to love Rockaway in my four years here, but in Manhattan in a snow storm, a bus driver is required to stop at any point even mid block at which a passenger needs to get off. I've already adjusted to an incompetent postal system that sees nothing out of the ordinary about delivering two different week's issues of a magazine called US Weekly on the same day. A big improvement over when they randomly come a month late, if at all. Shouldn't the name of the magazine be a clue? It's a weekly. Magazines are second class mail and must by law be delivered immediately after first class mail, before fourth class advertisements.

Need I mention the S train token booth attendants who don't know the shuttle schedule. One hundred and fifty-three passengers a day use the stop at Beach 105 Street, Seaside; sometimes the schedule does change. You think they'd say, "Hey Joe (or passenger 127), they changed the schedule, better hustle."


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