M96 Gets Pokey Award

I went to the NYT to read up on the pend­ing death of the Z train when I saw this delight­ful reminder of so many hours spent wait­ing in front of the hos­pi­tal on 96th and First at 4 a.m. for Old Trusty to show up and get me home, maybe before sun­rise even.

The crosstown route on 96th Street, which goes from First Avenue to West End Avenue, was clocked at 3.7 miles an hour, mea­sured in the early after­noon on a week­day, accord­ing to two tran­sit advo­cacy groups, the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives. That qual­i­fied the route for the groups’ annual Pokey Award for the slow­est bus route in the city.

The groups pointed out in a news release that the M96 moved only slightly faster than the speed that an aver­age per­son walks: 3 m.p.h. And it was slower, the groups said, than a run­ning chicken, which they claimed can reach veloc­i­ties in the range of 9 m.p.h. In fair­ness, how­ever, it was not clear how close a chicken could get to its max­i­mum speed in crosstown traffic.

C’mon chicken! At least get­ting out at 96th and Broadway allowed me to hit Dunkin Donuts on the way home. Plus I was usu­ally drunk, so I didn’t care about the pas­sage of time any­way. Ah mem­o­ries … what I have left of them. (NYT City Room)

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