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MTA Set to Launch Redesigned Bronx Local Bus Network

MTA Bus Company
Updated Jun 21, 2022 1:15 p.m.

Changes to Local, Limited and Select Bus Service Routes Effective Sunday, June 26

Increased All-Day Service, Streamlined Routes, and New Connections Enhance Bronx Local Bus Service

MTA Continues Customer Ambassadors Program Through Launch to Ensure Smooth Transition

View Video of News Conference

View Photos of Event


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today joined community leaders, elected officials, transit advocate groups and the New York City Department of Department of Transportation (DOT) at Fordham Plaza in the Bronx to preview the launch of the borough's local bus network redesign on Sunday, June 26. The redesigned network brings foundational improvements that will deliver more reliable bus service, improve connections, reduce wait times and increase bus speeds. It reallocates resources to the portions of the borough with the greatest impact and lays out an adaptable framework to meet real-time travel patterns of current and future bus customers.

Over recent decades, demographics have shifted in residential and business communities, and so have travel patterns. While service adjustments were made along the way, the redesign provides the larger-scale improvements needed to better meet the demand of today’s riders. The redesigned network consists of thirteen significantly modified routes, two new routes, and changes on most routes in respect to bus stops and schedules. The redesign focuses on:

Bus stop balancing. Increasing stop spacing is an effective method that allows buses to travel at greater speeds. Bronx bus speeds are among the slowest in the nation, with distances between bus stops averaging 800 feet, compared to 1,000 to 1,680 feet, which is the international average.

More direct routes. Streamlining circuitous routes and adjusting routes in known areas of street congestion improves travel time due to the reduction of turns and avoidance of traffic.

Better connections. Route changes strengthen interborough travel to Manhattan and improve accessibility to other areas of the MTA’s transportation network, including subway stations that are ADA accessible. Improved east-west bus connections strengthen intraborough travel.

More all-day service. The new local bus network includes additional trips during off-peak hours, weekends, and increases service frequencies on eleven routes and nine key corridors.

For more information see Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign Fact Sheet.pdf

“In 2019, over 420,000 customers relied on the Bronx bus network to get them to their destinations,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Making sure that all New Yorkers have equal opportunity depends on equal access to reliable transit, and buses are vital – especially for seniors, schoolkids and people who don’t live close to subways. I am thrilled to launch a more efficient local bus network that would help deliver better service, and access to jobs, education and opportunity – both within the borough and throughout the City.”

“Public transportation widens the scope of reachable destinations for education and employment,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “The Bronx is one of the most bus-dependent boroughs within New York City and we look forward to these changes that will improve the quality of lives of those who rely on it. The redesign is a huge step forward in improving our bus network, but certainly not the last.”

“The goal behind redesigning a bus network involves finding the ideal balance of incorporating redesign strategies with everyday ridership patterns,” said MTA Bus Company Acting President and New York City Transit Department of Buses Senior Vice President Frank Annicaro. “We are thankful for all the community members and leaders that participated in the feedback process, and the work of the project team that spent hundreds of hours reviewing and revising to deliver a modernized local bus network to the Bronx community.”

The MTA will continue its customer ambassador program leading to implementation and two weeks following the launch to assist customers in the transition to the new bus network. Customers will continue to have access to the project website, which includes informational material, such as route profiles, a borough-wide map with color-designated routes, a link to the trip planning tool on the homepage and the new Bronx bus schedules.

The redesign plan included a robust consultation process that incorporated the comments of elected officials, community organizations, and everyday riders. The MTA’s Bronx redesign project team collected and extensively reviewed rounds of feedback from six activity-based workshops, nine informational open houses, 28 community board meetings, dozens of on-street and in-station engagements to meet riders where they frequent, and thousands of comments from webmail, phone, mail, social and in-person and online surveys. The MTA will continue to monitor ridership patterns and incorporate necessary adjustments in the bus network to better match bus service with current and future travel demands.

