Despite little money in its transportation coffers, the city analyzed a variety of transit options for the 34th Street corridor. This piece looks at why the busway was selected.
"It's sometimes worth considering the hoops through which transit agencies must jump in order to bring their visions to fruition.
But the alternatives analysis did allow New York City's DOT to demonstrate why it considers a dedicated transitway for bus service to be the ideal technology candidate for the two-mile 34th street corridor, running river to river. The mode allows the use of existing vehicles and the through-routing of express buses from elsewhere in the city - something not possible had streetcars or light rail been chosen. It would also be relatively cheap to implement, at between $30 and 125 million, versus $250 million and up for light rail or several billion for a full-scale subway line.
The transitway would allow commuters to get across the city 35% faster than possible today, cutting transit times to 20 minutes, just slightly longer than would be feasible with a light rail line."