Better Buses Action Plan
New York City DOT, with MTA, is committed to working together to improve bus service citywide, ensuring that New Yorkers have bus service that they can depend on at any time of the day. The Better Buses Action Plan is focused on improving bus speeds citywide by 25% by the end of 2020 and reversing downward bus ridership trends. This will be done through a combination of DOT’s transit street design treatments like bus lanes and transit signal priority, NYPD’s increased enforcement of bus lanes, and service management initiatives and bus network redesigns by MTA, the city’s transit operator.
The Better Buses Action Plan proposes a comprehensive look at projects citywide to achieve these goals:
- Improve 5 miles of existing bus lanes per year
- Install 10–15 miles of new bus lanes per year
- Pilot up to 2 miles of physically separated bus lanes in 2019
- In 2019, implement DOT street design projects that benefit 600,000 daily riders
- Add 300 Transit Signal Priority (TSP) intersections per year
- Expand bus lane camera enforcement
- Increased NYPD bus lane enforcement with seven dedicated tow truck teams
- Evaluate and improve bus stops
Working With The MTA
- Support MTA Bus Network Redesign efforts with borough bus priority plans
- Press for all-door boarding, restarting the SBS program, and other improvements to bus operations
In 2019, DOT will implement over 20 bus priority projects citywide and develop borough-wide bus priority plans, starting in the Bronx as part of the MTA Bus Network Redesign process, followed shortly by Queens and Brooklyn. In 2020, implementation will focus on these borough-wide plans.
Webster Av, E 174 St – E 176 St, BX
DOT is proposing to improve bus service and traffic safety along Webster Avenue near the Cross Bronx Expressway. The project includes a southbound bus lane between E 174 St and E 176 St and clarified roadway markings. In addition, a pedestrian island and two painted curb extensions will be added at the intersection of Webster Avenue and Ittner Place. The project will improve safety for all roadway users, enhance bus priority to improve bus speeds and reliability, and improve traffic flow. Webster Avenue, E 174 St – E 176 St Improvements – presented to Bronx Community Board 5 Municipal Services Committee in May 2019 (pdf)
Lexington Ave, 96th St to 60th St, MN
DOT is proposing upgrades to the existing curbside bus lane, by moving it to the “offset” position, one lane away from the curb. The proposed design will improve bus speeds and reliability for M98, M101, M102, and M103 bus riders while improve curb access for local businesses. Lexington Ave Bus Lane Enhancement - presented to Manhattan CB 8 Transportation Committee in May 2019 (pdf)
As part of the City’s comprehensive Citywide Transit Plan to understand the current state of the transit system, how it is meeting the needs of New Yorkers, and how the City is growing in order to develop our vision for the future of transit in New York City, DOT released the Bus Forward report in 2017 to present the future of the Select Bus Service program and the expansion of treatments to other local bus routes. This work is now all part of the Better Buses Action Plan, as well.
Growing the SBS Program
Based on the results of data analysis and public feedback through workshops, on-street surveying and online feedback, NYC DOT and the MTA have identified 21 candidate corridors across the city for the next phase of SBS. After the implementation of M14SBS, however, the MTA does not currently plan on additional SBS routes. DOT is pressing MTA to continue this successful program.
The existing SBS network has over 300,000 daily riders, 12% of city bus ridership. With the addition of the 21 proposed SBS routes, over 800,000 daily bus riders would be on routes with fast and reliable service, over 32% of city bus ridership.
By continuing to grow the SBS network, we are focusing on key issues including improving job access across the City and providing service on trips not well served by the subway and rail systems.
Improving Local Bus Corridors
Complementing the interagency commitment to SBS, NYC DOT and the MTA are committed to the Bus Forward program – improving the customer experience by making buses across the city faster and more reliable. Using tools from the bus priority toolkit, we are taking tangible steps to make changes on local bus corridors to improve travel speed and reliability for riders.
NYC DOT and the MTA is implementing projects on many of these priority corridors in 2019 as part of the Better Buses Action Plan.