Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Diaz, Transportation
Commissioner Sadik-Khan and MTA Chairman Prendergast Announce
Launch of Select Bus Service on Bronx’s Webster Avenue,
Making Bus Trips Faster and More Reliable
Bronx Corridor Receives Faster, More Reliable Service,
Expected to Speed Travel Times By Up to 20 Percent
Expansion to City’s Fifth Select Bus Service Line Builds on the Administration’s PlaNYC Commitments
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast today announced the launch of the Bx41 SBS, the city’s fifth Select Bus Service (SBS) route, on Webster Avenue, serving 20,000 daily bus riders along one of the Bronx’s main north-south corridors. SBS uses on-street fare collection machines that let passengers pay before they board. In addition, SBS buses make fewer stops and combined with improved street redesign and engineering by DOT – such as installing off-set, dedicated, high-visibility bus lanes, car-turning lanes and improved traffic signals – increase mobility and safety of all vehicles on the road. SBS has increased ridership and improved bus service, speed and reliability along each of the four other corridors where it has been introduced, including along 34th Street and First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, Fordham Road-Pelham Parkway in the Bronx and Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island. Enhancements on Webster Avenue are expected to reduce travel times by up to 20 percent, cutting eight minutes off the 45-minute, five-mile route between East Gun Hill Road Intermodal Terminal and the Bronx Hub-149 Street/Third Avenue station. The Mayor, Commissioner and Chairman were joined by Council Member Joel Rivera at the Bx41 SBS station at Fordham Road to welcome the service, which started Sunday.
“With the addition of Select Bus Service, transportation in the Bronx becomes faster and more reliable than ever,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This new service will not only make travel easier and faster in the Bronx – it’s also central to our larger efforts to bring new life and economic strength to Webster Avenue.”
“Lined with commercial and residential neighborhoods and flanked by busy hubs, Webster Avenue makes incredible transit demands but the supply hasn't always kept pace,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “SBS will bring a surface subway to a corridor where an elevated train once ran, running in dedicated lanes, making fewer stops and moving 20,000 commuters faster every day.”
“The implementation of Select Bus Service routes has completely revolutionized the way we think of bus trips now,” said MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast. “Off-board fare collection, low-floor buses, bus exclusive lanes all contribute to shaving precious time from bus rides - time that I’m certain our bus customers can put to better use. The introduction of the Bx41 SBS now means a more efficient north-south trip through neighborhoods that have no easy access to subway service.”
Webster Avenue is a busy corridor with growing residential populations and part of the street is the subject of an NYC Economic Development Corporation planning process to enhance Webster Avenue’s role as a neighborhood main street. Webster Avenue runs close to many Bronx institutions, including Fordham University and the New York Botanical Garden. The Bx41 SBS will replace the Bx41 Limited and will be accompanied by improvements on nearby 3rd Avenue, where Bx15 Limited service will replace the Bx55. Previous SBS routes have seen travel times reductions and ridership gains of 10 percent. The Bx41 SBS route also intersects with the Bx12 SBS route on Fordham Road and provides a direct connection with the New Haven and Harlem Lines of Metro North Railroad. Bx41 local service will continue to make all stops along the corridor.
“The Webster Avenue corridor will benefit greatly from this new expansion of Select Bus Service, offering commuters and visitors alike faster travel times,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This project has long been supported by my office, and I thank the mayor's office and the Department of Transportation for bringing it to fruition.”
“Bus riders in the Bronx are going to see an immediate benefit from this new express service,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “The time they save means more time with family and friends because of less time commuting or in transit. I applaud New York City and all involved with getting this new service running.”
“These are the types of innovative service enhancements we need in the Bronx,” said Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeffrey D. Klein. “Anytime we can deliver faster and more reliable bus service to more riders here in the Bronx, we're taking a step in the right direction. I commend Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Sadik-Khan for dedicating the time and resources to help bring this great new service to the area.”
“Every minute counts in today's society and time is lost if you're stuck in traffic,” said Council Member Joel Rivera. “Commuters will benefit from this new service by cutting their transit time down while traveling in the Bronx to get to where they need to be in a more timely manner.”
The approximately $10 million in costs to implement the route used mostly federal mass transit funding, including to make street improvements, such as resurfacing the street, installing pedestrian medians and islands for pedestrians, retiming traffic signals and painting the bus lanes the distinct terra cotta color. The City will also install bus bulbs at SBS stations, extending the sidewalk so that buses do not have to pull over.
The launch of the Bronx’s second SBS route is the latest in the City’s efforts to expand faster, more reliable and sustainable transportation choices for New Yorkers as set forth in PlaNYC, the City’s long-term sustainability agenda. Since launching in 2008, the Bx12 Select Bus Service along Fordham Road in the Bronx reduced travel times by 20 percent and ridership by 10 percent. Additional SBS routes are planned to launch this year on Nostrand/Rogers avenues and MTA Bus will also launch a new Q70 route providing faster service to LaGuardia Airport.