149th Street bus priority project includes Transit Signal Priority and serves 55,000 passengers daily; new bus-lane enforcement cameras also installed; 60-day warning period for drivers starting today
Bronx celebrates almost 100,000 Citi Bike rides since spring at 100 stations
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced major bus and bike improvements in the Bronx today, furthering his record-setting Better Buses Restart plan and continuing to deliver on his recovery agenda to make New York City the world’s capital for healthy outdoor living. Bus improvements along 149th Street, which will serve 55,000 daily passengers, include 2.7 miles of offset bus lanes from Southern Boulevard to River Avenue. The Mayor and Lyft also announced that Bronx cyclists have logged nearly 100,000 Citi Bike trips to and from over 100 newly installed docks since installation began this spring.
The 149th Street corridor carries four bus routes (Bx2, Bx4, Bx17, and Bx19) that connect to ten subway lines across the Bronx and Manhattan, as well as major destinations such as Hostos Community College, Lincoln Medical Center, and The Hub. 149th Street, where Transit-Signal Priority (TSP) and bus-lane enforcement cameras are now active, is the fourth bus-priority project completed since the Mayor announced the Better Buses Restart plan this June.
“The Bronx deserves faster and more reliable transit options. From faster buses to more bike infrastructure, we’re determined to use this crisis to deliver it,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “College students at Hostos, health care heroes at Lincoln, and New Yorkers who want access to everything the Bronx has to offer now have better and healthier ways to move around – and we’re excited to continue expanding transit options in the future.”
“These needed transit improvements will impact tens of thousands in the South Bronx and make it easier for New Yorkers to get to work or school while reducing congestion,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “As we continue to recover from this terrible pandemic we will rebuild this city through some of the hard lessons we learned – and a key part of that includes expanding safe and reliable public transit options.”
“As New York City continues to emerge from the most difficult days of COVID-19, our commitment to giving New Yorkers a variety of safe and reliable transportation options remain. Buses and bikes have played a critical role in keeping us moving — both in communities hit hard from the pandemic and by essential front-line workers,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Better bike and bus options are especially important on critical east-west arteries like 149th Street. We thank our partners at Lyft and the MTA, and look forward to our continued work with them in getting these transformational changes implemented and expanded throughout the city.”
"We know that the key to effective bus service is well enforced bus priority," said Craig Cipriano, MTA Bus Company President and NYC Transit SVP for Buses. "Buses in the 149 Street corridor are among the slowest in the city, but that won't be the case anymore. Opening new bus lanes is one of the most exciting parts of my job and I commend DOT for being great partners as tens of thousands of Bronx riders are about to experience the power of bus priority."
“NYC Health + Hospitals celebrates the launch of the 149th Street Better Buses Restart bus lane project, which supports public health and significantly enhances transportation for our patients and employees," said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz. "I want to thank Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, MTA President Sarah Feinberg, and Lyft, for their commitment to a re-envisioned 149th Street."
149th Street Bus Priority:
Priority bus improvements include the installation of red painted offset bus lanes, pedestrian islands, turn bays, and loading zones. Together, these tools work to relieve major issues such as congestion, slow bus speeds, double parking, and unsafe weaving and merging. Previous congestion on 149th Street resulted in buses moving at walking speed or slower most of the day, about 4 mph, causing backups across the entire route, sending buses off schedule or causing them to arrive two or three at a time.
Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and Bus-Lane Cameras:
Agency officials announced that Transit Signal Priority had been activated along the 149th Street corridor, further helping improve travel times: under TSP, communication between the buses and traffic signals holds green lights longer and shortens the time buses spend at red lights. DOT has worked with MTA to install this technology at over 1,350 intersections throughout the city, with the pace increasing in 2020: since the beginning of the year, over 460 intersections on 14 different corridors have received this treatment, exceeding DOT’s Better Buses goal of 300 intersections per year and 1,200 intersections by the end of 2020.
Bus lane enforcement cameras have been installed along 149th Street. Starting today, drivers will receive bus-lane violation warnings for the next 60 days. Under a state law passed last year, bus-lane camera violations begin at $50 and can escalate to as high as $250 for the fifth violation in a one-year period.
Better Buses Restart:
DOT continues to deliver on the mayor’s record-setting Better Buses Restart plan, which aims to increase bus speeds and reliability along major corridors in all five boroughs. The agency has also continued implementing bus priority projects throughout the city, including Jay Street in Brooklyn, 14th Street extension in Manhattan and Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, totaling 9.1 miles to date, already nearly matching DOT’s 2019 total of 10.7 miles of bus lanes.
Citi Bike in the Bronx:
In 2019, at Bronx Borough Hall, New York City announced Citi Bike’s expansion of its docks into all of Manhattan, deeper into Queens and Brooklyn, and into the Bronx for the first time. To date, the borough now has 110 stations, stretching from the South Bronx up to the Cross Bronx Expressway, and University Avenue to Southern Boulevard. So far this year, cyclists have already logged nearly 100,000 trips to and from the Bronx. DOT continues to work with Citi Bike’s parent company, Lyft, on the Phase 3 expansion expected to cover most of the borough within three years.
“The expansion of alternative transportation and increasing public transportation in all areas of The Bronx has been an essential focus during my tenure, including working to connect our borough to the Citi Bike network,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The announcement of bike and bus improvements along 149th street is an important milestone for our borough as we make sure our residents have access to safe ways of getting around The Bronx, particularly healthcare workers who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. I want to thank the New York City Department of Transportation and MTA for their partnership, as well as Lyft for continuing to invest in The Bronx. I look forward to working with elected officials and community members as this program forges ahead with Citi Bike’s expansion in The Bronx."