Tuesday, January 22, 2013

RIP M15 Select bus flashing blue lights


EVG regular Spike notes the following... due to complaints, the MTA has stopped using the blue flashing lights to signify an M15 Select bus on First and Second Avenues. (As The New York Times noted Friday night, it's an MTA-wide move.)

Intel from Spike yesterday:

"The driver today told me there were complaints because people thought it was an emergency vehicle."

Per the Post:

“Having these blue flashing lights unnecessarily distracted drivers and desensitized the public for what is reserved in law for emergency vehicles only,” said City Councilman Vincent Ignizio.

MTA officials will choose a new light color for the 140 SBS buses, which typically feature off-board payment and designated lanes.

In closing, the only poem that Spike ever wrote was in honor of the M15 blue light special...

Flashing blue.
I want to ride you.

Feel free to share your favorite M15 blue flashing lights memories in the comments...

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only way one can tell from a couple blocks away whether the oncoming bus is Select or regular is by the lights. Turn them back on!

Spike said...

This decision is an affront to all decent society I tell you.

Calming and hypnotic was it's temperament. Nothing about the flashing called for emergency. Idiocy rules once again.

Anonymous said...

It really would fill me with a sense of dread every time I saw one barreling down the Avenue - now I know why [Ambulance! Fire!], but seriously, it was probably a combination of the speed, the size, and the flashing lights.

Anonymous said...

Santacon distracts and desensitizes me, how about discontinuing that!?

Anonymous said...

First of all its not an express bus its a so-called "Select" bus and isn't it meant to be a superfast ride? So, so what if some dumb out-of-towners mistake the blue lights for an emergency vehicle. Don't these buses have their own dedicated lanes and aren't people supposed to yield to the buses anyways? What sort of people mistake these giant passenger buses for emergency vehicles, and why should changes be made for their sake? Shouldn't it be their responsibility to get a clue? And since when is the MTA ever responsive to complaints? this dumb story leaves me with way more questions than answers, thanks for nothin.

nygrump said...

I am going to repeat my complaint that this bus doesn't stop at 8th Street- once you get above 23rd it seems to stop every 5 blocks. Houston to 14th Street is the longest stretch without service.

EV Grieve said...

@ anon 11 am

You're right re: select/express. Changed the post to reflect that....

Anonymous said...

How stupid are people if they can't tell the difference between a cop car and a BUS! Put the blue lights back on - they were cool. If those drivers are so paranoid that they're constantly looking in the rear view and thinking any light is after them, they're probably DUI and should be off the road, anyway.

glamma said...

Bring back the lights!
Seiously what moron thinks that a bus is an ambulance?

Marcos said...

How about keeping the lights on without flashing them? Why turn them off completely?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Seriously one of the stupidest things I've heard in a while.
The lights "blink", they don't "flash". Still too much for these human pigeons? Fine; set them solid "on" as Marcos said. Problem solved.

Joe Blow said...

Those light were a horror.. why not put a zipper on there with commercials?

People walking on the sidewalk and crossing the street are not taking the bus, but they have to be annoyed by the lights! the flashing! oh the humanity!!

hmm.. why not.. put SELECT BUS on the front sign?

BabyDave said...

Case in point favoring the blue lights: Martin Luther King Jr. evening, about 8:30 p.m., 42nd Street and Second Avenue. Just two people at the bus stop, myself and a woman, both of us with the same strategy - play the middle. Much like at 23rd and 14th Streets, most of the block is basically a bus stop. The two of us see a bus coming without flashing blue lights, so we head to the south end of the block, content to take a local. But the bus pulled in to the select stop, sending the two of us scampering back to the ticket machines. (Aside to Joe Blow: The bus did say "Select Service" in front, but in letters maybe one-third the size of "South Ferry," and unreadable beyond a half-block away.)
The driver was forgiving and waited, but the problem remains.

Marcos does seem to have a good solution.

DrGecko said...

Agree with Marcos, also, too.

Not impressed with people who brag about their ability to tell a bus from a cop car. Sometimes it's not so easy as, for example, when you're driving in heavy traffic, and maybe it's raining or foggy or dark or your eyesight isn't so good but you're driving anyway, and you GLANCE IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR and see flashing blue lights. So what if they're in the bus lane? Cop cars would certainly use that sometimes.

Fipper said...

Wouldn't you hear the SIREN if it was a cop car or an ambulance?! Take your headphones off or turn down the volume in your car! Adding to Babydave, those lights let us know when it's the Select bus (that runs express) coming so we can make the mad dash for the machines and get the tickets. If we're wrong, we can't use those tickets on the local bus and will have to pay again. As Marcos said, leaving them on should work just as well but I have a feeling that's not an option (the buses cannot be adjusted), I mean, I can't imagine all those mta folks can be THAT stupid...

Shawn G. Chittle said...

I thought the flashing lights were there to trick the street lights from changing, giving the M-15 a speedier path up 1st Ave. Where the heck did I think that from?

Some background on the blue lights:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bright-blue-beacons-express-bus-lines-violate-state-law-article-1.190377

Anonymous said...

Sadly, people do NOT move over when an ambulance or emergency vehicle is trying to get by....

Jess L said...

This is so frustrating. The blue lights were like a beacon of light to tell you a bus was coming from far away. I miss them :/

Anonymous said...

Bring back the blue light!!! Have brains MTA!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes I miss the blue lights heralding the arrival of Select Buses.

What a joy it was to see them from afar and one could adjust ones own speed to head for the bus stop.

Give us back a light signal of sorts - soon please -
It feels like Broadway when the lights go out.

Anonymous said...

MTA proved once more that they are a bunch of idiots. there are stops with both selected and regular bus stops. before i could see which bus is coming and decide whether i need to buy a paper ticket or jump on a regular bus. right now if it's selected bus i have to wait till last moment to see it!!! and not all drivers will wait till i finish buying a ticket! BRING BACK BLUE LIGHTS OR LET US RIDE REGULAR BUS WITH PAPER TICKETS!!!