Better Buses

NYC DOT is committed to working with the MTA and NYPD to improve buses citywide, ensuring that New Yorkers have service that they can depend on. The Better Buses Action Plan is focused on improving bus speeds citywide by 25% and reversing downward bus ridership trends. This will be accomplished through NYC DOT projects using our bus priority toolkit, increased camera and NYPD enforcement of bus lanes, and service management initiatives and bus network redesigns by MTA.

Better Buses Action Plan cover
Download the Better Buses Action Plan (pdf) Better Buses Goals NYC DOT’s Bus Priority Toolkit Current Better Buses Projects


Better Buses Goals

The Better Buses Action Plan includes the following goals:

Bus Priority

  • Improve 5 miles of existing bus lanes each year
  • Install 10–15 miles of new bus lanes each year
  • Pilot up to 2 miles of physically separated bus lanes
  • Implement NYC DOT street design projects that benefit 600,000 daily riders each year

Technology

  • Add 300 Transit Signal Priority (TSP) intersections per year

Enforcement

  • Expand bus lane camera enforcement
  • Increased NYPD bus lane enforcement with seven dedicated tow truck teams

Bus Stops

  • Evaluate and improve bus stops

Working with the MTA

  • Support MTA Bus Network Redesign efforts with borough bus priority plans
  • Press for all-door boarding, restarting the SBS program, and other improvements to bus operations

NYC DOT’s Bus Priority Toolkit:

New Bus Lane icon

New Bus Lane
Bus lanes separate buses from general traffic, improving speed and reliability. They are typically located along the curb or “offset” from the curb, allowing the curb lane to be utilized for other purposes. Ensuring that bus lanes are not used by others is a challenge in New York City, so enforcement is crucial.

Upgraded Bus Lane icon

Upgraded Bus Lane
NYC DOT sometimes considers improving bus lanes to make them more effective. This may include extending hours, painting the lanes red, changing curbside lanes to offset lanes, or other measures.

Potential Protected Bus Lane icon

Potential Protected Bus Lane
Surrounding a bus lane with a physical barrier makes it more difficult for other vehicles to illegally use the lane. This may improve the effectiveness of a bus lane where violations are rampant, but must be accompanied by measures that allow access to the curb for emergency vehicles.

Bus Boarders icon

Bus Boarders
Bus bulbs are permanent sidewalk extensions at bus stops that provide more space for waiting passengers and allow buses to save time by pulling up to the curb without leaving the travel lane. Durable recycled plastic “bus boarders” serve the same purpose, but do not require capital construction.

Bus Queue Jump Signal icon

Bus Queue Jump Signal
In addition to corridor-wide Transit Signal Priority (TSP) treatments, dedicated bus signal phases are another way to use traffic signals to give buses priority through an intersection. These bus queue jump signals provide buses with a dedicated signal phase that allows them to bypass congested general traffic and get a head start.

Traffic Flow Improvement icon

Traffic Flow Improvement
Improving the general flow of traffic with signal timing adjustments or improved lane markings can also benefit buses.

Curb Management icon

Curb Management
Adequate and appropriate truck loading, passenger drop-off, and parking regulations can benefit bus operations by reducing double parking and the illegal use of bus lanes. Effective enforcement is also critical to curb management success.

Pedestrian Safety icon

Pedestrian Safety
Under Vision Zero, the City uses every tool at its disposal to improve the safety of our streets. Bus priority projects such as bus bulbs shorten pedestrian crossings and improve bus operations, and new crosswalks and median refuge islands can improve safety for all pedestrians, including bus riders accessing stops.

Bus Stop Accessibility icon

Bus Stop Accessibility
In addition to creating safer crossings, bus stops need to be accessible to everyone. This means that nearby sidewalks and pedestrian ramps should be present and in good condition. NYC DOT reviews and updates sidewalks and pedestrians ramps during bus priority projects.

Turn Restriction icon

Turn Restrictions
Limiting certain turns is another way that the City can increase safety for all users. In certain projects doing so also allows buses to avoid conflicts and move faster. Turn restrictions also benefit traffic flow.

Purple icon with an image of a bus and truck and the text Busway below.

Busway
Busways prioritize travel for buses and often trucks, with other motorized vehicles limited to local access. This treatment significantly reduces traffic volumes and congestion, improving bus speeds and reliability, while improving safety for all roadway users.


