By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — Midtown bus riders are back in the dark.
The countdown clocks in 34th Street bus shelters that tell riders when M34 and M16 buses are set to arrive are temporarily out of commission.
The clocks will be down for up to four weeks for upgrades and maintenance work, Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Cemusa, the company that operates the shelters, said.
"Oh my God. We’re going to be late for a month?!" exclaimed Washington Heights resident Maryana Breitman, 34, when she heard the news Wednesday morning as she waited for a bus to arrive in Midtown, where she works.
Glenn Gregorio, 38, who also lives in Washington Heights, said the clocks are especially helpful late at night and over the weekends, when buses run less frequently.
Joe Stofega, 29, another frequent bus rider who lives in Harlem, said he hopes the clocks return to service soon. The clocks first went offline on Feb. 17, according to the MTA's website,
"Sometimes it’s a mystery when you’re going to be somewhere," he said.
But riders still have other options for finding out when buses will arrive, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.
Real-time bus arrival estimates can be accessed online, via email and by texting "mtabus" and a bus stop's ID to 41411.
The outage was first reported by amNewYork.