After a more than successful debut & current run in the Bronx, Select Bus Service is taking its show on the road to Manhattan, 34th Street more specifically. Brad Aaron of Streetsblog has more on the new service from the team of the DOT & MTA in this report:
DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and MTA CEO Lee Sander are scheduled to officially roll out 34th Street Select Bus Service at a 1 p.m. press conference today. The new Manhattan route will be the city’s second foray into bus rapid transit, following a successful debut on Fordham Road in the Bronx.
The 34th Street route stretches from 1st to 11th Avenues, and its lanes will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — unlike those on the Bx12 SBS line, which are only enforced during morning and evening rush. The lanes are in effect as of today.
Sources tell Streetsblog that the city is bypassing Albany by installing stationary automated traffic cameras to keep taxis out of the lanes, but DOT would not confirm ahead of the presser. The media release says that the red SBS lanes are “the first step in a series of improvements planned to improve bus speeds and reliability” along the corridor.
In April, Sadik-Khan announced that 34th Street would eventually be home to the city’s first “Transitway” — a bus/ped/bike plaza closed to cars between 5th and 6th Avenues, with private vehicle lanes on either side of that block converted to one way streets, channeling traffic away from the Central Business District. The SBS configuration to be unveiled today marks Phase 1 of the project as outlined in this DOT slideshow.
Today’s press conference is set for the north side of 34th between 5th and Madison.
This is great news for transit advocates who feel public transportation should be made a viable alternative to driving. This is not to say that people should not drive or that we should charge ridiculous fees to drivers like other irresponsible people might suggest. However an effective transit system can help alleviate the need by many to feel the need to always drive. This type of system can only be seen as a win-win situation for everyone.
xoxo Transit Blogger