Bus

N.Y. 'bus rapid transit' route enhancements boost ridership by 37%

Posted on October 18, 2019

New York MTA's SBS weekend ridership has soared up to 37%.
Marc A. Hermann
New York MTA's SBS weekend ridership has soared up to 37%.Marc A. Hermann
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported Select Bus Service improvements on the M14A and D routes, which are augmented by New York City Department of Transportation’s new 14th Street Transit & Truck Priority lanes, have attracted new ridership and improved service and reliability.

SBS weekend ridership has soared up to 37%, and with the October implementation of the 14th Street busway, weekday ridership has increased by 17% to 31,000 daily riders.

Comparing September 2018 to September 2019, ridership on the M14 route has increased by 37% and 29% on Sundays. Weekday ridership jumped 15% during the same period, from approximately 26,350 to 30,195. Since the 14th Street Transit & Truck Priority lanes were implemented on Oct. 2, 2019, ridership increased again to approximately 31,000. M14 ridership was also affected by the L Subway Project, during which many L Subway customers are using the M14 bus route as an alternative for Manhattan crosstown service.

SBS is New York City’s version of Bus Rapid Transit, with features including customer-friendly amenities such as all-door boarding.
Marc A. Hermann
SBS is New York City’s version of Bus Rapid Transit, with features including customer-friendly amenities such as all-door boarding.Marc A. Hermann

Additionally, since SBS was implemented on the M14 in July 2019 and the TTP lanes were implemented in early October, M14 travel times have decreased significantly. In September 2018, an M14 bus took an average of 15.1 minutes to travel between Third and Eighth avenues in either direction between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Preliminary data for the period after the busway was implemented shows that the same trip took just 10.6 minutes, a 30% decrease in travel time. Other performance data also improved, including wait assessment — a measure of how evenly buses are spaced — which improved from approximately 71% in September 2018 to 86% in October 2019. On-time performance jumped from 45.6% in September 2018 to approximately 68% after the busway was implemented.

SBS is New York City’s version of Bus Rapid Transit, with features including customer-friendly amenities such as all-door boarding, off-board fare payment, and bus-priority treatments such as bus lanes, traffic signal priority, and street redesigns like bus bulbs or bus stop islands.

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