NYC’s Select Bus Service is set to expand in a major way in the coming decade. Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement Friday morning following a ride on the M23 bus to Chelsea Piers.
The city will introduce 21 new routes over the next 10 years, adding to the existing 14 routes that operate all over the city. Queens will get the most new routes among the five boroughs with an introduction of eight new lines in the coming years.
At present, about 12 percent of bus rides taken citywide are taken on SBS busses; that percentage will increase to 30 in the next decade, and de Blasio is investing $270 million in the city’s bus infrastructure to ensure that happens.
“Bus riders deserve faster, more reliable service -- and the growing number of riders on SBS buses has found that they are getting to work on-time, and getting home to family faster,” de Blasio said in a statement. “With even more Select Bus Service routes coming on-line in the years ahead and a commitment to bring SBS-style treatments to other routes, more communities in every borough will see their bus service improve.”
The other bus routes de Blasio is referring to pertains to the city’s plan to make buses travel faster on non-SBS routes with infrastructural improvements. As part of the new SBS push, the city is already working on three new routes that will be completed by the end of this year: on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, on Fulton Street in Fort Greene, and on Main Street in Flushing.
A joint program between the city’s Department of Transportation and the MTA, the SBS program was kicked off in the Bronx in 2008. At the time de Blasio took office, there were six operational SBS routes. That has since increased to 14. In the next decade, the city will likely add SBS busses on two to three corridors per year. Next year, two new SBS routes will open Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens and Flatlands Avenue/Kings Highway in Brooklyn.
Here’s a look at all the expansions over the coming years: