At a press event yesterday to announce service restorations and upgrades, the MTA also went public with a citywide plan to expand Select Bus Service. With tunnel-boring mega-projects consuming billions of capital dollars apiece, the agency is featuring low-cost bus improvements more prominently in its strategy to increase transit capacity.
Stephen Smith at the Observer reports:
The Second Avenue subway was featured prominently, but one board member conceded that it’s “simply not possible to build more lines and have them during someone’s commuting lifetime” (a depressing admission of defeat for an agency beset by gargantuan construction cost premiums over peer cities like London, Tokyo and Paris), pivoting to the MTA’s transit expansion strategy while we wait for funding on the rest of the Second Avenue line: Select Bus Service.
While the routes that the MTA displayed yesterday are, for the most part, the same as the “phase two” corridors unveiled in 2009, it’s unusual for the agency to put itself front and center when the subject turns to bus improvements — a topic typically handled in conjunction with NYC DOT. With uncertainty about the direction DOT will take when City Hall changes hands, it’s good to see the MTA making a highly visible commitment to SBS.
The new SBS map shows additional corridors along with existing SBS routes and subway lines, for a more complete picture of how the enhanced bus network integrates with rail.