Electeds Call For Rapid Expansion Of Select Bus Service

July 16, 2015

M60 SBSState Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx), Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), Chair of the NYC Council’s Transportation Committee, and advocates called for the expedient creation of ten new Select Bus Service lines.

In addition, lawmakers and advocates pushed for the M60 SBS to finally have a completed dedicated bus lane across the entirety of 125th street to speed up the commute of thousands of Harlem residents.

This effort comes in the midst of rising ridership on our already overcrowded subways, and the need to connect commuters to new job centers around the city. Last month, the state legislature authorized the enforcement of up to ten new bus-only lanes for Select Bus Service using cameras, with the passage of S5608-A/ A7996-A.Lawmakers were joined by many of the city’s leading transportation advocates including: Caroline Samponaro, the Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives; Veronica Vanterpool, the executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign; Nick Sifuentes, the Deputy Director of the Riders Alliance; and Carol Crump of StreetsPAC.

“A bus-only lane across all of 125th Street would lower commute times for thousands of people that don’t have direct access to subway lines and have endured painstakingly long commutes,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx). “SBS service using bus-only lanes have been a huge success in speeding up buses, as it has on the east side of 125th street. With the State’s authorization for the enforcement of more of these lanes with cameras, the time is now to create more lines that connect communities to new job centers and get hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to their destinations faster.”

“A full extension of the bus lane for M60 Select Bus Service on 125th Street would be a game changer for thousands of Harlem residents,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “Riders travelling east of Lenox Avenue have already begun to experience the benefits of a dedicated bus lane, with bus speeds as much as 34% faster than before the lane was installed. Yet commuters travelling west of Lenox who equally depend on efficient bus service to shop at businesses or get to work, endure buses that creep along at a rate barely as fast as walking speed. I’m proud to join colleagues in government, advocates and concerned residents to once again call for Central and West Harlem to receive faster and more reliable bus service.”

“Without a rail connection the m60 SBS bus is the closest option to rapid transit that we for LaGuardia. We must ensure that we provide top quality transit to our citizens as they travel or the 57 million tourists who come to our city each year. In order to do that, we need a full corridor bus lane to speed trips. I praise Senator Espaillat for his leadership and look forward to working with the DOT to ensure the M60 bus is everything it can be,” said

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez , Chair of the NYC Council’s Transportation Committee”Dedicating space for buses on NYC’s streets is one of the most efficient and equitable uses of limited road space. While off board fare collection, improved buses and signal technology improve the bus rider experience, dedicated bus lanes deliver the greatest benefits. As NYCDOT and MTA advance Phase 2 of the SBS program, the expansion of exclusive bus lanes must be the capstone of the program. We applaud Senator Espaillat and Councilmembers Levine and Rodriguez along with NYCDOT and MTA for their efforts to push the boundaries to deliver the bus network we deserve,” says Veronica Vanterpool, executive director Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

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Caroline Samponaro, Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives, said, “The 2.7 million people in New York City who use buses every day will benefit greatly from this legislation expanding the network of dedicated bus lanes to an additional 10 routes. We join Senator Espaillat and Council Members Levine and Rodriguez in calling for immediate action to complete the Select Bus Service lane on 125th Street as a key part of the effort to improve transit across the City. The extension of Bus Rapid Transit, (BRT) with dedicated lanes, will help connect more New Yorkers to existing and emerging job centers. ”

“I used to be able to walk faster than the M60, so the Select Bus Service is a big improvement,” said Nick Sifuentes, a Harlem resident and Deputy Director of the Riders Alliance. “Now, the M60 SBS has become an important part of thousands of Harlem residents’ commutes, and the bus lane between Lenox Ave. and 2nd Ave is a big reason why. The City should extend the bus lane across 125th street so the M60 can continue to be a model for fast, reliable SBS for local residents.”

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