The city rolls out a new way to wait for some buses, with the goal of speeding up the commute. NY1Transit Reporter Jose Martinez explains.
There are nearly 100 miles of bus lanes across the city, but none are designed like the bus lane for the Bx6.
"It's better like this," one rider said. "They need to accommodate a couple more bus stops like this."
The bus lane for the Bx6, a Select Bus Service route carrying close to 24,000 people on weekdays, is the first in the center of the street.
The design, which includes stops along the median, circumvents a common problem with traditional bus lanes, which run alongside the sidewalk.
Those lanes are often blocked by trucks making deliveries, or drivers picking up passengers.
"It's a way for people to board safely, where you have the space in the roadway and keep traffic flowing, and one of the challenges we have on a lot of our routes in New York is that you need a roadway of a certain width to be able to do that," City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
Riders of the Bx6 say they notice the difference.
"It keeps moving traffic faster here, too, also because this used to be congested here," one commuter said while waiting for the bus.
But some motorists are grumbling about sacrificing the center lanes to buses. "It's affecting drivers. It's affecting us!" one said.
The new lanes run along 161st St. from near Yankee Stadium to Morris Ave., across from the Bronx courthouse, a fraction of the route between Hunts Point and Washington Heights.
"We really have to do pretty individually-tailored solutions to make sure we're getting the design right, such that it's safe, such that the buses are easy to board," Trottenberg said. "For that stretch of the Bx6, we realized that that center island would achieve all of those goals."
Though the center-running bus lane on the Bx6 takes up only a small portion of the route, the city hopes that it serves as a model for other bus routes in the city.
Riders on one of the busiest bus routes in Queens will see the median-hugging lanes when Select Bus Service comes to the Q52 and Q53 on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards on Nov. 12.