Gustavo Rivera, Bronx Straphangers Call for Much More Select Bus Service

Fordham Road Select Bus Service is so popular in the Bronx that residents are demanding both a second and third SBS line. Photo: NYC DOT

Fordham-area residents know Select Bus Service better than anyone. The city’s first rapid bus line opened along Fordham Road in 2008, and by all accounts it’s been a success. Bus speeds are up 20 percent, and that’s lured 30 percent more riders. In fact, Bronx residents like Select Bus Service so much, they’re asking for more of it.

At a town hall meeting on transit issues hosted by State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Transportation Alternatives last night, expanding Select Bus Service emerged as a top priority for the 30 residents in attendance.

The neighborhood has already been selected to receive more of the improved bus service, along Webster Avenue. There’s currently no scheduled roll-out date for Webster Avenue SBS, however, and town hall attendees were eager to know when they’d get a faster north-south ride, said T.A. public transit campaign manager Ya-Ting Liu. Bus service on Webster is currently the most unreliable in the borough.

In a previous transit town hall, Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson also lent her support to the Webster Avenue SBS plans.

On top of that, town hall participants also wanted to see SBS come to the Grand Concourse. With close to 40,000 trips each weekday on the two local bus routes running down the Concourse, bus improvements there could have an enormous impact.

Rivera, who plans to bring up Grand Concourse Select Bus Service with the MTA and DOT, appears to be emerging as one of Albany’s foremost champions for transit riders. Earlier this month, he gave a speech on the Senate floor blasting legislators for raiding dedicated MTA funds, saddling the MTA with debt, and generally leaving the transit system underfunded.

Rivera said this in a statement released today:

My constituents in the Bronx depend on mass transit to get to and from work each and every day. It is clear that Bronxites understand that if they are paying a higher fare, they should be receiving better service. Our transportation town hall meeting was a success, not only because we worked to identify transit issues in the Bronx, but more importantly, because our discussion revolved around identifying potential solutions. I look forward to working with community leaders and transit riders to improve service in the Bronx and will continue to push for better funding for the MTA at the state-level.

  • J

    First, it’s about time we had a transit champion in the Bronx. For too long, Bronx politicians have had staunch windshield perspectives, despite their constituents overwhelming reliance on transit. 

    Also, I have a couple of points of clarification. The website for Webster Ave SBS calls for a Fall 2013 rollout. I’m not sure if that’s official, but it’s the date listed on the website:http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/html/routes/webster.shtmlThe SBS phase II study identified “South Bronx East-West Corridor (Hunts Pt./Soundview)” for future SBS rollout:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/downloads/pdf/brt_future_corridors.pdf

    Finally, I’m sure a Grand Concourse SBS would be popular. However, given the presence of both local bus, local subway, and express subway on the corridor, it seems like there may other routes that would provide much greater increases in accessibility. One such route is the Bx40/Bx42 bus on that runs on Burnside & East Tremont. This lengthy route crosses the entire borough from east-west, connecting with the 6 train, the 2/5 train, the Metro-North Tremont station, the B/D trains, the 4 train, and the Morris Heights Metro-North station. In the future, it will connect to the Webster SBS, when that route is implemented. It also provides transit access to underserved neighborhoods, such as Throgs Neck and East Tremont. The route was identified as a long and slow route in the BRT Phase 2 study.

  • Guest

    Grand Concourse has a subway already, how can SBS outperform that ?

  • Eric of Grand Concourse

    GREAT! So we will improve service and have recipts littered all over the Concourse… We want improvement in our Historic District. Those of us who are “upwardly Mobile” on the Concourse have the more exclusive, Express Bus Service to Manhattan and the Subway. What we do need are landlords who take pride in their property and landscaping as well as evictions for tenants who have no desire to abide by building rules and deface properties!