Select Bus Service - History


In conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation, the MTA identified five corridors for implementation of bus rapid transit, one in each of the five boroughs, in late 2004: the Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway corridor in the Bronx, First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, Merrick Boulevard in Queens, Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, and Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Four bus priority corridors were also identified for implementation or expansion (three in Manhattan, one in the Bronx): Madison Avenue (expansion), Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, and Webster Avenue. The Merrick Boulevard corridor was eventually scrapped because of community opposition related to loss of parking.

The Select Bus Service program was unveiled to the public on March 25, 2008. At the time of the announcement, the MTA and the mayor had stated that implementation on other corridors was contingent on the passage of congestion pricing, which ultimately did not make it for a vote in the legislature.

The first Select Bus Service corridor, on the Bx12, was placed into service on June 29, 2008. The next line, the M15, saw Select Service begun on October 10, 2010 after the delivery of new low-floor buses. The M34/M34A line was started on November 13, 2011. Initially, a 34th Street busway was planned that would require eliminating 34th Street as a through street, but it was dropped in favor of the standard SBS model. The B44 bus route, the fifth Select Bus Service corridor in the city, is slated for implementation in late 2013, most likely in November pending the arrival of new fare machines. The S79 Hylan Boulevard/Richmond Avenue route, initially slated to be converted to SBS in 2013, has been moved up to September 2, 2012; the local equivalents of the S79 route are the S78 and S59 buses. A sixth corridor, the second for the Bronx, has also been announced for the Bx41 Webster Avenue route, the Select Bus Service equivalent of which will be extended to run between LaGuardia Airport and Fordham Plaza alongside the local Bx41 route. The Bx41 SBS conversion is slated to begin on or around June 30, 2013. A seventh corridor, and the third for Manhattan, is also planned for the conversion of the M60 bus, which may start around September 2013; no local service will be provided. An eighth corridor, and the first for Queens, is planned for a completely new route; to be initially called the Q70 Limited; running between Laguardia Airport and Woodside, Queens via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway; the local equivalent is the Q33 bus.

All four current SBS corridors are enforced by cameras restricting non-buses in these lanes on weekdays, with the bus lanes marked by red paint.

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