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MTA Unveils Bus Service Improvements Following Implementation of Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign

New York City Transit
Updated February 21, 2023 5:15 p.m.

Modifications Made to 13 Routes, Implementation of Two New Routes and Increased Frequency on Eight Corridors for 10 Routes

Six Months of Data Proves Success of New Bronx Local Bus Network

Consistent Improvements Across All Service Metrics and Customer Satisfaction

See the Full Presentation Here


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today presented improvements to service and customer satisfaction following the implementation of the redesigned Bronx local bus network in June 2022. The presentation highlights the redesign strategies that were incorporated to improve speeds, frequency and connections within the Bronx and interborough travel to Manhattan, along with supporting feedback from customer surveys.

The new local bus network consists of thirteen modified routes, implementation of two new routes, and increased frequency on eight key corridors for ten routes. The redesign streamlined trips with more direct routing that took advantage of transit priority street designs, adjusted closely distanced bus stops, and allowed the MTA to effectively redistribute resources to meet real-time travel patterns of current and future bus customers. All these changes contributed to the positive service improvements outlined.

"The Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign is off to a successful start, showing solid improvements in every measure of bus performance,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “The overhaul of the bus networks is a key component of the Faster, Cleaner and Safer Plan to improve service delivery and increase customer satisfaction. I’m thrilled to see customers benefit from measurable results and to hear the impact it has had on their commutes.”

“The data and feedback collected over six months demonstrates that the new network is delivering on shorter wait times, faster and more reliable trips,” said NYC Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Frank Annicaro. “The Bronx had one of the slowest bus speeds in the city and is now outperforming citywide trends in Customer Journey Time Performance, which measures the percentage of trips that are completed within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. This is a successful step in delivering better quality bus service.”

Travel time savings. Central Bronx crosstown route changes have provided significant improvements in travel time providing quicker, more direct access to opportunities across the borough and into northern Manhattan. The streamlined Bx11 route has connections to the  lines at 170 St, providing a more direct option to Manhattan and with the rerouting to Edward L. Grant Highway, customers are saving 60-70%, or 5-7 minutes, of their travel time between Mt. Eden Avenue and Manhattan.

Customers traveling between Parkchester and Manhattan on the Bx36 save over 10 minutes in each direction and up to 15 minutes during rush hours as a result of rerouting along East Tremont Avenue and adjustments to closely spaced bus stops.

Bx40 and Bx42 customers traveling along E 180 St are saving 11-12%, or 3 minutes, of their travel time in each direction along E 180 St. The redesigned routing provides direct service along E Tremont Avenue and East 180 Street, while avoiding congestion around West Farms Square. The Bx40 now also connects with subway service at the E 180 St station — an accessible station, served by the lines.

Faster buses. The thirteen routes that were modified saw an improvement in average speeds. Weekday speeds on these routes are 4% faster overall, and morning peak weekday speeds are up 5%, outperforming the system average by 7%.

More all-day service. The new local bus network includes more buses during off-peak hours, weekends, and increases service frequencies on ten routes. As an example, the Bx11 weekday schedule has been improved to 8 minutes or better all day. Additionally, due to the Bx11’s new routing along East 174 Street to Parkchester, the bus route provides new overnight service on both weeknights and weekends.

Customer satisfaction and ridership. Overall customer satisfaction in the Bronx on local bus service improved to 61% in Fall 2022 compared to 59% in Spring 2022, and the Bronx has outperformed the citywide trends in Customer Journey Time Performance (CJTP), comparing Fall 2022 to June 2022. The largest improvements in reliability and performance are on the Bx4A along Westchester Avenue, on the new M125 along 125th Street, and on the Bx29 to City Island.

From Sept. 8 through Nov. 23, 2022, ridership in the Bronx increased 6% from the rolling baseline, an estimate of seasonally adjusted ridership based on recovery levels as of late Spring. Growth can be attributed to both the redesign itself and continued general recovery from the pandemic. Ridership on the Bx18 has more than tripled its baseline, in line with its expanded geographic coverage and added frequency.

