Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
[UPDATED July 1, 2pm] SBS bus service started Sunday along Webster Avenue connecting the Fordham and Morrisania sections of the Bronx with the No. 2, 5 and 6 subway trains in the South Bronx.
City Council Member Joel Rivera marked the new transit option Monday morning, "On a rainy day, on a hot summer day, on a snowy winters day, people want to be able to know when their bus is going to be there, know how fast it's going to take them to their destination and the select bus service BX41 is going to be able to do that for Bronxites."
The MTA is adding the route as part of a continued expansion of Select Bus Service in a bid to offer faster bus transit inspired by the bus rapid transit programs of Bogota, Mexico City and elsewhere.
Like the New York City's other SBS routes, the new SBS Bx41 will have dedicated lanes, special bus stops where passengers pay before boarding and special technology that lets the bus communicate with stop lights, changing them from red to green under some circumstances.
The Bx12 SBS service was initiated in 2008 and has drawn a 7 percent increase in ridership in the first year and 20 percent faster travel times. Routes in Manhattan have been similarly popular with riders, and also with politicians. At one recent mayoral candidates' forum, SBS was widely cited as a transportation program mayoral hopefuls want to see expanded.
The new SBS Bx41 will run along Webster Avenue from the East Gun Hill Road Intermodal Terminal to 149th St and 3rd Ave.
The new bus line is intended to speed up travel for up to 20,000 daily commuters who use the local Bx41 bus. The new route will replace the Bx41 Limited. The MTA estimates the new service will be 15 to 20 percent faster than existing bus routes.