“The Bronx Bus Network Redesign will speed up the commutes for hundreds of thousands of daily riders in the borough,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Working alongside the MTA, the DOT will be delivering exciting new bus projects along major corridors across the borough to get buses moving through traffic. We thank the MTA and Mayor Adams for their support and collaboration.”

“This is a great plan and the Bronx is a better borough because of it,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson. “The MTA has now built a 21st century network that is responsive to the transit needs of communities throughout the Bronx. The bus network redesign will truly provide a more reliable service to connect bus riders to and from many different locations including work, medical appointments, and visiting family members and friends. It will spur economic growth in our borough at a time when it is truly needed.”

“The Bronx applauds the MTA Bus Network Redesign implementation,” said Bronx Chamber of Commerce President and MTA Board Member Lisa Sorin. “The redesign accounts for population trends and expedites service for central commercial districts, while also ensuring service is accessible for all riders. We understand that many of these service changes will impact ridership and we thank the MTA for implementing educational campaigns to ensure information is reaching our communities. This is a step forward to increasing efficiency and ensuring that MTA riders are the priority for the public transit network.”

The redesign is part of the MTA’s broader efforts of modernizing and improving the bus network across all boroughs to:

Redesign every borough’s bus network: Staten Island was the first of the boroughs to implement a new express bus network and is seeing improved bus speeds averaging 18 mph compared to 15.7 mph in 2018, prior to implementation. The Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign is the second project to implement new routes and will be followed by the Queens Bus Network Redesign project, which recently concluded a series of public workshops and will soon announce additional summer outreach engagements to continue collecting feedback for its New Draft Plan.

Modernize bus fleets and facilities. With 60 zero-emissions all-electric buses arriving in the next two years across six different depots, the MTA remains committed to its goal of reaching a zero-emission bus fleet by 2040. The first of these new electric buses will begin arriving at depots in the second half of 2022 and will be at all six locations in 2023. Additionally, in support of this goal, the MTA announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) to facilitate the development of an electric bus charging facility on Gun Hill Road in the Baychester neighborhood of the Bronx.

Improve accessibility and the customer experience. The MTA has continued to roll out new buses with digital screens, new accessibility features such as wider doors, more flexible seating options, and ramps designed to make it easier to enter and exit the bus. In partnership with DOT, the MTA will continue to add countdown signs at bus stops across its entire bus network to provide customers with real-time information.

Expand Bus Priority. The MTA and DOT recognize that bus lanes and busways are among the most effective tools for increasing bus speeds. In 2021, DOT implemented four new busways, including the implementation of the 181 St Busway Pilot in Washington Heights which has increased bus speeds by up to 34%, and installed transit signal priority (TSP) to over 400 intersections throughout the city so far this year. Additionally, by the end of 2022, bus lane camera enforcement technology will be deployed to all five boroughs with additional expansion planned to increase coverage in 2023.

“Hundreds of thousands of riders in every corner of the Bronx will now be able to enjoy improved bus service, accessibility, and reliability with increased frequencies and streamlined routes,” said State Senator Jamaal T. Bailey. “These changes are long overdue and will ensure riders can better access critical services and a modernized bus system that can serve our needs into the future. I applaud the MTA and Department of Transportation for the successful launch of the Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign and their diligent work to create a more accessible and equitable system for all Bronxites through a community-driven process centering the needs of riders.”

“Building a better Bronx starts with building a more accessible and efficient public transportation system,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “The Bronx Bus Redesign Plan will do just that by providing rider-focused service, increasing frequency, improving routes, and prioritizing environmental sustainability. This plan is a game changer for our borough, and will improve the commutes and lives of hundreds of thousands of riders in the Bronx. I am grateful to the MTA for committing to build an improved and efficient bus system in the Bronx, and look forward to working with them to ensure that all Bronxites are aware of the upcoming changes this plan will bring.”

