When Select Bus Service debuted along 1st and 2nd Aves. just last week, riders and the press were quick to deem it a disaster. People couldn’t figure out how to pay before boarding; the proof-of-payment slips for use on SBS buses but not the regular local M15s provided too confusing; and the route didn’t seem to have enough buses to meet demand. Well, the MTA and NYC’s Department of Transportation have listened to the complaints, and as the Daily News reports today, improvements are coming to the Select Bus Service route.
First, the MTA plans to add three additional buses to fill service gaps. This will bring the total number of SBS buses along the M15 to 40. More importantly, though, is the word that riders can use SBS proof-of-payment receipts to board local buses, a point of contention in the early goings. This way, if a local bus arrives before an Select Bus Service bus, those waiting can choose to board the local without paying another fare. “It’s common sense,” Gene Russianoff said. “Riders should be able to take whatever bus comes first if they want to get on the move.”
The MTA meanwhile noted that speeds have already improved along the route. Last week, the buses were averaging 98 minutes end-to-end while this week that time is down to 88 minutes. When the camera enforcement comes online next month and even more cars start moving out of bus lanes, the service should speed up then as well.