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MTA brings Select Bus Service to congested 23rd Street

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The city’s 12th SBS line will hopefully alleviate bus bunching on the crowded thoroughfare

Going crosstown can be a nightmare, and often it’s faster to abandon public transportation altogether in favor of walking. But today, the DOT and Mayor Bill de Blasio launched Select Bus Service (SBS) along the notoriously slow 23rd Street corridor in Manhattan, with the goal of hopefully speeding up crosstown commutes.

The M23 serves as a key connector between multiple other subway and bus routes but has historically been bogged down by long wait times and large ridership—it currently serves 13,000 commuters daily. The newly added SBS route, which goes from Chelsea Piers to Turtle Bay with restricted turns, will, in theory, ease that congestion while improving traffic flow.

Like other SBS routes, the M23 SBS will have off-board fare collection and dedicated bus lanes. These features have been shown to reduce travel times by 10 to 30 percent, according to the MTA.

“Communities with limited subway options will now learn that SBS has a winning formula to transform bus commutes,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement, adding that “SBS saves commuters precious time while also making streets—including the newly added 23rd Street route—much safer.”

This marks the 12th SBS corridor in the city, one step closer to de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of equitable and sustainable transit expansion.