Community based. Redesigning the city’s bus networks is a community-led project. Customer feedback was critical at every step of the project, including post launch. The MTA project team reviewed public input closely and kept communication with community representatives to ensure the new redesigned network best met the needs of the riders.

Some changes that resulted after launch were the renaming of the Bx18 two-way loop to Bx18A and Bx18B, and restoration of 22 bus stops, 9% of the 258 bus stops removed. 

Bus priority. NYC DOT has implemented bus priority treatments on six major corridors since 2020, most recently earlier this year. In January, the Bx12 SBS, the busiest bus route in the Bronx, was rerouted along Westchester Av to coordinate with the implementation of the new bus lane by Pelham Bay Park station. The reroute avoids a time-consuming loop and serves as a great example of how the MTA works in coordination with NYC DOT to take advantage of transit priority designs.

Additionally, by the end of 2022, the MTA activated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) cameras on three Bronx bus routes: Bx12 SBS, Bx41, and the Bx19. ABLE cameras capture drivers violating busway and bus lane rules in real-time and is a proven effective tool to increase compliance of the bus lanes for a smoother commute.

The Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign launched in August of 2018, and was followed by an Existing Conditions Report, Draft Plan and a Proposed Final Plan, all in 2019. The project was placed on hold for 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restarted with the announcement of the Final Plan and MTA Board approval to proceed in December 2021. Following final rounds of public outreach and advance notice, the Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign was implemented on June 26, 2022.

“DOT’s bus priority projects are improving the lives of Bronxites across the borough with faster and more reliable service," said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "We are committed to transit equity and to ensuring that Bronx residents have access to high-quality mass transit, reducing both congestion and emissions. We’re proud to have partnered with MTA on the Bronx Local Bus Network redesign and look forward to more great projects to come.”

“Despite being stalled during the pandemic, we are grateful to the MTA for prioritizing the needs of Bronx commuters by launching the Bronx Bus Redesign,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “With a large segment of our population living in transportation deserts, which can increase their commute time by as much as an hour, we saw travel time along several routes decrease by as much as 40%. This is a significant win for our borough and the thousands of Bronx riders that rely on our buses to get to their destination. I want to thank the MTA, transit advocates, community boards, and everyone else involved in this initiative for their commitment to transit equity.”

“Bronx commuters deserve the best possible public transportation system,” said State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “With the Local Bus Network Redesign, we have taken another step towards this ambitious goal. I’m thrilled the Local Bus Network Redesign has yielded significant systemwide improvements for Bronx commuters with increased reliability, frequency, and improved service. I want to thank the MTA and New York City Transit for partnering with the community to hear feedback, implement changes, and ensure our system is meeting the needs of Bronxites.”

“I am so proud of the MTA's work on Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign,” said State Senator Nathalia Fernandez. “As the world has opened back up and more and more people are returning to in-person work, it was essential that so many of those who never stopped their work commute during the pandemic were not slowed down by the increased traffic. The success of this program goes to show what is possible when investments are made in the Bronx! Ridership is up and Bronx bus routes are now outperforming citywide trends in speed and reliability. However, as with any success, it is important not to rest on our laurels because there is still a lot of work to be done. Boroughwide and citywide increases are truly great, but we still have to make sure we are addressing the hyper-local issues, particularly those that are affecting our seniors and many others who have had their regular stops moved and are now burdened with longer and more strenuous commutes. In the greatest city in the world, none of our communities should be left behind for the success of our neighbors.”

"Most of my Bronx constituents rely on an effective bus service daily,” said Assemblymember Kenny Burgos. “The Local Bus Network Redesign has significantly improved the lives of Bronxites and has made their daily commutes much easier. I look forward to building on this program and seeing it progress even further."

"Bus service is the lifeblood of the Bronx, and I am glad to see improvements being realized after the implementation of our Bronx Bus Redesign,” said Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz. “It is essential that all New Yorkers can get where they need to go safely, affordably, and efficiently, and I look forward to a continued partnership with MTA leaders to improve upon this foundation of progress on behalf of bus riders."