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