Governor Also Unveils New Design for Select Bus Service Buses Equipped with Wi-Fi and USB Ports to Roll-Out in Queens and the Bronx
Additions Are Part of Significant Upgrade of MTA Bus Fleet to Dramatically Enhance Customer Experience
Photos of the New MTA Buses Available Here; Photos of New SBS Buses Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the first of 83 new buses equipped with Wi-Fi service and USB ports have arrived in the Bronx. The Governor also unveiled a new design for the MTA’s Select Bus Service buses, which will also be equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and USB ports. The first of a total of 43 new SBS buses have arrived in Queens and Bronx.
The new arrivals are part of the Governor’s initiative to revitalize the MTA’s bus operations, with over 2,042 state-of-the-art new buses joining its transportation fleet over the course of five years. The new buses will replace nearly 40 percent of the MTA’s current fleet and represent a $1.3 billion investment of Capital Program resources. The first 75 buses included in the plan went into service in Queens during 2016.
“From opening the Second Avenue Subway, to bringing Wi-Fi and cell service to underground subway stations, we are reimagining the mass-transit experience for the metropolitan area,” Governor Cuomo said. “These new state-of-the-art buses will better connect passengers who are on-the-go, create a stronger mass-transit system to bring New York into the future.”
“We’re moving aggressively to meet the Governor’s mandate to revitalize the entire bus fleet, and deliver enhanced service to the more than 2 million people who depend on New York City buses,” said Ronnie Hakim, Interim Executive Director of the MTA. “We’re thrilled to unveil expanded amenities and a new look for SBS buses, and we’re delighted to be rolling out buses in the Bronx that will offer our customers the opportunity to stay connected during their commute.”
The MTA is in the process of upgrading existing buses with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports. By the end of 2017, all express buses will be retrofitted with Wi-Fi and USB charging ports.
MTA Buses in the Bronx
After the initial delivery of 4 buses, units will arrive at a rate of approximately three to five buses per week. All 83 buses will be in service by December 25, 2017 and will be based at the MTA’s West Farms and Kingsbridge Depots in the Bronx, running on the Bx 6,8,11,17,21,27,31,32,33,35,36,46 and the Bx 1,2,9,15, respectively.
Articulated SBS Buses in Queens and the Bronx
After the initial delivery of 4 ‘new look’ SBS articulated buses in Queens, buses will arrive at a rate of three to four per week, with 22 SBS Articulated Buses arriving by April. An additional 21 will begin arriving in July at a rate of three per week completing delivery in August for a total of 43 buses. The buses will be based out of Casey Stengel Depot, and run on the Q44 which operates in Queens and the Bronx.
Select Bus Service is the brand name in New York for Bus Rapid Transit, a concept that speeds service through implementation of features that allow bus service to mimic train service. Customers appreciate the convenient off-board fare technology that allows them to pre-pay their fare and enter and exit through any bus door, eliminating the need for customers to wait to pay at a single fare box and reducing the amount of time the bus spends at each stop.
The addition of Wi-Fi provides a new level of connectivity to New Yorkers, bringing ease and convenience to those working, reading emails, or checking in on their social media accounts without impacting their cellular data plans. The number of USB ports on buses will range from 35-55, depending on the make and model, and will be conveniently located throughout the bus.
With nearly 8.7 million travelers per day, these upgrades are part of a robust plan to fully transform the MTA into an innovative, state-of-the-art system with improved customer service and first-class amenities.
The addition of new buses is one part of Governor Cuomo’s overall plan to modernize the MTA. Other elements of the broader enhancement program that focus on buses include:
- Digital Information Screens: The MTA is in the process of completing a successful pilot program to evaluate digital information screens on 200 buses. With the completion of the pilot this month, the MTA will begin the process of deploying the screens to 3,600 buses by 2020. The digital screens offer audio and visual route information and display next stop information, service advisories and travel information, including transfers. They also have the capability to display geo-specific advertising, enabling the potential opening up of a new avenue of advertising revenue.
- Pedestrian Warning System & Collision Avoidance Technology: The MTA is also conducting pilot programs for new technologies aimed at improving customer and passenger safety, including a pedestrian turn warning system, will be installed on 288 buses, and a new collision warning technology system will be installed on 145 buses. After the successful completion of this test, the technologies will be installed on 1,600 buses starting in mid-2018.
- LaGuardia Link: The relaunch of the Q70 Limited bus service as “LaGuardia Link” with a distinctive new look designed to help customers and tourists quickly find their way between LaGuardia Airport and two regional transit hubs in Queens that connect to five subway lines, Long Island Rail Road and seven bus lines. The route, nicknamed the “LaGuardia Link,” is a Select Bus Service which employs convenient off-board fare technology that allows customers to pre-pay their fare and enter and exit through any bus door, eliminating the need to wait to pay at a single fare box, and decreasing dwell time at stops. The LaGuardia Link will also continue to offer travelers convenient luggage storage racks.
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