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TA puts breaks on Nostrand express service

The Brooklyn Paper
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Those who were hoping that a bus rapid transit route promised to run along Nostrand Avenue would speed up their commute shouldn’t expect relief any time soon.

That’s because New York City Transit (TA) has delayed the start of the service – which was supposed to commence by this year – at least another two years.

The service – with one route promised for each borough — was promoted with great fanfare when it was announced by the agency in 2007, with two routes planned to start that year. The one route that has been instituted, the BX12 in the Bronx, began in July of this year.

“There are a lot of different issues that have to be resolved,” acknowledged Deirdre Parker, a spokesperson for the TA, “so it probably won’t be a reality until after 2010.”

While some of the issues need to be thrashed out with the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), Parker said, one of the key factors is a lack of equipment. “We need more buses,” Parker admitted. In addition, she noted, “It’s always different when you do the first one and see what you’re up against.”

The institution of BRT service along Flatbush Avenue, which had once been discussed, doesn’t even have a timeline at this point, Parker said.

“It’s so far back it’s not even being mentioned at this time,” she told this paper, recalling that Flatbush Avenue had been looked at before Nostrand Avenue was chosen as the Brooklyn route. “I think it was under consideration before, when we had several different routes in mind. That was winnowed down and Flatbush wasn’t on the list.”

The Bronx BRT service is getting positive reviews from riders, according to an article published earlier this month in the New York Times.

According to the Times, the service shaves about 12 minutes off an hour-long commute through a variety of mechanisms, such as having riders pay prior to boarding at machines located at the bus stops, and restricting traffic in special bus-only lanes used by the BRT during rush hours.

Drivers on the BRT route are also allowed to be ahead of schedule, according to the Times article, which indicated an increase in ridership on the route of about 20 percent.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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