MTA’s Buses Provide Shuttle Service for Metro-North Customers
There is a strong bond among the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s operating agencies and at no time was that more evident than the past several days when New York City Transit and MTA Bus deployed a fleet of 50 transit and express coaches as the heart of a bus shuttle created to serve Metro North Railroad New Haven Line customers.
The bus shuttle was necessary after last week’s derailment in Bridgeport. The investigation, railcar removal process and subsequent track and roadbed repairs knocked out service through the area for several days. The shuttle, operating from Bridgeport to Stamford and local stations in between, consisted of 120 buses; the MTA’s 50 working alongside transit buses provided by CT Transit and coaches from area charter operators.
“Last Friday’s incident served as an example of our policy of one MTA. We were able to move quickly and decisively to put together a plan that would best serve the customers of Metro North without affecting the normal commutes of our regular bus customers,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President, NYC Transit Department of Buses, who noted that the MTA’s effort was supported by maintenance personnel who prepped and ensured the fleet’s reliability.
Buses, bus operators, maintenance and support personnel were sourced from around the system, traveling up Interstate 95 to begin their runs. Bus Operator Robert Garcia drove his bus up from Kingsbridge Depot to support the shuttle operation. “Working the Metro North shuttle was a learning experience and it took me quite a distance from regular Bronx routes, said Garcia. “The customers were pleasant, helpful and understanding and it was great to be able to help out a sister agency."
Bus Operator Raymond Teng, based in Far Rockaway already had some shuttle experience under his belt. "It's impressive how fast MTA Bus responded to help out Metro North; just like Hurricane Sandy, we were ready to respond to any situation at any time."
The shuttle went into operation Monday morning and easily handled the commutes for Monday and Tuesday. Metro North service to New Haven was restored by Wednesday afternoon after an around-the-clock repair and maintenance effort.