DOT data shows increase in speeds along the busway by 47 percent. On November 19, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman announced that the Jay Street Busway in Downtown Brooklyn will now be permanent. The busway runs on Jay Street between Tillary Street and Livingston Street. The busway was in a pilot program as part of the Better Buses Restart Plan since August 2020.
The Jay Street busway serves the B26, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65, and B67 bus routes. Under the busway program, only buses and trucks are now permitted between 7 AM to 7 PM Monday to Friday. Local access for cars is allowed via entrance from side streets only. Bus lane cameras, both stationary and positioned on buses, help enforce bus lane restrictions.
DOT data revealed that in the first year of operation, the busway has increased speeds by up to 47 percent. The busway program has expanded to 181st Street in Manhattan, Main Street in Flushing, and Jamaica and Archer Avenues in Downtown Jamaica. Collectively, these busways serve over 500,000 riders a day. The Jay Street busway serves 47,000 riders daily.
Mayor de Blasio stated, “Downtown Brooklyn deserves better bus service, and the Jay Street busway has already improved commutes for thousands of residents, workers, and students who rely on it every day. It’s time to make it permanent – and build on this progress to make public transit faster, safer, and more reliable for riders in every borough.”
DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman stated, “47,000 of our fellow New Yorkers are enjoying faster, more reliable bus rides because of this busway. We’re transforming Downtown Brooklyn, getting cars out of the picture and focusing on our sustainable transportation future, transit and cycling.”
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee, stated, “I am happy to hear that the piloted Jay Street Busway will remain a permanent busway. We must expand the Better Buses Restart Plan so that other neighborhoods in the outer-boroughs can have reliable and efficient bus services. Busways have improved riders travel time and reduced wait period, creating a better rider experience. I hope to be able to continue working alongside City Hall, the DOT, and transit advocates to ensure we are continuously improving our public transportation system.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)