De Blasio reveals plan for select bus service

By Madina Toure

The city has picked out four new routes for Select Bus Service, which include a route between Flushing and Jamaica and another route between Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards.

In his second State of the City speech, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would commit $295 million to develop and implement 13 new Select Bus Service routes through 2017, in addition to the seven that already exist.

Four of those new routes are between Flushing and Jamaica, between Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards, on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn and on 86th Street in Manhattan.

City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), a member of the City Council’s Committee on Transportation, praised the SBS proposal for Woodhaven.

“Building on the success of Select Bus Service, the Woodhaven and Cross Bay corridor represents an opportunity to deliver BRT for the more than 30,000 residents relying on bus service along the corridor every day — it is the right thing to do for the many New Yorkers who have a lengthy daily commute,” Richards said in a statement.

Woodhaven resident Emily December, a member of the Riders Alliance, said the neighborhood deserves SBS.

“As a student, my commute is doubled by slow and unreliable bus service,” December said in a statement. “BRT could be transformative for New York. It would mean a better quality of life for thousands stuck on the bus.”

The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council sent a letter dated Feb. 10 to MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg asking them to bring full-featured Bus Rapid Transit to the city “because of its unique ability to address a number of critical issues facing low income and communities of color.”

City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), City Councilman Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), members of the caucus, were among the letter’s signatories.

The City Council’s Committee on Transportation held a hearing Feb. 10 on a bill requiring the city to produce a comprehensive plan for a full-featured Bus Rapid Transit network.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour‌e@cng‌local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.