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M42, A Bus So Slow Even a Kid on a Scooter Can Beat It

By DNAinfo Staff on November 6, 2009 7:37am  | Updated on November 9, 2009 8:05am

By Josh Williams

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN WEST — When the Straphangers Campaign accused the M42 crosstown bus of being slower than a kid on a tricycle Thursday, DNAinfo decided to challenge it to a race.

Could the slowpoke bus, which has been clocked at speeds as low as 3.7 mph, beat 6-year-old Allie, from the Upper West Side, on her motorized scooter?

“I don’t think I can beat it,” said Allie, after she strapped on her helmet and waited patiently for the bus to turn up at the corner of Eighth Avenue, telling her mom to keep an extra lookout for when it arrived.

As soon as the bus pulled off the curb, the determined Allie slapped her foot against the ground and began propelling herself faster than the electric motor of her scoot normally would.

Allie, 6, and her racing foe, the M42 bus.
Allie, 6, and her racing foe, the M42 bus.
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Josh Williams / DNAinfo

She weaved between pedestrians, oblivious to the race, and when she arrived at the corner of Ninth Avenue, she spun around to find her foe.

“Did I beat it?” she called out to her mother.

By 4 seconds, according to a very unscientific timing of the race by DNAinfo.

But that wasn't enough for the six-year-old.

She demanded a rematch.

The racers took off toward Tenth Avenue once the light turned green and Allie, fuelled further by the promise of a pizza dinner,  just edged the M42 by the rubber of her front tire.

“I’m tired,” she said, gasping for breath.