“I hope all New Yorkers get the message that we have to keep bus lanes clear to get people moving and to work on time,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
To speed up buses citywide, dedicated Police Department teams will be towing cars parked in bus lanes, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.
The seven new NYPD teams will operate in all five boroughs. The City has set an ambitious goal to increase bus speeds by 25 percent by 2020, using increased enforcement and street redesign.
“The NYPD recognizes the important role that safe, on-time bus performance plays in New York City’s transportation network,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “The NYPD is collaborating with our colleagues from the Department of Transportation and the MTA to keep bus routes across all five boroughs clear of illegally parked vehicles. As Mayor de Blasio mentioned in his State of the City address, the NYPD now has a dedicated team of tow trucks and enforcement agents that patrol bus lanes and bus routes across this City with the goal of increasing bus speeds.”
As part of his State of the City address, de Blasio noted that on average buses only move at 7.4 mph and in busy commercial districts, the average speed is less than 4 mph. Bus ridership is down across the five boroughs as riders avoid trips and choose faster, more reliable modes of transportation. The mayor also pointed out that the City has the power to redesign streets, install new bus lanes, and remove more vehicles blocking bus lanes. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and State may control the buses, but the City has the tools to help reverse downward ridership trends and increase average bus speeds, according to Hizzoner.
“It shouldn’t be so hard to get around the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio added. “Buses are a critical link in our public transportation system, but too often they are painfully slow. I hope all New Yorkers get the message that we have to keep bus lanes clear to get people moving and to work on time.”
In addition to the efforts to increase NYPD enforcement, as part of “Better Buses for All,” de Blasio announced the following:
• Work with the MTA to optimize the bus network in every borough, work that began last year in Staten Island and will expand to the Bronx in 2019, and pursue street redesigns to improve bus movement and maximize the effectiveness of the new networks
• Press the MTA to restart the Select Bus Service program and continue adding SBS routes every year, allowing the administration to fulfill its commitment to add 20 SBS routes citywide
• Perform street projects across the five boroughs to benefit 600,000 daily riders citywide in 2019
• Install bus lanes at an average of 10-15 miles per year, up from current pace of 7 miles per year
• Upgrade 5 miles of existing citywide bus lanes per year with extended hours, restricted turning, and piloting up to 2 miles of physically separated lanes in 2019
• Add traffic-signal priority at 300 intersections per year, doubling the number of intersections where buses get green lights.
• Improve rider experience by pressing for all-door boarding and off-board fare collection, and making bus stop improvements
• Advocate for expanded camera enforcement