Uptown Bus Riders Baffled After M4 Stops Removed Without Warning
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — It's the bus stop to nowhere.
Riders waiting for the M4 bus near the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal have been left scratching their heads after their bus stops were removed without warning, leaving them no guidance on where to go instead.
Riders said no public notice was posted prior to the removal of the the Fort Tryon-bound and Penn Station-bound M4 bus stops at West 179 Street and Fort Washington Avenue earlier this month.
That has left commuters continuing to wait at the old stop, where bus drivers continue to drive, sometimes picking up customers and sometimes driving past them.
"In the last two weeks, drivers have started saying that they can't stop here, it's not a stop," said M4 rider Cynthia Masson, who tweeted at the MTA asking for signs about bus service.
The next closest stops to catch the M4 — which was rated the second-most unreliable bus in the city last year by the Straphanger's Campaign — are two blocks in either direction, at Fort Washington Ave. and 181st Street and 177th streets.
The Port Authority asked that the stops be removed to accommodate the ongoing GWB bus terminal renovations, a spokesman for Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said. The $183 million repairs began late last year after a five-year delay.
But Rodriguez, chairman of the City Council's transportation committee, said no one notified him about the bus stop removals beforehand.
"Our community must be informed when changes like this occur," he said in a statement. "We cannot have residents waiting aimlessly for a bus that won't stop.”
The MTA was not notified the bus stops were removed, a spokesman said, adding they would be missing for about a year.
Rider Henry Santiago said he could understand the need for a stop to be removed — but didn't know why riders weren't warned.
"If it's not going to be a stop, they should put a sign and make it obvious," Santiago said. "This is not obvious."
He added that even the drivers seem confused.
"One driver said he wouldn't stop here. Luckily, the bus behind it did."