Current Better Buses Projects

Main Street Busway, Queens – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT is installing a northbound Main Street Busway in downtown Flushing from Sanford Avenue to Northern Boulevard on Main Street, which will also include two blocks of Kissena Boulevard from Sanford Avenue to Main Street. Buses, commercial trucks, and local access for private vehicles will be allowed. The goal of this busway is to improve bus speeds and reliability as well as truck loading and unloading along the corridor.

Main Street Busway Pilot Brochure - Better Buses Restart in English (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Brochure - Better Buses Restart in Chinese (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Brochure - Better Buses Restart in Korean (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Brochure - Better Buses Restart in Spanish (pdf) What’s Happening Here Main Street Busway - Better Buses Restart in English (pdf) What’s Happening Here Main Street Busway - Better Buses Restart in Chinese (pdf) What’s Happening Here Main Street Busway - Better Buses Restart in Korean (pdf) What’s Happening Here Main Street Busway - Better Buses Restart in Spanish (pdf) Main Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to Public Information Session #2 in September 2020 (pdf) Main Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to Public Information Session in September 2020 (pdf) Main Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to Main Street Busway Community Advisory Board in September 2020 (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Overview in English (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Overview in Chinese (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Overview in Korean (pdf) Main Street Busway Pilot Overview in Spanish (pdf) Main Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to Main Street Busway Community Advisory Board in June 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the Main Street Busway

Hylan Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue, Staten Island – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT is proposing to extend curbside bus lanes on Hylan Boulevard, from Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue. The new bus lanes would improve speed and reliability of bus journeys on this critical transit corridor. Hylan Boulevard is a major inter-borough connection between Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. The corridor serves 11 bus routes and carries an average of 32,500 weekday riders. Hylan Boulevard Bus Lanes Overview (pdf) What’s Happening Here Hylan Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue – Better Buses Restart (pdf) Hylan Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue – Better Buses Restart - presented to the Hylan Boulevard Bus Lane Extension Community Advisory Board in August 2020 (pdf) Hylan Boulevard, Lincoln Avenue to Nelson Avenue – Better Buses Restart - presented to the Hylan Boulevard Bus Lane Extension Community Advisory Board in July 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the Hylan Boulevard Bus Lane Extension

14th Street, First Avenue to Avenue C, Manhattan – Better Buses Restart

As part of the Better Buses Restart Plan, NYC DOT is extending existing bus lanes on E 14th Street from First Avenue to Avenue C. These lanes will provide faster connection to the new ADA entrance of the L Train at Avenue A, as well as support the 30,000 daily passengers using the M14A/D SBS routes. This project combines offset and curbside bus lanes, similar to those on First Avenue to Third Avenue, that provide adjacent general travel lanes. This project does not affect vehicular access to StuyTown nor access to the avenues in the East Village/Alphabet City neighborhood. Submit comments or questions about the 14th Street Bus Improvements

181st Street Busway, Manhattan – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT will study and install a busway on 181st Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. Buses, commercial trucks, and local access for private vehicles would be permitted. By limiting through traffic, the busway would improve bus speeds and reliability. It would also improve curb management, enhancing access to local businesses and services. 181st Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to 181st Street Busway Community Advisory Board in September 2020 (pdf) 181st Street Busway – Better Buses Restart - presented to 181st Street Busway Community Advisory Board in July 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the 181st Street Busway

Jamaica Avenue & Archer Avenue Bus Priority Improvements, Queens – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT will study and implement comprehensive bus improvements on Jamaica Avenue, Archer Avenue, and Merrick Boulevard to increase bus reliability in Queens. Potential solutions include a busway on Jamaica Avenue, offset bus lanes on Merrick Boulevard, and improved bus stop operations on Archer Avenue. This proposal aims to improve bus performance while also improving pedestrian circulation in Downtown Jamaica. Jamaica Avenue & Archer Avenue Bus Improvements – Better Buses Restart - presented to Jamaica Community Advisory Board in July 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue Bus Improvements

