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Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign: Reports, Past Events, and Archived Materials

Updated Dec 1, 2022

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About the Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign

The Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign is a multi-year initiative with multiple rounds of planning and public outreach.   

We’re working with our riders to improve the Brooklyn bus network so trips are faster, more reliable, and more seamlessly integrated with the rest of the transit system.  

Here, you'll find archived materials and a list of past events held as part of the Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign process. 

A timeline of the proposed Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign

Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign Existing Conditions Report (January 2020)

This report on existing conditions is the first step in the bus network redesign process. The goal is to take a fresh look at Brooklyn, its people, its travel needs, and what can be done to improve bus travel to meet those needs. 

The Brooklyn Bus Network has not substantially changed in decades. The continuing decline in bus ridership in Brooklyn, and in New York City, requires a fresh look at how we provide bus service. Buses are slowing down and bus reliability is suffering. Over that same period, our customers’ needs have transformed dramatically. The bus network needs to evolve with them. 

We will build a new bus network to meet those needs. 

Route profiles

We created profiles for the existing routes in the Brooklyn Bus Network. Each profile contains information about ridership, frequency, span of service, and performance metrics.  

Key findings

Brooklyn at a glance 

  • Brooklyn’s population has grown 5.2% since 2010. Since 2009, private sector job growth in the borough has outpaced the rest of New York City, New York State, and the country, with the number of businesses growing 32% and private sector employment growing 39%. Growth has occurred in nearly every sector. 
  • Brooklyn’s ongoing population and employment growth is expected to continue, though some neighborhoods are expected to grow faster than others. While the Brooklyn Bus Network covers nearly the entire borough, it has not changed much in the past decades to support this growth. 
  • Currently 31 of the 170 subway stations in Brooklyn are accessible according to standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The network redesign will be particularly important for those customers whose transit options are currently more limited. 
  • According to Census data, about 55% of Brooklyn households do not own a vehicle. About 62% of Brooklyn commuters travel via transit. About 53% of Brooklyn commuters identified rail modes as their primary means of transportation, while 9% identified bus as their primary means. About 23% of commuters drive to work. 
  • The Brooklyn Bus Network, which has 72 routes, carries over 650,000 riders on an average weekday. In general, bus boardings are more prevalent in the eastern half of the borough, particularly in the neighborhoods east of Prospect Park. 
  • Most Brooklyn bus customers transfer as part of their journey; 37% transfer to another bus and 35% transfer to the subway. 

Limitations of the existing network

  • Much of the network is a grid, though in some neighborhoods, circuitous routes slow down travel to key destinations and transfer points. 
  • Bus routes sometimes operate on nearby parallel streets, splitting the available resources. 
  • Bus priority is generally limited to SBS corridors and does not benefit most Brooklyn bus riders. 
  • Bus stops spaced close together slow down bus travel, as the bus needs to frequently decelerate to a stop and then wait to re-enter the flow of traffic. 
  • Narrow streets and difficult turns, particularly left turns, hamper bus speeds and reliability. 
  • Even with bus routes covering much of the borough, there are opportunities to improve connectivity and provide easier access to places in Brooklyn and beyond where customers want to go. 

Customer priorities

Decreased wait time and increased frequency 
Customers want more frequent bus service to shorten waits at bus stops. In the existing network, Brooklyn customers wait longer for the bus than they expect to, about two minutes on average for each trip. 

Decreased travel time through faster buses 
Customers want faster travel on buses to get to their destinations more quickly. Average bus speeds in Brooklyn are the second-lowest of the five boroughs, at 7.0 miles per hour (MPH) in May 2019, and have slowed 5% since 2014. 

A more reliable network 
Customers want buses to be more reliable and less bunched. Once on the bus, Brooklyn customers spend more time traveling to their destination than the schedule would indicate, about one minute on average for each trip. About one-third of the time, it takes customers five minutes longer than expected to complete their trip. 

Improved connections to more places 
Customers want access to more of the city than they have now, both within and between Brooklyn neighborhoods and onward to other boroughs. 

Network simplification to increase ease of use 
Customers want the bus network to be easier to use.