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Eyes on the Street: Red Paint for “Queue-Jump” Bus Lanes on the M86

A new bus lane next to the right-turn lane keeps buses from getting stuck at the back of the line as they exit the 86th Street Transverse at Fifth Avenue. Photo: Stephen Miller
A "queue-jump" bus lane next to the right-turn lane keeps buses from getting stuck at the back of the line as they exit the 86th Street Transverse at Fifth Avenue. Photo: Stephen Miller
A new bus lane next to the right-turn lane keeps buses from getting stuck at the back of the line as they exit the 86th Street Transverse at Fifth Avenue. Photo: Stephen Miller

Select Bus Service on 86th Street in Manhattan won't be getting full bus-only lanes, but riders will benefit from short bus lanes at busy intersections. DOT has added two "queue-jump" lanes where 86th Street and 84th Street meet Fifth Avenue, to keep buses from getting stuck behind traffic waiting at lights.

The most important component of the M86 SBS upgrade is off-board fare collection. The sidewalk fare machines have been installed, but are not yet turned on for passengers.

When the upgraded service launches, the SBS vehicles will also receive flashing blue destination signs so riders can easily distinguish them from local buses. The new signs have begun rolling out on the M15 SBS on First and Second avenues.

A queue-jump bus lane at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue. The off-board fare payment machines have been installed, but won't be turned on until later this month. Photo: Stephen Miller
A queue-jump bus lane at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue. The off-board fare payment machines have been installed, but won't be turned on until later this month. Photo: Stephen Miller
A queue-jump bus lane at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue. The off-board fare payment machines have been installed, but won't be turned on until later this month. Photo: Stephen Miller

The MTA originally promised to begin M86 SBS service this spring, then settled on a June 28 launch date. That date has now been pushed back to sometime this month.

The delay is caused by ongoing construction on the East Side that prevented installation of ticket machines on the sidewalk, said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. The MTA will announce a launch date for Select Bus Service soon, he said.

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