Quinn Proposes Triboro BRT Line With Separated Bus Lanes

Since Scott Stringer left the mayoral field for the comptroller race, the mayoral candidates haven’t spoken much about the Triboro RX, a plan to bring circumferential rail service to Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx using existing tracks and rights of way. But they have spoken highly, if not very specifically, of Bus Rapid Transit. And a few have zeroed in on the transit needs of outer-borough communities, where job growth is outpacing Manhattan, but commute times are lengthening.

Quinn would build a Bus Rapid Transit line instead of rail along the Triboro RX route. Image: Quinn campaign via Capital NY

Today, Christine Quinn came forward with a proposal that merges the Triboro transit concept and her campaign’s emphasis on speedier bus routes. Her proposal would link the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn with a more robust version of Select Bus Service.

Dana Rubinstein at Capital New York reports:

Quinn said that her Triboro line would differ from the city’s existing and relatively ineffective Select Bus Service lines, because it would have real, protected bus lanes, allowing buses to move in rapid succession like street-level subway cars.

The route overlaps part of a plan from the MTA and DOT to extend SBS to LaGuardia Airport. In a policy book released earlier this month, Quinn said her first priority for BRT would be a primarily physically-separated line on the North Shore of Staten Island that is already being planned by the MTA.

Joan Byron of the Pratt Center for Community Development told Rubinstein that the general concept of linking the three boroughs is sound, but said it might make more sense to provide some of this service as separate routes. (The Quinn campaign’s map shows several zigzagging turns in Brooklyn.)

Quinn’s proposal comes the day after Council Member Brad Lander introduced a bill that would require DOT to create a comprehensive plan for citywide BRT. When asked about the potential of local political opposition to derail efforts for dedicated bus lanes on city streets, Quinn didn’t exactly strike a politically fearless tone, saying the city should do a better job involving communities in planning the system.