Rapid-Transit Buses Make Manhattan Debut

The new system is designed to reduce travel time along a heavily congested north-south route on the city's East Side. However, unfamiliar ticketing protocols led to passenger confusion on the first day of operation.

The buses travel in express lanes on First and Second Avenues, but much of the timesavings is to come from sidewalk kiosk ticketing. When boarding the bus, passengers simply present a receipt rather than swiping a MetroCard or paying with exact change, a change that perplexed many early riders, reports Michael Gynbaum. The city hopes the practice will eventually reduce what is currently a 90-minute trip by 15 minutes.

Gynbaum writes:

'Traffic was predictably light on Sunday, and most passengers, asked if the bus was traveling faster than usual, said they could not make a meaningful comparison. The true test will probably come on Tuesday, the first full-fledged workday after the Columbus Day holiday, when the rush-hour crowds descend.'

The new system is the first for Manhattan but not for the city as a whole. Similar changes along a busy route in the Bronx improved travel times by 20 percent.

Full Story: Speedy Bus Routes Have Bumpy Manhattan Debut

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