"As many of my Bronx constituents rely heavily on buses as a form of transportation, the Bronx Bus Network Redesign program is essential for our borough,” said Assembly Member Kenny Burgos. “After years of planning, I am proud to see this program launch and provide a more accessible and reliable service to commuters. I commend the MTA and all parties involved for their tireless efforts in making this plan a reality."

"Transit deserts are defining factors between social mobility and isolation,” said Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez. “Communities will deteriorate without efficient and equitable access to transit. It is the difference between positive movements within education, the workforce, beautification, investments, and community development. That is exactly what the improvements within the Bronx Bus Redesign will do. We must no longer divest, but invest in every aspect of services within the state and city to the communities we serve. This Bronx Bus Redesign will go a long way in ensuring a sustainable path of growth, mobility, and functionality for all New Yorkers, especially to the people of the Bronx."

“Upward mobility studies have found that cities with insufficient or poor accessibility to mass transit has the highest rates of unemployment and the lowest incomes and that commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty,” said Assembly Member Yudelka Tapia. “The new and improved bus lines will maintain a stable, safe, and reliable commute for the thousands of working people that use public transit to get to work. I thank the MTA for investing in bettering the commute of thousands of people in the Bronx, and improving the chances of low-income families here moving up the ladder.”

“This new plan to reform our public transit is going to critically improve the quality of life for residents and visitors in our city,” said Council Member Eric Dinowitz. “Our streets will be safer and easier to navigate through better signals, more efficient routes, and more cleanliness and lighting, immediately upgrading New Yorkers’ commuting experience. I am particularly excited about the Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign which will offer faster and more frequent services to Bronxites. Thank you for the effort that local agencies, such as MTA and NYCDOT, and the Mayor’s Office, put into improving public transit to build safer integrated corridors for New Yorkers.”

“The MTA has announced that faster and more reliable buses are coming to the Bronx! These new bus routes are to improve the efficiency, frequency, and bolster the off-peak services of our buses,” said Council Member Amanda Farías. “While these changes can be confusing as most of us are so used to our routes, there will be MTA customer ambassadors at key bus stops to help all of us get to where we need to go and my office is available to print out any additional maps and schedules you may need. I look forward to seeing how these new routes improve all of our qualities of life and make our communities more multi-modal for full access to all of our public transit options. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Rodriguez, MTA Chair Lieber, and all the staff who are supporting the outreach efforts for prioritizing the Bronx.”

“It’s exciting to kick off these improvements to the Bronx bus network, with riders being the biggest winners of the redesign,” said Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) Executive Director Lisa Daglian. “Buses are truly the backbone of our transit system and the engine of equity for the region. The pandemic reaffirmed what New Yorkers already know: our essential workers depend on the bus network to get them where they need to go in the Bronx and beyond. The Bronx Bus Network Redesign will help bring Bronxites the faster and more reliable bus system they deserve, while helping to increase mobility around the region as a whole. Taken together, the improvements being launched on June 26th will help ensure that buses – and riders – can move more quickly. With the help of customer ambassadors to answer questions and ensure a smooth transition, we're confident that the improvements from the Bronx Bus Network Redesign will bring Bronx riders the bus system they need and deserve.”

“As a Bronx bus rider, I'm delighted to see the redesign go ahead and I eagerly anticipate faster and more reliable service,” said Riders Alliance Policy & Communications Director Danny Pearlstein. “The new Bronx bus network will save precious time and speed commutes for hundreds of thousands of Bronx riders, overwhelmingly transit-dependent, low-income New Yorkers of color. Along with the bus priority projects that NYC DOT is rolling out across the borough, New York City Transit's redesign demonstrates a redoubled commitment to better service and a more equitable transit system for all New Yorkers.”

“We are thrilled to see the MTA's bus network redesign for the Bronx finally hit the streets,” said Tri-State Transportation Campaign Executive Director Renae Reynolds. “The unveiling of the network redesign marks the largest overhaul of Bronx bus service in over half a century, and will improve commutes for hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in the borough by making service faster, more reliable, and more easily accessible.”