AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION: Bus speeds to increase 25 percent by 2020, Mayor de Blasio vows
Amalgamated Transit Union issued the following announcement on Jan. 15.
Mayor Bill de Blasio will pledge during his State of the City address Thursday to drastically improve local bus speeds over the next two years to help revive the failing, unreliable service.
Faced with the slowest bus service among the nation’s big cities in addition to sharply declining ridership in recent years, the administration will vow to expand bus priority on streets; ramp up police enforcement of bus lanes and push Albany for state-controlled measures, such as camera enforcement.
With the combined efforts, the city aims to improve average bus speeds by 25 percent, from 7.44 miles per hour to 9.03 miles per hour by the end of 2020.
“Buses are a critical link in our public transportation system, and we’re doubling down on improvements to help get New Yorkers moving,” said de Blasio in a statement. “We look forward to working with the MTA to give our city the bus system it deserves.”
The state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority saw a drop of almost 60 million bus trips from 2010 to 2016 — down from 697 million annual trips to 638 million — as average speeds trended down, with the mayor bearing much of the blame for not doing enough to accommodate buses on city streets. The administration now plans to more aggressively implement current strategies and try some new techniques to accelerate buses to faster speeds than the city has seen in at least 18 years.
“It is an ambitious goal,” said Polly Trottenberg, the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner, who noted that many of the efforts draw from recommendations from transit advocates.
“We know the city has a big role to play in trying to get buses moving faster and trying to turn around the decline in ridership,” she continued. “And I think what you’re hearing... is a really big commitment to do that.”
On the streets themselves, the administration will markedly increase the miles of bus lanes it installs each year from seven to between 10 and 15 miles per year. Each year, it will also tweak five miles of existing bus lanes with new design elements in addition to extending hours during which other vehicles are restricted from access.
Original source can be found here.
Source: Amalgamated Transit Union