Here's a key to the numbers:
1. Pay on the street More than a third of all bus delays can be attributed to the time it takes passengers to board. Here they will swipe their MetroCards at street kiosks before the bus arrives.
2. Enter at the back A new fleet of buses improve boarding time by being lower to the ground—and allowing rear-door entrance.
3. Hold the light green Soon after Select Bus Service launches, buses will be equipped with “signal prioritization” technology that tells upcoming traffic lights to delay turning red.
4. Own the lane A painted lane will be reserved for buses, and cameras will photograph stray cars and trucks. But some activists—and politicians—criticize the program for not including physically separated lanes.
If you've ridden an SBS in Manhattan then you know why I'm hyped. These buses are faster by quite a bit, and the experience of boarding a bus at any orifice without swiping a card is practically luxurious.
But here's the question you may be asking, which I reached around and grabbed right out of the back of your head: WHY SHOULD I GIVE A DAMN ABOUT A BUS I NEVER TAKE AND HAVE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IN MY LIFE? Well I'll tell you why. This thing runs the length of the borough, from Cheepshead Bay (as a Chilean friend calls it) to the Williamsburg Bridge. Folks, there are times when you will WANT to go somewhere in the borough that falls along that line, or intersects with a bus or train on that line, and now you have a way to get there quickly. And check out the lines it crosses with at these always EXPRESS express stops. The A at Fulton? Hello Rockaways and JFK. The G at Lafayette? Hello Greenpoint. Hello north Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy and...drum roll. Hello Williamsburg! South Williamburg, sure, but hey there's a bunch of hip happenin' hot spots now within a slick bus ride of your home. You can go and find out just how old you are AND drop a cool Benjamin on artisanal sliders and designer brews for two. Just hop on at Clarkson or Empire on Rogers and you're golden and poorer. And they run pretty often too. Just look at the map:
Check out the bus "bulbs." Check out the service and speed. Because the SBS 44 starts this Sunday, November 17th, and a seat is waiting with YOUR name on it.
Oh, and yes, those were street painters out today, getting ready to rewrite the book on Flatbush Avenue driving lanes. Not a moment too soon...