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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 to run under the SBS branding was the Bx12 along Fordham Road and the Pelham Parkway. As of July 2015, there are eight SBS routes along seven corridors, as well as one nearly-complete corridor; three SBS corridors in Queens and Brooklyn are planned for later implementation.

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 (namely the M100, M101, Bx15, Q19).  The eighth Select Bus Service corridor, and the fourth in Manhattan, is 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; the M86 route will not include a major change in stops.

The tenth corridor, and the second for Brooklyn, was planned for the B46 on Utica Avenue. When implemented, the local and Select Bus Service route of the B46 will change northern terminals to improve reliability. Originally planned for implementation in fall 2015, it was instituted on July 3rd, 2016. The eleventh corridor, and the second for Queens, began on the Q5 route between Jamaica and the Rosedale LIRR station, replacing Limited service on November 29, 2015. Select Bus Service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards is currently being studied for the Q52, Q53 routes. In September 2016, the Q70 will be rebranded as the "LaGuardia Link" and would become a SBS route with the usage of off-board payment of fares. As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 will be wrapped in a light blue scheme with clouds and airplanes. The rebranding should encourage more people to use public transportation when using the airport. The M23 is also slated to become a Select Bus Service route in fall 2016 with dedicated bus lanes and countdown clocks at some stops, replacing M23 local service at the cost of $1.7 million.

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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