The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) have announced that Select Bus Service will be available to riders on 14th Street in Manhattan as of January 6, 2019 ahead of the planned April 2019 L train tunnel closure for repairs to due to damage from Hurricane Sandy. The M14 is expected to become the busiest bus route in the nation during the shutdown, with more than 50,000 additional daily riders expected to move above ground along 14th Street. According to NYC Transit President Andy Byford: “Launching Select Bus Service on 14th Street is a critical part of a multi-faceted service plan to keep thousands of customers moving safely and efficiently as they commute crosstown.”
“With a bus per minute, we plan to work with MTA to combine those signature SBS innovations with other design changes along 14th Street to provide fast, reliable, and safe service,” NYC Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “We had planned Select Bus Service for 14th Street long before the announcement of the l train’s disruption, but now with more than 50,000 additional daily riders expected to move above ground along 14th Street, the need for SBS here is even more urgent.”
The M14 SBS will supplement existing M14A and M14D local bus service on 14th Street, making five stops in each direction between First and Tenth Avenues for transfers to the subway lines along the way. The new route will be extended east to the planned Stuyvesant Cove ferry terminal on the East River to accommodate ferry customers from Brooklyn just before the shutdown.
The MTA’s Select Bus Service is New York City’s version of the internationally successful Bus Rapid Transit concept and features all-door boarding, off-board fare payment, traffic signal priority, dedicated bus lanes, enhanced customer safety street designs and electronic wayfinding signage and countdown clocks, all of which have been proven to decrease commute times by up to 20 percent.
The new bus route will be combined with daily high-occupancy vehicle restrictions on most of 14th Street; crosstown buses will be scheduled no more than two minutes apart during peak hours. 6sqft previously reported on the city’s plans to provide alternatives to the L train during the 2019 shutdown for repairs in the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River; 14th street will become a “busway” for 17 hours each day–among other strategies–to limit car traffic during the shutdown.
Car traffic on 14th Street from Ninth to Third Avenues eastbound and Third to Eighth Avenues westbound will be limited to pick-ups and drop-offs seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Additionally, there will be two one-way bike paths on 12th and 13th Streets.
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