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MTA Board to Vote on Advancing Program to Fight Traffic Congestion, As City of New York Declares Gridlock Alert Day for on Thursday, Dec. 7

Updated December 6, 2023 3:45 p.m.

MTA Reminds Public That Subways, Commuter Rail, Buses, Are Antidote to Congestion on Gridlock Alert Days and All Days 

MTA Board to Vote on Beginning Public Review Process on Congestion Pricing 


With the New York City Department of Transportation declaring Thursday, Dec. 7, as the 14th of 19 Gridlock Alert days this season, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board is expected to vote on whether to approve a resolution that would authorize a public review process for a program that would fight congestion 365 days a year – Central Business District Tolling, New York’s congestion pricing program.  

Even in advance of the start of that program, New Yorkers can do their part to avoid getting stuck in congestion – and avoid contributing to it – by riding MTA subways, commuter trains, and buses.  

“Every bus rider does his or her part to help fight congestion,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “One bus can take 50 cars off the road. That’s 50 fewer cars that ambulances, fire trucks and police have to navigate to keep people safe.” 

“Innovations put in place by the MTA and NYC DOT in recent years have succeeded in making bus service faster and safer,” said New York City Transit President Rich Davey. “Camera enforced busways and bus lanes, off-board fare collection, transit-signal priority, and bus bulbs have all improved bus service for customers. The main thing preventing buses from traveling faster is congestion.” 

On Gridlock Alert days like today and tomorrow, bus riders can avoid the worst of congestion by riding routes one of six select-service-bus (SBS) routes serving the central business district with dedicated lanes. SBS buses travel along priority routes, make fewer stops and utilize all door boarding, culminating in faster trips for riders.  

The M15-SBS, traveling on the East Side of Manhattan is Automated Bus Lane Enforcement (ABLE) camera equipped which dramatically increased its speed. It’s now one of the fastest routes that travels entirely on local Manhattan streets. ABLE cameras capture information on vehicles blocking bus lanes. That information is then transmitted to NYCDOT for processing and ticketing. Routes with ABLE camera equipped buses have improved speeds of approximately 5% with an average 20% decrease in collisions.  

Express buses are also a great way to travel from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island to the heart of Manhattan during weekday rush hours with 75 routes total.  

Today the MTA Board is expected to vote to initiate the public review process on the Central Business District Tolling Program. While the MTA and NYCDOT have worked to speed up buses through tools like ABLE cameras, bus lanes, and busways, traffic congestion slows down all vehicles on the road including buses. Congestion pricing will help clear the streets for buses and emergency vehicles to get where they need to go.  

The MTA offers customers a variety of ways to receive real-time and planned service change information, as well as 24/7 customer support in their native language.

MTA.info – The definitive source for real-time arrival information and service change information for each line or route in the MTA system. Customers can find current statuses on mta.info and upcoming planned service changes using our lookup tool at mta.info/alerts.

MYmta app – Customers who use the comprehensive MYmta smartphone app will see real-time train and bus arrival times and other travel information for all MTA services all in one place. The app is available in the Apple Store and in Google Play Store.

Email & Text Alerts – Customers can sign up for email and SMS alerts tailored to their specific commutes and travel times. They can also sign up for MTA newsletters like The Weekender, a weekly newsletter that covers major weekend planned service changes. Customers can sign up here.

WhatsApp – Riders can chat with NYC Transit via WhatsApp for 24/7 customer assistance. With the help of Google Translate, NYC Transit staff offer real-time customer support in up to 108 languages.

511 – For those who prefer to contact the MTA by telephone, information is available by dialing 511. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred service provider for the free 711 relay to reach the MTA at 511.