First Avenue And Second Avenue Select Bus Service

M15 Select Bus Service began on October 10, 2010

Overview | Updates | Design | Community Outreach and Reports | Timeline

M15 Select Bus Service began


The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and New York City Transit (NYCT) launched the M15 Select Bus Service in October 2010 on First Avenue and Second Avenue in Manhattan. The corridor, which extends from 125th Street in Harlem to South Ferry in lower Manhattan, largely serves the city’s east side residents who, unlike the majority of Manhattan, are a long walk from the nearest subway. Using Bus Rapid Transit features such as off-board fare collection and bus-only lanes to increase speed and reliability, M15 Select Bus Service offers travelers along the corridor improved transit service, pedestrian safety, and bicycle access.

First Avenue and Second Avenue Route Map


Since service began along the corridor, ridership on the M15 has increased by 9% and bus speeds have improved by 15 to 18%.


The primary goals in the design of First Avenue/Second Avenue Select Bus Service were to improve transit service, pedestrian safety, and bicycle access. The design draws on components that have proven successful on other corridors in New York City, such as Fordham Road in the Bronx and Eighth Avenue/Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. The design includes a range of treatments, each responding to the varied traffic levels, street widths, and curbside access needs found on the corridor.

Current First/Second Avenue SBS design features:

  • Off-board fare collection
  • Upgrade to the existing bike lane on First Avenue between 72nd Street and 125th Street
  • Pedestrian refuge islands at selected intersections below 34th Street to help reduce crossing distances for pedestrians and overall pedestrian and bike improvements throughout the corridor
  • Bus bulbs at select stations between Houston Street and 125th Street
  • Transit signal prioritys between Houston Street and South Ferry Parking-protected bike lanes
  • Parking-protected or curbside bike lanes from Houston Street to 34th Street on both avenues

Parking protected bike lanes

Learn more about the proposed bike lanes for First and Second Avenues in 2012 (pdf)

Community Outreach and Reports

Community outreach for First and Second Avenue Select Bus Service included a Community Advisory Committee, public meetings, and outreach to specific stakeholders. Throughout the study, design and implementation process, DOT and NYCT used this outreach strategy to foster a dialog between the stakeholders and the agency and ensure full community engagement.

Community Advisory Committee

DOT and NYCT convened a Community Advisory Committee to provide guidance for the 34th Street Select Bus Service project. The committee was comprised of a broad range of stakeholders, including elected officials, Community Boards, community groups, and major area institutions. The Community Advisory Committee met every few months during the planning process for the project:

May 13, 2009
Project Introduction
Download the presentation (pdf)

September 23, 2009
Proposed Station Locations
Download the presentation (pdf)

January 14, 2010
Proposed Design
Download the presentation (pdf)

April 29, 2010
Proposed Parking and Curb Regulations
Download the presentation (pdf)

September 22, 2010
Construction Update, Transit Service, and Outreach Download the presentation (pdf)

April 27, 2011
Performance Update, Traffic, Bicycle and Pedestrian Data, and 2011 Implementation Download the presentation (pdf)

Community Boards

NYCT and DOT met with all Community Boards that the M15 Select Bus Service corridor passes through (Manhattan Boards 1, 3, 6, 8 and 11). These meetings provided an opportunity for the Board members and the public to learn about the project and give feedback and guidance during the project's planning and implementation.

Community Board 3
March 10, 2010
Download the presentation (pdf)

Community Board 6
June 7, 2010
Download the presentation (pdf)

May 2, 2011
Download the presentation (pdf)

Community Board 8
March 11, 2010
Download the presentation(pdf)

February 25, 2010
Download the presentation(pdf)

Community Board 11
June 9, 2010
Download the presentation

Public Open Houses

Public open houses took place at key points to involve the larger public. The open house format allowed the public to have one-on-one conversations with project principals and review and comment on preliminary design plans. Public open houses on the project took place on March 18 and September 27, 2010 at the Philips Ambulatory Care Center at Beth Israel Hospital and on March 24 and September 28, 2010 at the Temple of Israel of the City of New York. Nearly 200 members of the general public attended these events.


The First and Second Avenues SBS Progress Report lays out the planning process, provides project details and results, and suggests additional future improvements to the corridor.

Read the Progress Report on the first year of Select Bus Service on First and Second Avenues. Download the full report (pdf)


NYC BRT study selects 1st/2nd Ave as one of five BRT corridors for further development

1st/2nd Ave identified as next SBS corridor for implementation

Spring 2009 through Summer 2010
Ongoing community outreach efforts including Community Advisory Committee meetings, Community Board presentations and public open houses

June 2009
Tour of Fordham Road Select Bus Service for First/Second Avenue Community Advisory Committee members

June 2010
Road resurfacing

October 2010
Street Design completed

October 10, 2010: Service began on the M34/M34A Select Bus Service

2011 through 2014
Installation of bus bulbs, transit signal priority and additional pedestrian and bike improvements; continued community outreach