Straphangers FAQ (coming soon)
Who Supports Better Buses?
New York City is plagued by pokey and schleppie buses that move at a snails pace and often arrive bunched together or with big gaps in service. The M34 won the Straphangers Campaign's "Pokey Award" for slowest city bus in 2004 and 2005, before the terra cotta bus lane was added to 34th Street. This year, the M34 took 6th place in the Pokey Awards, clocking in at 4.4 miles per hour, or slightly slower than a Ringling Bros. elephant walking into Madison Square Garden. This results in frayed nerves, lower productivity and serves as a disincentive for working, shopping and living in the area. The 34th Street Select Bus Service (SBS) Project will address several problems, like:
The solution is Bus Rapid Transit. BRT represents the most economical way for New York City to speed up its dismally slow buses and meet the travel demands of its growing population. It uses the existing roadway and adds improved paint marking, signage, and sidewalks. On 34th Street the City and MTA have teamed up with community groups to build the first "real" BRT route in New York City. The bus serves 33,000 daily bus riders and will make 34th street easier to navigate and safer for the 5,000 hourly pedestrians at Herald Square alone (ref). Additionally, this forward thinking project will provide more transit capacity in an improved corridor that will function more efficiently than it does now. Some of the proposed improvements include:
A robust Environmental Assessment (underway) and a through traffic analysis (starting in January) will provide a more detailed exploration of the issues.
River to river, 34th Street is a hub of activity. You’ll find residences, businesses small and large, community institutions, riders and pedestrians (to name a few). The SBS will increase activity along 34th Street for the thousands of businesses and community institutions while ensuring bus riders, pedestrians, and residents are safer. This will help 34th Street maintain its place as a vital commercial and residential corridor now and into the future.
DOT has posted much more information and design concepts on their website.