FTA Gives High Marks to Select Bus Service in Sheepshead

Sheepshead Bay may be the next site for the New York City Department of Transit’s (NYCDOT) innovative new program Select Bus Service. The proposed bus route, which will run along Nostrand Avenue from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg, earned a “High” rating from the Federal Transportation Authority (FTA), indicating that it is “extremely likely” to receive federal funds from its Small Starts program.

Though the FTA did not include the new Select Bus Service route on a list of budgeted projects in FY2010, the agency reserves $81 million for unidentified projects which could receive funding next year. The high marks given to the proposal reflect a strong likelihood that the organization will direct funds to the new route, given that of the 40 Small Starts projects in the report, only two are rated “High” by the FTA. The city is asking for $19 in federal money towards the project’s $88 million price tag.

The Select Bus Service features many key elements from the Bus Rapid Transit – including pre-boarding fare collection, entry through multiple doors, and exclusive bus lanes that are in effect during the high traffic 12-hour period on weekdays. First launched in June 2008 with the Bx12 Select, an inaugural route linking the West and East Bronx in a one-seat ride that connects to about seven subway lines and 14 other bus routes, the program has received high marks from the Tri-State Transportation Campaign for illustrating “how inexpensive innovations can improve service throughout the five boroughs and in communities with limited transit options.”

Here’s a video produced by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, in which they report on the Bx12 Select Bus Service’s features and rider’s reactions:

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