Bus Lane Rehab and Utica Ave SBS Win Federal Transit Grants

The bus lanes on Fordham Road, some of the first in the city to be painted red, have been worn away. A federal grant would help repair city bus lanes and apply a longer-lasting paint job. Image: ##http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2009/jun/17/bus-rapid-transit-can-it-make-it-in-nyc/##WNYC##

New York City was awarded nearly $50 million in federal grants to improve its bus service, the Federal Transit Administration announced today. The money will go toward both the basics, like a new radio system for buses, and new and improved bus lanes to speed service further.

The planned Select Bus Service improvements on Utica Avenue got a $3.4 million boost from the feds. According to the FTA, the project will not only attempt to speed up bus service, but also improve connections to the bus with better sidewalks, lighting, subway staircases, and wayfinding. The city Department of Transportation is also studying traffic safety on Utica with the intent of integrating safety features into the bus project, though its study is behind schedule (it was supposed to be completed this spring).

Riders on existing bus lanes would also see smoother trips. The city won around $14.7 million to repair 20 miles worth of bus lanes, both by resurfacing the pavement and repainting the lanes. This work would use a new, longer-lasting method of applying red paint to the lanes. Lanes already painted red would be repainted where the coloring has worn away and some bare lanes would be colored in, according to a city DOT spokesperson. DOT has found that the colored lanes more effectively signal to drivers that bus lanes are for buses only.

The MTA won two grants. $24 million would go toward a new radio system and command center for buses, which the FTA believes will make service more reliable and safe. Another $5.6 million would help the MTA do a better job of managing its bus fleet as vehicles age and are repaired or replaced.

  • simply awesome. Bus are too often underrated, but realistically have the best chance for cost effective mass transit improvements. Thank you Fed $$ and please use it wisely MTA & DOT.

  • Anonymous

    It’s only been 100 years since the IRT Eastern Parkway line was built with provision for a Utica Avenue subway/elevated line.  And it’s only been 80 years since the IND Fulton Street line’s Utica Ave Station was built with an upper level platform for a Utica Ave subway line.
    It’s nice to see the city quickly moving to provide some high capacity transit to the Utica Ave corridor, even if it’s not a full subway.
    Maybe in another hundred years we can get….

  • guest

    Bus only lanes on Utica avenue will not work. Punishing innocent law obiding citizens with bogus fines. 

  • Andrew

    @abb249055208c7af4d35568e422dfd63:disqus The 15 million annual B46 riders beg to differ.

  • Huh? How is it going to punish innocent people with bogus fines?

  • kevd

    Because they’ll just be innocently double parking the bus lane, causing the bus lane to “not work” and then BAM! Bogus fines!

  • kevd


  • city native

    Just dye the concrete and be done with it.

  • Chris Mcnally

    Isn’t parking currently free on Utica ? I think if SBS is installed, then Muni should be as well, to cut back on cruising for free parking. It’s a very busy corridor with tons of businesses, pedestrians and vehicles.


Utica Avenue Select Bus Service Will Roll Out This Fall

The B46 is the second-busiest bus route in New York City, carrying nearly 50,000 passengers each day. A subway line on Utica was planned decades ago but never built, and today bus riders on the B46 struggle with crowded conditions and slow trips. Now service is set to get faster and more reliable with the addition of bus […]

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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 […]