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Queens Chronicle

More Select Bus Service routes coming to Queens

City eyes 11 new borough corridors over the next decade

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Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017 1:49 pm

Select Bus Service is going Queenswide.

The Mayor's Office announced Friday that over the next 10 years, the city will target 21 new corridors for SBS across the city, nine of which would run entirely in Queens and two would run between Queens and Brooklyn.

"Bus riders deserve faster, more reliable service — and the growing number of riders on SBS buses has found that they are getting to work on-time, and getting home to family faster,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With even more Select Bus Service routes coming on-line in the years ahead and a commitment to bring SBS-style treatments to other routes, more communities in every borough will see their bus service improve.”

According to a Department of Transportation report released Friday entitled "Bus Forward," both ridership and the average speed of buses citywide are down.

However, the agency said that SBS routes have seen an approximately 10 percent jump in ridership. When it comes to average bus speed, the increase is between 10 and 30 percent compared to years prior.

“Select Bus Service has been a truly great partnership for the DOT and the MTA, as hundreds of thousands of daily riders citywide enjoy its real benefits that make buses faster, more reliable, and more convenient,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “But as the Mayor notes, our success means we now have much more to do, and so we will now tackle other corridors in neighborhoods around New York City where we believe the addition of SBS and the expansion of our bus-priority treatments on local bus routes could make a major difference."

While the DOT plan does not detail the exact streets or bus routes that will be transformed, the map included in Bus Forward shows general locations and directions of planned SBS corridors. They include routes:

- between Ridgewood and Flushing;

- between Flushing and Cambria Heights;

- along Hillside Avenue between Jamaica and Floral Park;

- along Union Turnpike between Kew Gardens Hills and Glen Oaks;

- along Northern Boulevard between Long Island City and Flushing;

- between Jamaica and Far Rockaway;

- between Jamaica and Rosedale;

- between Jamaica and Flushing via Kissena Boulevard;

- between Kew Gardens and Kennedy International Airport;

- between Williamsburg in Brooklyn and JFK Airport, running through Howard Beach and South Ozone Park; and

- between Fort Greene in Brooklyn and Ridgewood

“New Yorkers deserve a bus service that is fast and effective, and a key factor for achieving that goal is increasing the number of Select Bus Service routes throughout the City,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) said in a statement provided by the Mayor's Office. “By expanding this particular service, all communities will benefit and commuters will have a more reliable public transportation system and better travel times."

The Mayor's Office said 309,000 people — 12 percent of city bus riders — use an SBS route, and the goal is to have that number rise to about 800,000, or 32 percent, by 2027.

SBS began in 2008 along the Bx12 route in the Bronx, and 14 buses citywide — including the Q44 connecting Whitestone and Jamaica, the Q70 between Jackson Heights and LaGuardia Airport and the M60 between Manhattan and LaGuardia via Astoria Boulevard — now have such service.

Construction is also underway on the highly controversial route along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, the subject of fierce debate between SBS supporters and opponents.

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  • RickHoran posted at 5:11 pm on Tue, Oct 24, 2017.

    RickHoran Posts: 35

    Wikipedia defines Rapid Transit as follows...

    Rapid transit, also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas.[1][2][3] Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit systems are electric railways that operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians or other vehicles of any sort,[4] and which is often grade separated in tunnels or on elevated railways.

    SBS is NOT Rapid Transit.

  • cpamarv posted at 7:37 pm on Mon, Oct 23, 2017.

    cpamarv Posts: 9

    The metro-card is on the way out and will be replaced by smartphone payments and credit cards. Given this, maybe the city should not be spending a fortune on street payment machines (and the related infrastructure and installation) which could all become unnecessary in a short time.

    Also why do we need both smart meters and the MTA payment machines - why not combine the two - note the parking meters take credit cards as the MTA should.

  • VBarbour posted at 6:35 pm on Mon, Oct 23, 2017.

    VBarbour Posts: 50

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. I question the validity of DOT's statistics and know that, in spite of what the City says, and as evidenced by press reports throughout the city, many communities along new SBS routes have done nothing complain.

  • Allan Rosen posted at 5:47 pm on Mon, Oct 23, 2017.

    Allan Rosen Posts: 19

    More lies from De Blasio. Ridership is down on most SBS routes not up. The M15 lost 3 million annual riders since SBS began. It only went up the first year it operated. That is the 10 percent they are referring to. When SBS ridership declined the first year, they used second year data on the B44 to get the 10 percent figure. They did not include local service which declined. Bottom line: There are fewer paid riders now than before SBS began and they won't release the figures on fare evasion.

    As far as bus speeds increasing, that is mainly due to fewer bus stops. On the M86, paying your fare before boarding saved a whopping 2 minutes for the entire trip. Faster bus speeds do not equate with faster passenger trip times where there are no figures available. For most the extra walking time to and from the SBS stops cancels out the few minutes you save on the bus. Only those traveling five or eight miles with one SBS bus save significant time more than a couple of minutes. The average local/limited/SBS bus trip is only 2.3 miles so for the vast majority SBS names little or no difference. It is no panacea to improving bus service and it costs a fortune to operate, about $3 million more per route per year. So the increased cost of 40 SBS routes would be $120 million more annually or $1.2 billion over ten years. Add initial construction costs and you are talking over $2 billion. And you are not even attracting new ridership, but further ridership declines. How does this make any sense?

  • Thetransitman posted at 7:08 pm on Sun, Oct 22, 2017.

    Thetransitman Posts: 17

    They want to add more Select Bus routes when the MTA can't even fix whats broken? Both the local bus network as well as the SBS routes need improved routing to better serve the public . Adding SBS to many of the routes such as the Q58 is without improving the route path structure is just a big waste of money. For example when the MTA added SBS to the Q44 route they made no route path modifications or created other Q44SBS branches to serve different areas of the Bronx. It'st unfeasible to have every Q44SBS go to West Farms Square when some Q44SBS buses could be rerouted from Hugh J Grant Circle (via BX4a routing) to Westchester Square for transfers to many routes that serve various hospitals n The Bronx. Some Q44SBS buses could also be rerouted from Hugh J grant Circle r via Westchester Avenue to The Hub in The Bronx with numerous bus transfers to other areas of The Bronx and some other Q44SBS buses could travel to Fordham Plaza. Also when the MTA added SBS Bus Service to the B44 they eliminated many limited stops along Nostrand Avenue south of Avenue U so the route now travels with very few passengers and less ridership then the previous Limited stop B44. This is because many passengers south of Avenue U opted for the B44 LImited to take them quickly to the IRT Subway but now they switched to the B36 to the closer Sheepshead Bay Subway Station. The MTA could have created a branch of the B44SBS to serve Kingsborough Community College but has not. No regard for anyone needing to access other areas via public transit just do the simplest thing possible and hope that the FEDs or Vision Zero will reimburse the MTA for it.

  • pvaldezriverajr posted at 5:28 pm on Fri, Oct 20, 2017.

    pvaldezriverajr Posts: 292

    To paraphrase from the famous episode of "The Simpsons," Mayor de Crony wants a "buso-rail" over everything else that is MTA related. [smile]