The MTA’s redesign of the Bronx bus network that launched Sunday, June 26, overhauled its dozens of ancient routes, aiming to speed up travel times for commuters in the borough.
The revamp is years in the making and reconfigured the Bronx’s 46 routes.
Last week, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairperson and CEO Janno Lieber said the proposal would help the roughly 420,000 daily riders who relied on the bus system pre-pandemic to better get around.
“Making sure that all New Yorkers have equal opportunity depends on equal access to reliable transit, and buses are vital – especially for seniors, schoolkids and people who don’t live close to subways,” Lieber said in a statement. “I am thrilled to launch a more efficient local bus network that would help deliver better service, and access to jobs, education and opportunity – both within the borough and throughout the city.”
The redesign “significantly” altered 13 of the current 46 bus routes, while adding two new ones, but most lines will have some changes to their stops and schedules.
The MTA’s plan cuts 375 bus stops, or about 18% of total stations, to better space them out and speed up travel times.
The changes affect the Bronx’s local, limited, and Select Bus Service routes, but not its express buses.
Why is this happening?
The MTA wants to redesign the bus networks in each of the five boroughs, starting with Staten Island’s express bus network back in 2018.
The remakes launched under former New York City Transit President Andy Byford to upgrade the complex routes, which are old and circuitous due to being a mix of public and private bus and trolley lines that were consolidated into the MTA.
The Bronx plan began in early 2019, but all redesigns were on pause during the pandemic until the MTA relaunched them in August 2021.
Officials released a draft plan for Queens in March and another proposal is coming for Brooklyn before the end of the year.
Probably most controversial aspect of the redesigns, the removal of bus stops, is a balancing act the MTA is taking to speed up its notoriously sluggish buses.
New York City has some of the slowest buses in the country and its stops are an average of 800 feet apart, compared to 1,000 to 1,680 feet in other systems.
Pulling in and out of stops also takes time, and transit officials estimate that each removed station saves about 20 seconds in travel time.
So while a bus may no longer stop within a block or two of your apartment building, it will take you faster to where you need to go once you get on.
Or, as Lieber put it recently, riders deserve “a system that gets you from place to place faster than walking.”
Learn about your new routes
The agency launched an online trip planner that recommends the best bus routes to choose for your commute.
So-called customer ambassadors have also been out in recent weeks, and will continue to be for two more weeks, to help riders transition to the new network, according to the MTA.
The MTA’s new bus routes and schedules took effect on June 26 and are available at new.mta.info/schedules/bus/bronx.
For MTA’s trip planner visit futuretrips.mta.info