The state-run authority — workers and management — is doing a bang-up, even heroic job in getting people between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
That’s despite no subways running in Lower Manhattan, leaving a big gap in service.
Beginning this morning, the MTA rolled out 330 buses to serve as a “bus” bridge for people who would normally travel between the two boroughs by train.
Commuters can travel from outer Brooklyn to the Barclays Center, MetroTech or Williamsburg points and then take the buses into Midtown via 3rd Avenue, and back home again via Lexington to the same three Brooklyn points.
To understand how difficult it is to replace trains with buses, remember that 330 buses — a “flotilla” in MTA chief Joe Lhota’s term — equals only roughly 22 rush-hour subways.
In a dense city like New York, subways are normally the only way to go.
MTA workers along with city traffic directors were doing this yeoman’s task ably and cheerfully this afternoon rush hour.
As dusk fell, bus after bus left three points in Midtown for Brooklyn, each clearly labeled with what train route it replaced. Each bus was full, with people standing crowded together.
And that was after people had waited to get on the buses. At 6:30, the line for two pick-up points on Lex stretched around blocks.
New Yorkers were waiting patiently just for the privilege of going home after they had worked a hard day at their jobs. One woman told me that her morning commute had taken nearly three hours, and that the bus trip was easier than the first train leg.
The city could make things easier, though, by blocking off Lexington Avenue for buses only. Traffic was light in the early afternoon. But it started to pick up as the evening wore on.
Buses had to jockey with space with taxis, trucks, and other cars.
People standing to wait for a bus — and then standing on a bus only to face a standing-room only train ride until they reach their doorstep — should have a priority ride through Midtown.