Countdown clocks make bus-catching easier


Waiting for the bus can feel like forever, especially not knowing how far away it is.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has tried to cure that with four new bus countdown clocks installed in the Bronx earlier this summer — but not in this part of the borough. And it doesn’t look like they’re heading to Riverdale and Kingsbridge anytime soon.

The clocks are designed to give commuters waiting for the bus a better idea of when one is slated to arrive. 

“It takes a little of the guesswork out of it, and the feedback is very positive,” Councilman Andrew Cohen said, adding that sometimes it just helps for people waiting to know that there is indeed another bus coming. 

In addition to the four clocks installed around Morris Heights, the city added 15 of the devices to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Riverdale, however, is still waiting despite Cohen allocating $40,000 for two such clocks in his district in 2015. One is under construction on Bedford Park Boulevard while the other on the corner of West 231st Street and Broadway should be completed by the end of the year. 

The Broadway project was delayed because of a litany of issues surrounding the installation and providing power to the stops, the councilman said. 

“They discovered there were some issues with the power and getting the data to the site, but I think they worked that out finally,” Cohen said. “I don’t have a firm date on it, but it sounds like it is very close.”

The councilman also allocated funds for six more clocks last year — two of which will be in Kingsbridge, at Jerome and Bainbridge avenues, and at the intersection of Van Cortlandt Avenue West and Sedgwick Avenue. Work, however, has not yet begun on either project. 

While Cohen’s work has been focused on funding the clocks through his capital projects budget, the councilman said the city’s transportation department has been allocating the devices as well, installing countdown clocks at various high-volume stops throughout the city. That process. Cohen said, would soon begin to include the Bronx. 

Three more countdown clocks are expected to be installed in the Bronx before the end of the year, transportation officials said, although no specific locations have been decided.