Times Square and Herald Square Pedestrian Malls Reportedly Slow Bus Commutes
By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — The pedestrian malls in Times Square and Herald Square may be great for tourists, but not so good for commuters.
Bus riders through the two districts are facing longer travel times on four of five routes affected by the malls, according to a MTA report, The New York Times reported.
The M6 was reportedly the most slowed down, taking 10 minutes longer to finish its route from Central Park to Union Square, the paper said.
The MTA report attributes the slower rides to congestion, longer routes and slower bus speeds. The reduced service is having an affect on ridership, with the M6 suffering a 8.4 percent drop from January 2008 to January 2009, the Times said.
Janette Sadik-Khan, the city's transportation commissioner, told the Times the longer commutes did not affect the average rider.
“You don’t take the M6 from the beginning of the line to the end,” Sadik-Khan told the paper. “A lot of trips are for just a few blocks.”