Manhattanites got a faster way to travel Monday between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side.
Select Bus Service began on the M86 line, which runs from York Avenue to West End Avenue on 86th Street, officials announced.
It is the city's eighth SBS route, and is used by 24,000 riders a day, according to the MTA and DOT.
The new service includes a way for riders to swipe their MetroCards before they get on the bus, three new bus lanes, and digital signs with real-time arrival information.
The MTA said the buses expected to shave off three minutes from an afternoon trip during rush-hour."You watch people dip their card, the machine digests the card -- four seconds later, it spits it up, people are looking at their balance," said Andrew Albert, an MTA board member who chairs Community Board 7's transportation committee. "The dwell time will be extremely reduced."
A study by the Straphangers Campaign last year found the route moved only at a crawling speed of 4.6 mph -- but it still wasn't the slowest bus in the city. That distinction went to the M79 at 3.2 mph.
"Always a turtle, but never a sloth," Gene Russianoff, staff afforney for the Campaign, quipped about the m86.
Jessica Patterson, 26, of the Upper West Side, said she tried to swipe her MetroCard on the bus while heading to work as a manager for a Starbucks on 87th Street and Third Avenue, but quickly learned what to do.
"I was definitely confused," she said. "The driver told us we had a new system."
Roberto Guzman, 26, of the Upper West Side, said he liked the idea.
"I want to get crosstown as quickly as possible," said Guzman, who works as a stage actor and at Bare Burger on the Upper East Side. "I'm always running from job to job. It's a big improvement."