Simple, Easy Ways to Make the Bus an Economic Recovery Tool

A new report by the Bus Turnaround Coalition has a prescription to "build back better": fix the bus.

March 17, 2021, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Bus Turnaround Coalition this week published a plan to leverage bus public transit as a key tool in a post-pandemic economic recovery in New York.

Mark Hallum shares details of the report in an article for AM New York: "Dubbed the Big Bus Comeback, the Bus Turnaround Coalition wants the MTA to launch all-door boarding with OMNY fare collection, implementing the Bronx bus network redesign, finish planning for the Queens network, procure bus-mounted cameras for lane enforcement and revise schedules to compensate for buses running faster."

According to Hallum, one big component of a comeback for bus transit in New York would be more dedicated bus infrastructure. Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a campaign to quickly install 20 miles of new bus lanes and busways in June 2020, just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, but has walked back much of that commitment due to opposition from councilmembers and local businesses.

Gersh Kuntzman picked up the news of the new report in an article for Streetbslog NYC, framing the report as evidence of how easy it could be to fix bus service. "This doesn't have to be so hard," writes Kuntzman. Kuntzman also notes that the MTA already has several of the plans included in the report in motion, and it also has a large cash infusion made possible by the $1.9 trillion "American Rescue Plan" bill recently approved by Congress an signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The Bus Turnaround Coalition is a collaboration between TransitCenter, the NYPIRG Straphangars Campaign, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and the Riders Alliance.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in AM New York

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