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Select Bus Service (SBS), marked on the buses as +select, is a brand used by MTA Regional Bus Operations for bus rapid transit service in New York City. SBS began service in 2008 in order to improve speed and reliability along multiple long, busy limited-stop corridors. The first route was the Bx12 along Fordham Road and the Pelham Parkway; as of September 2017, fifteen SBS routes run along fourteen corridors. Several more corridors are proposed for Select Bus Service, with two routes planned for implementation in 2017, and one in 2018.

History

In conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation, the MTA identified five corridors for implementation of bus rapid transit, one in each of the five boroughs, in late 2004: the Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway corridor in the Bronx, 34th Street in Manhattan, Main Street in Queens, Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, and Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Four bus priority corridors were also identified for implementation or expansion (three in Manhattan, one in the Bronx): Madison Avenue (expansion), Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, and Webster Avenue. The Select Bus Service program was unveiled to the public on March 25, 2008. At the time of the announcement, the MTA and the mayor had stated that implementation on other corridors was contingent on the passage of congestion pricing, which ultimately did not make it for a vote in the legislature.


The first Select Bus Service corridor, on the Bx12 along 207th Street, Fordham Road, and Pelham Parkway, was placed into service on June 29, 2008. The Next line, the Q44, running on the Cross Bronx Expressway (Service Road) and Main Street, saw Select Service begin on October 10, 2010 after the delivery of new low-floor buses.  All local service was replaced by the Q20 in Queens and the Bx54 in The Bronx. The M34 and M34A line was started on November 13, 2011. Initially, a 34th Street busway was planned that would require eliminating 34th Street as a through street, but it was dropped in favor of the standard SBS model. The B44 Rogers/Bedford/Nostrand Avenues bus route, the fifth Select Bus Service corridor in the city, was implemented on November 17, 2013 pending the arrival of new fare machines. The S79 Hylan Boulevard/Richmond Avenue route, initially slated to be converted to SBS in 2013, was moved up to September 2, 2012; the local equivalents of the S79 route are the S78 and S59 buses. A sixth corridor, the second for the Bronx, began service on the Bx52 Webster Avenue - Laguardia route on June 30, 2013; this route was the first " "Phase II" SBS route to begin service (the existing corridors plus the B44 comprise Phase I).

A seventh corridor, and the third for Manhattan, the M60 125th Street–Triborough Bridge–Astoria Boulevard bus route to LaGuardia Airport, was converted to SBS on May 25, 2014; local service was replaced by other routes running alongside the route of the M60 (the M100, M101, Bx15, and Q19). An eighth Select Bus Service route was planned in the 2014–2017 Financial Plan. The eighth Select Bus Service corridor (ninth route overall), and the fourth in Manhattan, was for the M86 running on 86th Street, which was originally scheduled to start running on June 28, 2015, but pushed back to July 13, 2015; it does not include a major change in stops.

The ninth corridor, and the second for Brooklyn, is the B46 on Utica Avenue. When implemented, the local and Select Bus Service route of the B46 changed northern terminals to improve reliability. Originally planned for implementation in fall 2015, it was instituted on July 3, 2016. The tenth corridor, and the second for Queens, is the Q5 limited bus route between Jamaica and Rosedale LIRR Station, which began on November 29, 2015. On September 25, 2016, the eleventh corridor (twelfth route overall) and the third for Queens, the Q70, was rebranded as the "LaGuardia Link" and became a SBS route. As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 is wrapped in a light blue scheme with clouds and airplanes in order to encourage more people to use public transportation when using the airport. This marked MTA Bus's first SBS route.

The M23, the twelfth corridor (thirteenth route) and the fifth in Manhattan, became a Select Bus Service route on November 6, 2016 with dedicated bus lanes and countdown clocks at some stops, replacing M23 local service at the cost of $1.7 million. The M79 became an SBS route on May 21, 2017, with the installation of bus lanes along its route. The Bx6, after the completion of bus lanes and widened sidewalks, became an SBS route on September 3, 2017. Local service was replaced by an expansion of the Bx46 route. This is the third route for the Bronx. Select Bus Service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards will be implemented on the Q52 and Q53 routes in fall 2017. The B82 Limited will be replaced by SBS in 2018. Bus lanes will be installed in conjunction with Vision Zero improvements, such as additional crosswalks and pedestrian islands.

All current SBS corridors are enforced by cameras restricting non-buses in these lanes on weekdays where the bus lane is curbside, with the bus lanes marked by red paint. Where the bus lane is an offset lane (that is, one lane away from the curb), non-bus traffic is restricted at all times except for emergencies.

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