Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
New York City will get more buses. Starting Sunday, the NY MTA is increasing the frequency or extending the routes of 17 bus lines. Another four routes will grow later in the month. (Scroll down for the full list.)
It's the first major expansion of transit service in the city since 2010 when a budget deficit led the agency to slash bus routes, and comes at a time when many other cities are cutting funding for buses and subways -- Kansas City has turned to asking citizens to donate online.
Later in the year, the MTA will add six totally new bus lines, mostly to connect booming residential neighborhoods. One line will connect Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Long Island City, another will roll between Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and the far West Village.
This weekend's expansion in New York restores many of the 2010 cuts, but not all -- the B51, which we profiled -- for example, remains out of service. That bus drew just 900 riders a day compared to a system average of 13,000, resulting in a loss of several dollars per rider.
The MTA says the restorations are based on demographic data and ridership need. These are not new routes, but several of the old ones are getting longer, mainly to serve growing hot spots like an Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the Bronx Terminal Market, a big box shopping center in the South Bronx. ,“These enhancements were all a result of listening to our customers and keeping close watch on changing travel trends," New York City Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast said in a statement.
This weekend's expansions will affect about 50,000 riders each day.
The move will be paid for, in part, by a recently approved fare increase, and comes on the heels of $5 billion in damages from Sandy. The MTA has said it will not put the bill for storm repairs on riders, but will ask for federal and state funding.
Sunday, January 6, 2013 Service Restorations and Enhancements:
Bx13 New Extension from East 161st Street to Bronx Terminal Market (149th Street and River Avenue)
Bx34 Restore daytime weekend service
B4 Restore full-time service to Knapp Street/Voorhies Ave via Neptune Avenue, Sheepshead Bay Road, Emmons Ave/Shore Parkway
B24 Restore weekend service
B39 Restore daytime service between Williamsburg and Manhattan’s Lower East Side
B48 Restore extension from Atlantic Avenue to Prospect Park (BQ) Station
B57 Extend route from Carroll Gardens to Red Hook (Ikea) via Court Street, Lorraine Street and Otsego Street
B64 Restore extension from Cropsey Avenue to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue (DFNQ) Station via Harway Avenue
B69 Restore weekend service
M1 Restore weekend service from 106th Street to 8th Street
M9 Extend north terminal from 23rd Street to 29th Street via 1st and 2nd Avenues and extend south terminal from City Hall to Battery Park City via Warren Street/Murray Street and West Street
M21 Restore weekend service
Q24 Restore extension from Broadway Junction to Bushwick Avenue via Broadway
Q27 Provide new overnight service from Horace Harding Expressway to Cambria Heights via Springfield Blvd
Q30* Provide new branch to Queensborough Community College
Q36 Extend alternate trips from Jamaica Avenue to Little Neck via Little Neck Parkway (This restores weekday service along route of previous Q79 route.)
Q42* Restore midday service from Jamaica Center to St. Albans via Archer Avenue
On Sunday, January 20, we will implement the following service restorations and enhancements:
S76 Restore weekend service
S93* Extend route from entrance to College of Staten Island into campus area
X1 Add overnight express bus service from Eltingville to Manhattan via Hylan Blvd
X17 Extend route to Tottenville middays
*The Q30 and Q42 are weekday only, so they are being introduced on Monday, January 7. The S93 is also weekdays only, so it will be introduced on Tuesday, January 22.
In addition, NYC Transit is continuing to work with communities in order to develop new services to address transit needs in growing and changing neighborhoods. The following new services are planned for implementation later in 2013: