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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fast Buses Make Debut, Cause Some Confusion

New York City’s first bus rapid transit line was announced yesterday at a press conference headlined by Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s CEO Elliot G. Sander and a handful of other MTA, New York City Transit, Department of Transportation and elected officials at Fordham Plaza in the northwest Bronx.

The new Select Bus Service line will complement the popular Bx12 Limited route and will cut across the middle of the Bronx, from Inwood in Manhattan to the Bay Plaza Mall or Orchard Beach in east Bronx. Transit officials say there is a five-minute cut in travel time due to bus innovations.

The service actually started on Sunday, but made its official and staged debut Monday morning.

There are three big changes that riders must adjust to along with the two-toned buses with the polka dot seats. Riders must pay before they board –- with their MTA card or with cash for the standard $2 fare -- but can board by either front or rear doors. Also, dedicated bus lanes and traffic signal priority and coordination will be in place to help speed up the new bus line.

Riders yesterday were confused at having to pay before boarding, but transit aides helped guide the process. It's unclear how long the aides will continue to help riders adjust to the new system. And yes, every official there took the Select Bus Service through the Bronx after the press conference.

The Times took a ride on the bus yesterday and also found confusion among riders.

-Reporting and Photo by Stephen Baron


  1. One important thing that's not being mentioned in any of the news accounts I've read about the new Bx12 bus service is the elimination of local stops along the route. It is no longer possible to get on a bus at Sedgwick Avenue and get off at 207th and Broadway, nor is it possible to get on a bus at 207th and Broadway and get off at Sedgwick. The nearest stops to Sedgwick Ave are now at Cedar Ave and at University Ave--both a distance of several blocks. This is a major inconvenience to the thousands of residents, including many elderly, who live near the intersection of Sedgwick and Fordham Road, and who depend on the Bx12 for connections to the 1 and A trains. Furthermore, before this change, the Sedgwick Ave stop often had 30 or 40 people waiting during the morning rush hour, and I wonder how the University and Cedar Ave stops are going to accommodate that number of people. Are any other people concerned about this significant degradation in our bus service, and what can we do to address it?

  2. Henry,
    Thanks for this information. We will look into it and post what we find out on the blog. The Norwood News is also working on an article for this week's paper and we'll try to get the information about stops in there.
    Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog.
    Jordan Moss, Editor
    Norwood News

  3. In my opinion, this new "select bus service" is utter garbage! As Mr. Raine points out, it's, to say the least, a MAJOR inconvenience for people including me who cannot take this particular bus at Sedgwick Ave. and have to either walk to Cedar or University Ave. especially during these hot summer days. If I get the bus at Cedar Ave, I might as well walk to 207th St being that I'm half way there. I feel VERY unsafe to wait at the Cedar Ave bus stop. And what about the elderly too? This is a ridiculous change. As always, the MTA TRIES to make improvements but always screws the public in the end! And they're planning raise fares? Give me a break! If they wanted to cut time in half, why don't they have the BX12 buses go through Bailey Ave and the 225th st. bridge and avoid ALL traffic along the 207th st. bridge? DUH!!!! geez, a 5 yr old could think of better ways!

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