The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Tuesday that it is getting rid of 400 bus stops in the Bronx, while implementing more frequent bus service and additional lines – all part of the bus network redesign for the borough.
The agency says there are too many stops that are too close together – a combination that is leading to bunching and traffic.
According to the MTA, both customers and transit advocates requested more balanced spacing between stops to speed up travel times. The average time it takes for a bus to re-enter traffic from a stop ranges from 20 seconds to more than 1 minute during peak hours.
Bronx stops are currently an average of 882 feet apart – just over three city blocks, while stops in transit systems around the world range from 1,000 to 1,680 feet, according to the MTA. Because of this, under the proposed redesign, stops would be spaced an average of 1,092 feet, resulting in a net reduction of 400 local/limited stops.
However, according to the MTA, NYC Transit must consider other factors such as stop usage, ridership, geography and impact to the community. With this inmind, many retained stops serve high ridership areas such as retirement communities, hospitals or schools for which a stop removal would create a significant burden, the MTA says. Others provide transfers to subway stations or connections to different bus routes, or access to geographically challenging locations where hills would make walking difficult, particularly during inclement weather.
Although the MTA is eliminating these bus stops, other areas are going to get more frequent bus service and added lines as part of the Bronx Bus Network Redesign final plan.
The plan also proposes two new local routes and one new express route, increases service frequency on nine corridors where multiple bus routes share streets, improves crosstown connections, balances stop spacing and streamlines circuitous routes to increase service reliability and intermodal transfers for 675,000 customers throughout the borough.
“The Bronx bus redesign gives us the opportunity to build a foundation for a new high-frequency network to serve the largest number of riders at the times when they need bus service the most,” MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement. “This is a customer-focused proposal that incorporates an unprecedented level of public input realized by finding innovative ways to reallocate and reinvest finite resources.”
According to the MTA, the proposed redesign updates the Bronx’s bus routes, which have largely remained unchanged since they were converted from trolley lines nearly a century ago or absorbed from private bus lines that were consolidated into the MTA decades ago.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. called the redesign “an upgrade that is long overdue.”
The redesign also took into consideration the routes’ performance, speed, ridership and reliability on key corridors as well as how individual routes contribute to the larger bus network, according to the MTA.
“DOT is excited to join our partners at New York City Transit in this generational redesign of the Bronx’s bus network, especially in neighborhoods with limited subway access,” NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. “As part of this effort, DOT has identified 10 major Bronx corridors where we will install bus lanes or other bus priority treatments to reduce travel times and improve reliability for bus riders.”