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MTA, DOT will launch 14th Street SBS ahead of L train shutdown

The new 14th Street busway will debut in January 2019

MTA’s Select Bus Service M15 bus in Manhattan

With the forthcoming 15-month L train shutdown edging closer, the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation have decided to convert Manhattan’s 14th Street into a busway three months ahead of the April 2019 shutdown (h/t amNY).

The two agencies will launch the M14 Select Bus Service on January 6, 2019, in hopes that riders will give it a test-run before the actual shutdown begins. “By implementing the M14 SBS months before we start the L train tunnel repairs, we hope that customers will take the opportunity to try our buses and see how the 14th Street busway can factor into their commutes once we start work fixing the L train tunnel,” said New York City Transit President Andy Byford.

Between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m., 14th Street between Ninth and Third avenues eastbound and Third and Eighth Avenues westbound will be restricted to bus traffic only. The new SBS route will complement the current M14A and M14D buses and combined, the three routes will be able to handle roughly 84,000 passengers per day, notes amNY.

The SBS route will start off with five stops between First and Tenth avenues that match up with subway transfer points and will run every two minutes during morning and evening rush hours. After its initial launch, the SBS route will be extended east to the planned Stuyvesant Cove ferry terminal on the East River to accommodate ferry customers from Brooklyn. This is expected to happen shortly before the beginning on the shutdown.