Bronx Bus Network Redesign Final Plan FAQs

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read the Final Plan, familiarize yourself with any proposed changes to your route, and let us know what you think! We will keep this page up-to-date as the project moves forward and different questions come up. Thank you for your patience and participation in modernizing our public transit system. 

FAQs About the New Bus Network

Why are we redesigning the bus networks?

As part of the Fast Forward plan, we promised to take a holistic, clean-slate look at bus service in each borough of New York City to better match service with current and future travel needs.  

New York City has transformed dramatically since the last time we thoroughly examined the bus network. Rapid development, ongoing construction, the proliferation of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), shifting employment trends, and an increase in at-home deliveries in all five boroughs have reoriented travel patterns and led to an overall increase in congestion on the street network.  

As a result, New York City has the slowest bus speeds of any major city. We want to improve and simplify our current network to get customers where they need to go more quickly and efficiently. 

We strive to provide quality service for our customers and recognize that there is room for improvement. We have seen a dramatic decline in ridership since 2016 and bus speeds continue to decline year after year. When compared to other boroughs, Bronx customers have experienced a faster rate of decline in service reliability metrics such as Wait Assessment and Customer Journey Time Performance than any other borough. Customers told us that Bronx buses are slow and often stuck in traffic, making them unreliable.  

The changes we proposed in the Final Plan will be a first step toward bringing better bus service to our Bronx customers. The bus network redesigns come at an opportune time when New York City DOT (NYCDOT) is expanding bus priority in a number of locations. NYCDOT uses a variety of bus priority treatments to provide faster and more reliable bus service. Their improvements may include: new bus lanes, upgraded bus lanes, protected bus lanes, transit and freight priority streets, bus boarders, bus queue jump lanes, Transit Signal Priority (TSP), curb management, pedestrian safety features, improved bus stop accessibility, and turn restrictions.  

This process is a collaborative effort between MTA New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, the New York City Department of Transportation, and the public to ensure all customers are informed and can offer feedback on their redesigned networks. 

What is changing?

We redesigned the Bronx Bus Network with the following goals in mind: 

  • More direct routings 

  • Balanced bus stop spacing 

  • Enhanced connectivity 

  • Increased frequency on major corridors to create an all-day frequent network 

Our colleagues at NYCDOT also identified 10 bus priority corridors in the Bronx. They are currently studying each corridor to see which type of bus priority treatments would have the most benefit.  

We encourage you to review the routes you use to see the improvements we have proposed. The Final Plan details several important pieces of information, such as route modifications, frequencies, bus stop lists, and which corridors will be analyzed for bus priority treatments. Visit new.mta.info/bronxbusredesign/routes to see specific changes by route.  

All MTA Buses are ADA accessible. Under the proposed Final Plan, we have realigned three bus routes, the Bx4A, Bx28, Bx40, and Bx42, to make them more direct and improve accessibility for customers by connecting them to ADA accessible subway stations. 

We are also coordinating with NYCDOT to improve the accessibility of bus stops in the Bronx and citywide. NYCDOT is launching a citywide bus stop accessibility study to identify areas with physical accessibility challenges that can be upgraded. They are also working to expand the installation of Real Time Passenger Information Signs (RTPI) and bus shelters. 

Is my stop changing?

Please view the Final Plan, Appendix 4, page 175, which has the “Stop Lists” for each route. The Final Plan is available here.

Is my express bus service changing?

We continue to evaluate the best way to adjust Express Bus service between the Bronx and Manhattan, and we need to hear from you. Review the proposals in our Final Plan and submit your feedback here.

Why are you removing stops? Won’t this make adjacent stops more crowded and lead to longer waits?

Customers who use a particular bus stop come from all different directions; they don’t start their trip from the same place. So, if we move a particular bus stop, those customers will now use the next-closest stop to them.  

But the next-closest stop will not be the same for everyone. It will depend on where the person’s trip begins. 

For example, let’s say there are bus stops on 210 St, 212 St, and 214 St along a route. Ten customers board the bus at each stop, for a total of 30 customers. If we remove the stop on 212 St, some customers next-closest stop will be 210 St, while 214 St will be the next-closest stop for others.  

Between the two remaining stops, there will still be 30 total customers. So, while the number of customers boarding at each stop has increased, the total number of customers boarding the bus remains the same.  

The longest delays, aside from congestion and illegal parking, come from how long a bus must wait to reenter the flow of traffic after making a stop. Since each removed stop means that the bus will have to exit and reenter traffic less often, there will be fewer opportunities for delays and overall trip will be faster and more reliable. 

We understand that people are concerned about making more transfers. We’d like to clear up some of the concerns you may have.

We mostly heard two concerns about the new network requiring additional transfers: paying additional fares and longer commute times.  

First, we want to stress that we employ multiple strategies to ensure that some transfers remain “free.” In some cases, we can program our MetroCard technology to recognize trips that require an additional transfer. In other cases, we may train bus operators to provide transfers free-of-charge to or from specific routes. Our policy: No rider should have to pay an additional transfer fare as a result of the Bronx Bus Network Redesign. 

Secondly, the goal of public transit is to get people to wherever they need to go safely and quickly. Creating an all-day frequent network with simpler routes and enhanced connectivity may sometimes require more transfers, but it also allows for people to get to and from their point A to their point B more easily. We want to make sure that service reliability improves, and a big part of service reliability begins with the way routes are designed. Shorter routes are shown to improve reliability. So, while that can mean more transfers for some customers, it also means more frequent and reliable service that will reduce overall travel times for a vast majority of customers.  

Are there any changes in the frequency of service?

Yes. There are a few different places in the Final Plan to review frequency changes. On pages 8 and 9, you can see what frequency changes were made to each route. For more detail, you can view individual profiles for each route, which include frequency information, beginning on page 42.  

A major goal for this redesign was to create an all-day frequent bus network, especially on major corridors. We recognize that even though traditional rush hours still see our highest volume of riders, people go to work, school, and events at all different hours. This new network reflects that reality.  

Why is my route not changing?

This means your route functions well according to our metrics. It’s route may already be straight and direct and it might already have well-spaced bus stops. See more details in your bus route profile here. This proposal is the foundation for the new network, and we’ll be making future improvements, too. If there is an improvement you think we can make, submit your comment here.

Why is my stop not changing?

If your bus stop is not changing (not proposed for removal), it was kept in place for one or more of the following reasons: it is close to a key destination (university, hospital, major employment center, shopping mall, etc.), it is close to a community or senior center, it connects to or is shared with other bus routes that allow you to transfer from one to the other, it is near a subway station, or it has high ridership.

What are the next steps?

The Bronx Bus Network Redesign process will resume in fall 2021, with public outreach expected to begin around that time. Please review the Final Plan, submit comments and/or attend a meeting.

Changes of this scale will take time to implement. We are targeting a summer 2022 launch date for the program. We will keep updating our website with information on the progress of the project. We appreciate all of your feedback and hope that you stay in touch with us.