NEW YORK—Buses are gradually becoming a better way to get around town with Select Bus Service (SBS) reaching different parts of the city.
SBS is an increased speed, high performance bus system incorporating off-board fare collection, fewer stops, and low-floor hybrid-electric buses. It is jointly supported by the MTA New York City Transit, the New York City Department of Transportation, and the New York City Police Department. The SBS includes dedicated bus lanes that allow buses to avoid traffic.
A new service that will run along 34th Street, named M34 SBS, replaced the M34 and M16 service on Monday. The replacement will reduce delays, increase speed, and is expected to boost ridership by 5 to 10 percent. No extra costs will result from the service change. The M34 SBS and M34 SBSA will replace the M34 and M16 routes respectively. There will be no changes in time or frequency and most stops remain the same.
Public transit is in high demand along 34th Street, with 50,000 people living in the area and 300,000 people working within a quarter of a mile, according to New York City Transit President Thomas Prendergast. Before their replacement, the M34 and M16 services carried more than 18,000 passengers on an average weekday. The buses had an average speed of 4.5 mph and spent more than 35 percent of their total trip time stopped, while passengers boarded.
With the off-board fare collection, boarding time will be shortened. In addition, a few unused stops were consolidated with other stops to increase efficiency. The Lexington Avenue bus stop was consolidated with the Third Avenue stop, the stop at Madison Avenue was consolidated with the stop at Fifth Avenue, and a M16 stop on West 43rd Street near Ninth Avenue was consolidated with a stop on Ninth Avenue near West 42nd Street. Dedicated bus lanes will be implemented on the 34th Street route in 2012 to further improve bus speed.