Feds Green Light Funding for Better Nostrand Avenue Bus Service

potential_nostrand_sbs.jpgA potential configuration for the Nostrand Avenue SBS Route. Image: NYCDOT.

As Elana reported earlier today, the Obama Administration’s 2011 budget includes $28 million for the Nostrand Avenue Select Bus Service project. The announcement should help build momentum for a high-priority transit project set to launch in 2012.

Nostrand Avenue SBS would ply the B44 corridor in Brooklyn, a route where ridership is already high, demand is higher, and bus service is currently the most unreliable in the city. Select Bus Service already operates along Fordham Road in the Bronx, and the MTA and DOT recently released their design for First and Second Avenue SBS in Manhattan

The FTA’s announcement should help turn this project into reality. "That funding helps assure everybody that the project is going to move forward in these difficult times," said Joan Byron of the Pratt Center for Community Development, which has been a major advocate for bus rapid transit in New York.  Byron highlighted the fact that the design for the route is still very much an open question and that secure funding will make the public outreach process more effective.

In the past, SBS projects — including the Nostrand Avenue route — have encountered resistance from those afraid of changing the status quo on the street. The promise of federal dollars could help shift that dynamic. "It’s a strong incentive for local officials to get behind the project," said Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "We’re living in a time where money for all services, including transit, is scarce. Elected officials along the corridor should not look a gift horse in the mouth."

Slevin noted that riders on the Fordham Road SBS route, where ridership has risen 30 percent, have rated the new service highly. "Advocates love it, riders love it, and the federal government is showing it values these types of projects, too."

  • Nineteen elected officials supported the 1st & 2nd avenue BRT proposals, even WITHOUT federal dollars. If every local politician doesn’t support this one WITH guaranteed federal dollars, its a slap in the face to all the B44 straphangers waiting for the slowest bus in the city.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I think this goes through Karl Kruger’s District and he has made a career out of looking gift horses in the mouth.

  • Fedrigo

    None of the federal dollars will end up in Kruger’s pocket. So why should he support this? It’s the same difference to these guys if the MTA pays or the feds.

  • Chris

    As a daily b44 bus rider and someone who occasionally drives my own car on (pothole covered) Nostrand, I can speak from experience that this project would be a help to everyone. I ride a full bus every morning and night when I come home. The new bus lane and service would alleviate both bus and road congestion. And while they’re at it, they should add a much needed bike lane to a road where riding your bike means leaving your life in someone else’s hands.

  • billy

    Really? You think the drivers on Nostrand would yield to a bus lane then you are crazy. And agreeing with Chris how are they planning a project like this when they can’t even address the potholes on one of the busiest cross streets in mid-Brooklyn?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

City Receives Federal Funding for Full Nostrand Avenue Select Bus Route

|
The first Select Bus Service route in Brooklyn is on track to start speeding bus trips next year, after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced yesterday afternoon that the project has secured a $28 million federal grant. The B44 route on Nostrand, Rogers, and Bedford Avenues, which runs between Sheepshead Bay […]

Select Bus Service Comes to Brooklyn

|
Yesterday was the first day of service for Brooklyn’s first Select Bus Service route, upgrading the B44 Limited with a dedicated bus lane, off-board fare collection, bus bulbs, and fewer stops. It’s the sixth SBS route to enter service, following two in the Bronx, two in Manhattan, and one in Staten Island. In addition to […]

MTA Maps a Five-Borough Network for Select Bus Service

|
At a press event yesterday to announce service restorations and upgrades, the MTA also went public with a citywide plan to expand Select Bus Service. With tunnel-boring mega-projects consuming billions of capital dollars apiece, the agency is featuring low-cost bus improvements more prominently in its strategy to increase transit capacity. Stephen Smith at the Observer reports: […]

Bus Bulbs Will Boost Nostrand Avenue Select Bus Service

|
With Select Bus Service speeding trips and boosting ridership on Fordham Road and First and Second Avenue, the next route slated for an upgrade is Brooklyn’s Nostrand Avenue. The B44 bus runs over nine miles from the Williamsburg Bridge to Sheepshead Bay. It attracts 41,000 riders a day, making it the seventh busiest route in […]

Eyes on the Street: Painting SBS Bus Lanes on Nostrand Avenue

|
Brooklyn’s B44 bus carried more than 12.5 million passengers last year between the base of the Williamsburg Bridge and Sheepshead Bay, making it the city’s fifth-busiest bus route. But the B44, which runs primarily along Nostrand Avenue, is notoriously unreliable and spends less than half of each run in motion. Half the time, it’s stuck in traffic or at bus […]