It’s time to get on the bus

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Brownstoner noted last week that the NYC DOT received a big chunk of federal cash to continue implementing its Select Bus Service, and has now begun work on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.  The idea is to move towards creating dedicated bus lanes that operate more like trains, with prepaid fares and near independence from non-bus traffic on the street.

[Image Source: Brownstoner]

It is modelled after the TransMilenio in Bogota, Colombia, which the city has been studying for years.  You can read more about it here, courtesy of Good.  You can also check out a video, courtesy of StreetFilms.

[Image Source: Rail for the Valley]

This is the real answer to our urban transportation woes.  While we’d all love to see a modern train system, building new transit infrastructure is costly and politically difficult.  The oft-ridiculed 2nd Avenue Subway is a case-in-point.  In contrast, buses are easy and more efficient to maintain and implementation would be much cheaper.  And we’ve done a pretty decent job at making them more energy efficient.

There is also potential for service improvements and increased revenue, a smart choice given the MTA’s interminable budget problems.  The city piloted the Select Bus Service on Fordham Road in the Bronx and found that it reduced travel times by over 20% and increased ridership by 7%.

We may have to forgo our dreams of 21st century trains and just continue perfecting that 17th century breakthrough, the bus.

Posted on February 11th 2010 in news

2 Responses to “It’s time to get on the bus”

  1. Justin Lugar Says:

    This system is extremely efficient in London. Buses are able to get from point A to B much quicker and use less fuel as well. The bus lanes also double as bike lanes to encourage cycling (where there is no specifically-designated cycling lane). Amazingly, drivers (both car and bus) are extremely kind to cyclists and the system works quite well. I’m not sure the buses in NYC accept the flimsy metro cards, but NYC would also do well to integrate the travel cards so more people will use buses. Either way, this seems to be a smart step forward.

  2. e. Says:

    Although I hate taking the bus (you know know this), if Select Bus Service could making getting around Brooklyn (while staying within Brooklyn) easier and much faster then I’m down for it 100%.

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