The Select Bus Service (SBS) improvements on the M14A and D routes, which are augmented by New York City Department of Transportation’s new 14th Street Transit and Truck Priority lanes, have attracted new ridership and improved service and reliability, according to an announcement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
SBS weekend ridership has increased up to 37 percent and with the October implementation of the 14th Street busway, weekday ridership has increased by 17 percent to 31,000 daily riders.
“Our Fast Forward Plan promised improved service to bus riders and that’s exactly what we are delivering,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford. “The new bus priority measures and Select Bus Service on 14th Street are producing tangible benefits, and it’s great to see riders flocking back to the route.”
Comparing September 2018 to September 2019, ridership on the M14 route has increased by 37 percent on Saturdays and 29 percent on Sundays. Weekday ridership jumped 15 percent during the same period, from approximately 26,350 to 30,195. Since the 14th Street Transit and Truck Priority lanes were implemented on Oct. 2, 2019, ridership increased again to approximately 31,000. M14 ridership was also affected by the L Project, during which many L customers are using the M14 bus route as an alternative for Manhattan crosstown service.
“The results on 14th Street are a glimpse into the future of what bus customers can expect from us,” said Craig Cipriano, Acting MTA Bus Company president and senior vice president for buses, NYC Transit. “The treatments we deployed here, most notably all-door boarding, enforced bus priority and new vehicles, will have a tremendous and tangible impact on more than 2 million MTA bus customers.”
Additionally, since SBS was implemented on the M14 in July 2019 and the TTP lanes were implemented in early October, M14 travel times have decreased. In September 2018, an M14 bus took an average of 15.1 minutes to travel between Third and Eighth Avenues in either direction between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Preliminary data for the period after the busway was implemented shows that the same trip took just 10.6 minutes, a 30 percent decrease in travel time. Other performance data also improved, including wait assessment – a measure of how evenly buses are spaced – which improved from approximately 71 percent in September 2018 to 86 percent in October 2019. On-time performance jumped from 45.6 percent in September 2018 to approximately 68 percent after the busway was implemented.
Ridership data is based on preliminary results and may be subject to change:
- September 2018: 26,350
- September 2019: 30,195
- Percent change: 15 percent
- Percent change compared to Oct. 2-11 weekdays only: 17 percent to 31,031
- September 2018: 17,806
- September 2019: 24,337
- Percent change: 37 percent
- September 2018: 14,890
- September 2019: 19,266
- Percent change: 29 percent
Select Bus Service (SBS) is New York City’s version of Bus Rapid Transit. SBS features include customer-friendly amenities such as all-door boarding, off-board fare payment and bus-priority treatments such as bus lanes, traffic signal priority and street redesigns like bus bulbs or bus stop islands.
Local bus routes are chosen for upgrades to SBS based on its high ridership, long route through dense residential neighborhoods and commercial centers, links to subway lines and customer feedback.