New York City’s Select Bus Service had always fallen short of what it was modeled on — bus rapid transit — and a large reason for that was the lack of dedicated or fully separated bus lanes. That is about to change with the announcement by Mayor de Blasio yesterday that the 14th Street busway pilot, which prevented cars on a stretch of the roadway and used cameras on the buses as enforcement, will become permanent and get extended eastward to Avenue C. According to Mayor de Blasio’s office, the pilot project increased bus speeds on 14th Street by as much as 24% and ridership by as much as 30%.

14th Street bus

“As New Yorkers head back to work, they’ll be relying on the bus more than ever – and I’m proud to offer them faster and more reliable options,” said Mayor de Blasio. “By replicating the 14th Street success story in other congested corridors, we can reduce traffic, increase mass transit service, and build a fairer and better New York.”

Aerial of 14th Street bus lane

14th Street SBS bus

The 14th Street busway will be part of twenty miles of miles of new busways and new bus lanes that New York City Department of Transportation will be implementing. The Mayor’s office says the initiative will benefit nearly 750,000 riders. New busways like the one on 14th Street will be built on Main Street and Kissena Boulevard and along Jamaica Avenue in Queens, in Manhattan on 5th Avenue from 34th Street to 57th Street and on 181st Street from Amsterdam to Broadway, and in Brooklyn from Fulton Street to Tillary Street. Offset bus lanes will be built in the Bronx on 149th Street from Southern Boulevard to River Avenue, a thoroughfare that serves 10 subway lines, the HUB, and Lincoln Medical Center.

14th Street bus lane sign photo enforced

Next, check out remnants of a lost funicular railway in Yonkers.