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Bus Lanes in New York City

Bus lanes will work very well in New York City. The congestion of too many automobiles on the streets wreaks havoc on bus headways and running times. NYC Transit published a report "Faster Than Walking? Street Congestion and New York City Transit Buses," which cited, for example, the M104 bus meets its headway about 50% of the time and takes 59% longer to make its midday runs than its midnight runs. These congestion induced problems increase transit capital and operating costs let alone wasting massive amounts of bus riders' time. This report proposed on street bus lanes as the solution and provided several examples of how it could be done. NYCT asked the MTA board to approve a contract with one of the local universities to study what it will take to implement a bus lane network. I assume it was approved by the board.

The political obtacles are surmountable if the Transit Authority is willing to work with the communities from the start, educate their riders and the public in general of the dire need for the bus lanes and, most of all, be persistent.

As far as Curatiba's prepayment/boarding tubes I remain skeptical of their ability to make it in NYC. To resolve the delay of boarding stairs and wheelchair accessability, NYCT is looking at creating the bus of the future, which has low floors and runs on alternative fuels.

This article was written by me as a posting to the nyc.transit and misc.transport.urban-transit newsgroups on 27 September 1995 in response to someone talking about an article in New York Magazine which compared NYC's bus system with the one in Curiatiba, Brazil.


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Last updated: 4 April 1999