Jay Street Busway, Tillary Street to Livingston Street, Brooklyn – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT is proposing to make Jay Street, between Tillary Street and Livingston Street, a busway, limiting traffic to buses, trucks, bicycles and local access only. Signs will direct northbound and southbound passenger vehicles to use alternative routes, and Bus and Truck Only pavement markings will be installed. The primary goal of the project is to reduce congestion and improve bus speeds and reliability, benefitting passengers using seven bus routes to access Downtown Brooklyn from many parts of the Borough.
Jay Street Busway, Tillary Street to Livingston Street – Better Buses Restart - presented to Jay Street Busway Community Advisory Board in October 2020 (pdf) Add your feedback to the Jay Street Busway Map Jay Street Busway Pilot Brochure (pdf) What’s Happening Here Jay Street Busway Pilot & Smith & Jay Streets Protected Bike Lanes (pdf) Jay Street Busway, Tillary Street to Livingston Street – Better Buses Restart - presented to Jay Street Busway Community Advisory Board in August 2020 (pdf) Jay Street Busway, Tillary Street to Livingston Street – Better Buses Restart - presented to Jay Street Busway Community Advisory Board in July 2020 (pdf) Jay Street Busway Pilot Overview (pdf) Jay Street Busway, Tillary Street to Livingston Street – Better Buses Restart - presented to Jay Street Busway Community Advisory Board in July 2020 (pdf) Submit other comments or questions about the Jay Street Busway

Fifth Avenue, East 57th Street to East 34th Street Complete Street, Manhattan – Better Buses Restart

As part of the Better Buses Restart program, NYC DOT is installing a southbound protected bike lane and extended pedestrian space on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan from 57th Street to 34th Street. The goal of this Complete Street project is to implement safety improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians, and to improve bus speeds and reliability for over 40 local and express bus routes extending across all five boroughs and serving over 110,000 daily riders. Implementation of the protected bike lane and other street improvements is scheduled to begin late summer and fall. NYC DOT will continue to monitor the corridor and evaluate traffic restrictions on 5th Avenue as part of the project. Fifth Avenue, East 57th Street to East 34th Street Complete Street – Better Buses Restart - presented to Manhattan Community Board 5 in August 2020 (pdf) Fifth Avenue, East 57th Street to East 34th Street Busway Pilot – Better Buses Restart - presented to Fifth Avenue Busway Community Advisory Board #2 in July 2020 (pdf) Fifth Avenue, East 57th Street to East 34th Street Busway Pilot – Better Buses Restart - presented to Fifth Avenue Busway Community Advisory Board #1 in July 2020 (pdf)

East 149th Street, Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard, Bronx – Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT is proposing bus and traffic improvements on East 149th Street from Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard. This project proposes bus lanes, turn bays, traffic signal adjustments, turn restrictions, updated curb regulations and pedestrian islands at various locations across the corridor. This proposal aims to make bus service faster and more reliable while relieving traffic bottlenecks. East149th St, Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard - presented to Bronx Community Board 1 in June 2020 (pdf) East 149th St, Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard - Project Update, presented to Bronx Community Board 4 in June 2020 (pdf) East 149th St, Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard - presented to Bronx Community Board 4 in May 2020 (pdf)
East 149th Street, Exterior Street to Southern Boulevard – presented to Bronx Community Board 1 Municipal Services Committee in May 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the East 149th Street Bus Improvements

Merrick Boulevard/168th Street, Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard, Queens - Better Buses Restart

NYC DOT is proposing bus priority treatments along Merrick Blvd and 168th St between Hillside Ave and Springfield Blvd to improve speed and reliability of bus journeys between Jamaica and southeast Queens and improve bus circulation within Jamaica. Improvements include bus lanes, improved stop locations, pedestrian safety improvements, and updated curb regulations.

Merrick Boulevard/168th Street, Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard - presented to Merrick Boulevard Community Advisory Board #3 in September 2020 (pdf) Merrick Boulevard/168th Street, Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard - presented to Merrick Boulevard Community Advisory Board #2 in August 2020 (pdf) Merrick Boulevard/168th Street, Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard - presented to Merrick Boulevard Community Advisory Board #1 in August 2020 (pdf) Submit comments or questions about the Merrick Boulevard/168th Street, Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard Bus Improvements

Main Street and Union Turnpike, Queens

NYC DOT is proposing Q44SBS and Q20A/B bus priority and safety improvements along Main St from Grand Central Parkway to Union Turnpike. This Better Buses project proposes to add a bus queue jump lane, a southbound left turn restriction at the Main Street and Union Turnpike intersection, and pedestrian safety improvements at Union Turnpike and Grand Central Parkway. This proposal aims to increase bus speeds, make bus travel times more reliable, and improve safety conditions. Main Street & Union Turnpike – presented to Queens Community Board 8 in March 2020 (pdf)

Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave, Chauncey St to Atlantic Ave, BK

DOT is proposing a southbound curbside bus lane along Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave between Chauncey St and Atlantic Ave, and signal modifications at the intersection of Utica Ave & Atlantic Ave. These improvements will alleviate a major bottleneck on the B46 Local and Select Bus Service, Brooklyn's busiest bus route. Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave Transit Improvements – presented to Brooklyn Community Board 3 in March 2020 (pdf) Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave Transit Improvements – presented to Brooklyn Community Board 3 Transportation Committee in February 2020 (pdf) Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave Transit Improvements – presented to Brooklyn Community Board 3 in June 2019 (pdf) Malcolm X Blvd / Utica Ave Transit Improvements – presented to Brooklyn Community Board 3 Transportation Committee in May 2019 (pdf)

Bronx Community Board 4 Projects

DOT is proposing bus priority treatments on the following corridors that fall within Bronx Community Board 4:
  • E L Grant Highway
  • 167 St / 168 St
E.L. Grant Highway - Bx35 Bus Priority and Safety Improvements - presented to Bronx Community Board 4 in June 2020 (pdf) Link to Presentation – presented to Bronx Community Board 4 Municipal Services Committee on February 5, 2020

Bronx Community Board 3 Project

DOT is proposing bus priority treatments on the following corridors that fall within Bronx Community Board 3:
  • 167 St / 168 St
Link to Presentation – presented to Bronx Community Board 3 Municipal Services Committee on February 11, 2020

Bronx Community Board 5 Projects

DOT is studying bus priority treatments on the following corridors that fall within Bronx Community Board 5:

  • Tremont Av
  • University Av
  • 181 St / Washington Bridge
  • Fordham Road / University Heights Bridge / 207 St
Link to Presentation – presented to Bronx Community Board 5 Municipal Services Committee on December 3, 2019 University Avenue Transit, Pedestrian, and Bicycle Improvements - presented to Bronx Community Board 5 in September 2020 (pdf)

Battery Pl, MN

DOT is proposing transit, safety and traffic improvements at the intersection of Battery Pl and West St. This project will provide faster travel times and more reliable service for express bus riders heading north on West St and entering the Brooklyn-Battery/Hugh Carey Tunnel. Battery Pl – presented to Manhattan Community Board 1 Transportation Committee in October 2019

Broadway, 225 St to 230 St, BX

DOT is proposing transit, traffic, and loading improvements along Broadway from 225 St to 230 St, including an offset southbound bus lane, bus queue jump, and side street meters on 228 St and updates to loading zones on Broadway at 225 St. This will provide faster, more reliable bus service for 38,000 daily riders on the Bx7, Bx9, Bx20, BxM1 buses while alleviating traffic congestion.
Broadway Transit Improvements - presented to Bronx Community Board 8 in September 2019 (pdf)

Rockaway Beach Blvd, QN

DOT is proposing transit, safety, and traffic improvements along Rockaway Beach Blvd in the Rockaways. The project includes bus lanes, median tip extensions, curb extensions, pedestrian islands, and new sidewalks. The project will improve safety for all roadway users, enhance bus speeds and reliability, and improve accessibility at bus stops. Rockaway Beach Blvd Improvements – presented to Queens Community Board 14 Transportation Committee in June 2019 (pdf)

Webster Av, E 174 St to E 176 St, BX

DOT is proposing to improve bus service and traffic safety along Webster Avenue near the Cross Bronx Expressway. The project includes a southbound bus lane between E 174 St and E 176 St and clarified roadway markings. In addition, a pedestrian island and two painted curb extensions will be added at the intersection of Webster Avenue and Ittner Place. The project will improve safety for all roadway users, enhance bus priority to improve bus speeds and reliability, and improve traffic flow.
Webster Avenue, E 174 St – E 176 St Improvements – presented to Bronx Community Board 5 in May 2019 (pdf) Webster Avenue, E 174 St – E 176 St Improvements – presented to Bronx Community Board 6 Transportation Committee in May 2019 (pdf) Webster Avenue, E 174 St – E 176 St Improvements – presented to Bronx Community Board 5 Municipal Services Committee in May 2019 (pdf)