NYC's First – And Only? – Bus Rapid Transit Route

Bronx BRT press conference this morning. L-R: NYS Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat, Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion, MTA CEO Lee Sander, NYCDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Mayor Bloomberg.

NYCDOT and the MTA today announced the first of NYC’s planned bus rapid transit routes, the Bx12 Select Bus Service on Fordham Road in the Bronx — but warned that without approval of congestion pricing, it would be the city’s only BRT route for the foreseeable future.

The Bx12 Select would replace the existing Bx12 Limited service beginning June 29, running more often than the Limited and with service on Sundays. Bx12 Local service would not be affected.

Buses would be sped up with three major improvements. Fares would be paid under a “proof of payment” system where riders would pay at stations and show a receipt if asked by on-board fare collectors. This model has been successfully used on BRT systems like the Las Vegas MAX, as well as the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and solves one of the most significant sources of bus delay — the backup as passengers pay one by one at the head of the bus. It would also allow riders to board at the front and back of buses.

Bx12 Select buses would also have traffic signal priority, gaining the ability to extend green lights and shorten red lights by several seconds when behind schedule.

Finally, the Select route would include bus lanes between the Bronx Zoo and Cedar Avenue, as well as between the Broadway/207 St and 10th Ave. subway stations in Manhattan.

This significant service improvement is one example of the innovative projects which congestion pricing can open the door to. While NYCDOT and the MTA said that this year they would roll out improvements to local bus service on 34th Street and Fifth/Madison Avenues in Manhattan, Jamaica, and downtown Brooklyn, they warned that planned BRT routes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island could not go forward without the $354 million in federal grant money the city would receive if congestion pricing legislation is passed by April 7.

(Bx12 Select route map after the jump:)

[Larger version of picture available here.]
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