Five months, the New York City Department of Transportation and the MTA unveiled plans for Select Bus Service along 34th Street. As part of the plans, buses would enjoy camera-enforced dedicated lanes up and down the crowded 34th Street corridor.
Today, New York has triumphed over Gantt as DOT and the MTA launched the 34th Street bus service this morning. Streetsblog’s Brad Aaron reports:
The 34th Street route stretches from 1st to 11th Avenues, and its lanes will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — unlike those on the Bx12 SBS line, which are only enforced during morning and evening rush. The lanes are in effect as of today.
Sources tell Streetsblog that the city is bypassing Albany by installing stationary automated traffic cameras to keep taxis out of the lanes, but DOT would not confirm ahead of the presser. The media release says that the red SBS lanes are “the first step in a series of improvements planned to improve bus speeds and reliability” along the corridor.
I’m not quite sure how the city is able to bypass Albany. It must have something to do with the nature of stationary cameras as opposed to the plan Gantt shot down which would have allowed for cameras on buses to combat cars in the BRT lanes.
All told, this is a positive step for the city as it attempts to make public transit more efficient while discouraging driving without the benefits of a congestion fee. Until the congestion fee movement rises up again, these little steps should be applauded.