In March, I wrote about the 30th Street northbound 51A bus stop that is the closest bus stop to my home. Though it is incredibly convenient to me, I almost never get off of the bus there because the stop is very redundant – there’s a stop half a block before it and another a block before that one. Those two stops are heavily used but my sad bus stop is only sparsely used. Since I know that the bus pulling over just for me to get off adds time to its trip, I get off a half block early and walk.
Why? Well, a couple years back AC Transit did a thorough study on the 51 line. They found that the 51 was so slow because it spends only 50% of its time actually moving, while 20% is spent in dwell time (stopped at a bus stop) and 30% is spent in delays (i.e. stuck in traffic). As I wrote back in 2009, one of the major causes of delay is bus stop spacing:
If you’ve ridden the 51, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the bus stops are incredibly close together. It seems that every time I take it down Broadway, we stop at every block, which of course takes forever and makes me crazy. According to ACT, the ideal amount of space between bus stops is 800-1300 feet, yet on the 51 line, 87 bus stops (more than half of the stops) are less than 800 feet from the next stop. This slows the whole route down because pulling over, picking up passengers, and getting back into traffic at all of these stops takes a long time.
So you can imagine how happy I was when on my way home from work yesterday I saw this:
The best part is that this stop removal is part of a larger service change on the 51A and 51B (as well as several other lines). So my guess is that AC Transit is removing several redundant and sparsely used stops along the route. This should speed up the buses, improve reliability, and save money.
I looked on AC Transit’s website and couldn’t find a list of the bus stops that are being removed so I’m hoping you can help crowd source this information. I know that Living in the O readers live all over Oakland, and some even hail from Berkeley and Alameda. So take a couple minutes and survey your nearest portion of the 51A/B and report back on any stops that are being removed. (And if there are any AC Transit staff who have a full list, it would be great if you could share that.)
In the meantime, let’s hope the stop at Fulton and Durant – which several readers nominated as the worst 51 bus stop in the comments on my previous post – gets eliminated.