Bx6 Becomes MTA’s 15th Select Bus Service Route

Bx6 has become MTA’s 15th Select Bus Service route

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the NYC Department of Transportation will launch the 15th Select Bus Service (SBS) route on the Bx6 on Sunday, September 3. The Bx6 is a critical east-west link for thousands of Bronx and Manhattan customers, including those making connections to Metro-North Railroad and several subway lines.

The Bx6 SBS supplements the existing Bx6 local service, making stops at select high-ridership locations and all transfers points to Metro-North and the 1 Subway2 Subway4 Subway5 Subway6 SubwayB SubwayC SubwayD Subway subway lines.  Both services continue to provide links to the commuter railroad, subway lines, other bus routes and notable destinations like Yankee Stadium, the Bronx courthouses and the Hunts Point food markets. To accommodate the SBS launch and the route’s growing ridership, New York City Transit is also increasing service on the Bx6 local by adding early morning and evening trips on weekdays, as well as additional weekend trips.

Approximately 24,000 daily Bx6 customers will benefit from the addition of Select Bus Service to the route, thanks to the implementation of SBS features that will help buses travel faster and improve traffic conditions and pedestrian safety in congested areas such as 161st Street between River and Morris avenues. Features that have been implemented on other Select Bus Service routes have decreased travel times by as much as 20 percent and helped to increase ridership by as much as 10 percent.

MTA New York City Transit and NYC Department of Transportation conducted extensive outreach with communities along the Bx6 route, engaging in data collection, public comment periods, various community board and borough president meetings, and an open house to solicit feedback on SBS stop locations and street redesigns. These discussions led to changes such as curb extensions, increased pedestrian space and safer and easily accessible bus boarding.

Extensive data collection and observations found that along the Bx6’s 6.3-mile route, vehicles parked in bus stops, double parking and traffic congestion slowed bus speeds to between 3 and 4 miles per hour in the 161st Street and Sherman Avenue area and through the vehicle tunnel under the Grand Concourse. As a result, those areas underwent major street redesigns to incorporate bus lanes, wider sidewalks for pedestrians, and median bus boarding islands to avoid vehicles parked in stops. Both the Bx6 SBS and local service benefit from these redesigns.

Another feature of the route design for the eastbound Bx6 SBS includes a minor reroute to speed trips, eliminating circuitous travel and providing a more predictable eastbound route between the Macombs Dam Bridge and Yankee Stadium by mirroring the route’s westbound path. Customers going to Jerome Avenue can use eastbound Bx6 local service. Altogether, 72 percent of current Bx6 customers use stops that will be served by Bx6 SBS and therefore will benefit from a faster ride by using the Select Bus Service.

Other SBS features include off-board fare payment at SBS fare machines, which allows customers to pay fares before boarding, and all-door boarding, since customers no longer have to wait to insert their MetroCards or cash at the bus fare box. The SBS fleet also uses specially branded buses that feature distinctive SBS signage to differentiate them from local bus service. Traffic signal priority technology, which has proven to speed bus travel on other SBS routes, will be installed on the Bx6 corridor in the coming years. Customers also will benefit from new wayfinding signs at many SBS stops that show real-time bus arrival information. For more information on Select Bus Service and a list of Bx6 SBS stops, click here.

The implementation of Bx6 SBS and increases in Bx6 weekday and weekend service cost approximately $4.12 million annually, and has been incorporated into NYC Transit’s approved operating budget.

New York City Transit’s push to bring Select Bus Service, New York’s version of the Bus Rapid Transit concept, to more routes across the city is part of the MTA’s broad program to improve bus service and attract new ridership. The MTA is in the process of upgrading its bus fleet with modern customer amenities such as Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital information screens, and advanced bus operating technology such as traffic signal priority, and pedestrian and collision safety warning systems.