Select Bus Service on M15 in New York City Bus Rapid Transit Partnership

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - bus/tram lane, mode - bike, mode - bus rapid transit, place - north america, ridership - growth


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), bus lane, proof of payment, New York


Constrained and congested streets hinder accelerated transit service and the provision of protected space for cycling. Although bus rapid transit has proved effective at improving transit service in cities, the addition of a physical priority for transit must be balanced against competing needs for traffic flow and parking, particularly in areas with high levels of activity. On October 10, 2010, the New York City Transit Authority of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority—now known as MTA New York City Transit—and the New York City Department of Transportation implemented the M15 select bus service on First and Second Avenues. This bus rapid transit service generated a significant improvement to transit service in a constrained corridor and created space for safe bicycling facilities and pedestrian safety improvements, and all general traffic flow along the corridor was maintained. The M15 select bus service improved bus speed and reliability with proof-of-payment fare collection, new bus lanes, and improved bus lane treatments, including offset bus lanes (next to the parking lane). Passenger comfort and reliability were also enhanced through route simplification, improved scheduling, enhanced stations, and better customer information. The results have been noteworthy, with a 15% to 18% improvement in travel time and a 10% increase in corridor ridership. Cycling has also increased substantially along the corridor, on which new parking-protected bike lanes were installed as part of the project. These gains were achieved through close coordination with all corridor stakeholders, careful use of priority treatments on parts of the corridor, and the close working partnership between the New York City Department of Transportation and MTA New York City Transit.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.