MTA restarts bus route redesigns to impact millions of New Yorkers

New York News

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Buses are known as the backbone of the transit system in the city. A major redesign and review of all 325 routes was in the works in the winter of 2020.

It was put on hold during the pandemic. You can read and comment on the redesigns by borough online, and comment on routes and stops. There have been some changes made already in response to public concerns, so it’s not too late for riders to help shape final versions. 

The project restarted Tuesday with a presentation on the proposal for the Bronx, with changes taking effect in the summer of 2023. There are changes to 14 existing routes, plus two new additional routes.

Moving and reducing bus stops has been a part of each redesign. Up next is the project covering routes in Queens. Before the pandemic, it was the topic of community hearings and meetings. Many disagreed with the initial proposal, which consolidated some lines. The new proposal for Queens should be released in December.

MTA Board members will have to approve each borough redesign. Staten Island’s changed before the pandemic. Brooklyn and Manhattan will begin the initial redesign process next year. 

“Our goal today and every day is to provide bus service for our customers that is faster, more reliable, and more accessible,” said acting MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) works with the MTA on planning for major bus projects. “DOT is proud of the strong working partnership we have developed with the MTA, especially around buses, where we have already worked cooperatively and productively on dozens of routes, improving trips for a majority of the system’s two million daily bus commuters,” said Hank Gutman, DOT Commissioner.

The city says it will add or improve 20 miles of bus lanes, including up to five new busway pilots starting next year. Up to 750 more intersections will be outfitted with special transit signals that prioritize buses. MTA says it will also add 300 cameras to buses next year and expand camera enforcement in bus lanes. The goal is to cover 85% of all bus lanes in the city by 2023.

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