New York City Transit Begins Bx41 Select Bus Service on Webster Avenue
Building on its successful effort to improve bus service efficiency and reduce travel times along some of the city’s more heavily-traveled thoroughfares, MTA New York City Transit launched a new Select Bus Service (SBS) route along Webster Avenue, one of the Bronx’s main north-south corridors on Sunday, June 30th.
SBS is New York City Transit’s very own brand of bus rapid transit and it has boosted ridership and improved service along each of the corridors where it has been introduced. This effort has been successful through changes in fare collection, street design and support by our partners; the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Police Department. The positive effects of SBS have been stunning with an average increase in speed of 18-20% and ridership gains of 10%.
“The implementation of Select Bus Service routes has completely revolutionized the way we think of bus trips now,” said MTA Chairman & CEO 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.”
Replacing the Bx41 Limited, the Bx41 SBS will operate between East Gun Hill Road Intermodal Terminal and the Hub-149 St/3rd Ave., serving burgeoning neighborhoods along the four-mile stretch. The route also intersects with the Bx12 SBS route on Fordham Road and provides a direct connection with the New Haven and Harlem Lines of MTA Metro-North Railroad.
Also, the conversion of Webster Avenue to SBS operation will have the added benefit of improving bus service along 3rd Avenue, which runs parallel. As part of that service change, the Bx55 Limited, which was the replacement for the old 3rd Ave. elevated, is being renamed the Bx15 Limited. Instead of terminating at The Hub, the new route operates between Fordham Plaza in the Bronx and West 125th Street/12th Avenue in Manhattan, making limited stops between Fordham Plaza and The Hub before making all local stops south of The Hub and then into Manhattan where it continues in local service along 125th Street to its western terminal at 12th Avenue.
Bx15 local service will continue to operate at all times between Fordham Plaza and The Hub, with local service extended to West 125th Street/12th Avenue during hours when the Bx15 Limited is not operating.
The introduction of Select Bus Service to the Bx41 is the fifth collaborative SBS route improvement effort among NYC Transit, NYCDOT and the NYPD. SBS has been introduced only after an unprecedented level of customer and stake holder feedback, including Community Advisory Committee meetings, public open houses and further outreach efforts seeking input from local communities.
“Bus service along both Webster Avenue and 3rd Avenue suffered from slow speeds and low reliability and neither corridor afforded the type of travel experience our customers deserve,” said Darryl Irick, Senior Vice President of NYC Transit Bus and President of MTA Bus. “We are certain that here, just as we have experienced along the other corridors where we have introduced SBS, our customers will see a positive change in bus service.”
The construction by City DOT of new refuge islands and medians along Webster Avenue will help increase pedestrian safety and bus bulbs
While each SBS corridor has different needs and requires careful analysis to address conditions, the main features of SBS include:
- Branded Articulated 3-door, low-floor buses (except S79 which uses standard buses)
- Bus lanes typically one lane away from the curb, and sometimes at the curb painted red with clear signs
- New shelters, sidewalks, and pedestrian refuges where needed
- Traffic Signal Priority (only Bx12 and M15 as of today)
- “Pay at the curb” fare collection (not for S79)
- Webster Avenue SBS will feature Branded Articulated 3-door, low-floor buses; Four miles of bus lanes one lane away from the curb, in each direction; new shelters, sidewalks and pedestrian refuges; and Pay at the Curb Fare collection.
The MTA is continuing to develop SBS corridors throughout the city, including Nostrand/Rogers Av B44, scheduled to being operation in the late fall.