Brooklyn Boro

These two professors want to revolutionize Brooklyn’s bus routes

October 15, 2018 By Sara Bosworth Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn bus map. Photo courtesy of the MTA
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Two scholars at NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management have developed a daring new plan for Brooklyn’s bus service, which they say would bring ridership to its highest peak yet and save the transportation network from collapse.

Dr. Alon Levy and Dr. Eric Goldwyn have introduced in a story in New York Magazine, a three-pronged approach to improvement, which would finally allow New Yorkers to “plan their day around the bus, confident that it will get them to work, school, or a doctor’s appointment on time.”

The first step — and the most critical one, according to the pair —  is to redesign the borough’s most congested roadways, such as Flatbush, Church and Nostrand avenues. The bus lane would move from the gutter to the center of the road, allowing buses to avoid bikes, double parked cars and other moving vehicles, as well as avoiding getting caught behind cars turning right.

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Step two involves prioritizing key streets and intersections to allow as much access as possible without having too many routes. Their research has found that that the space between bus stops in Brooklyn is much smaller than in other cities. Most cities have between one third and one quarter mile stretches between stops, whereas Brooklyn buses stop average one every 720 feet. Putting more space between each stop would allow buses to travel faster, without so many stops.

Third, Levy and Goldwyn suggest combining some routes and cutting others altogether so that intervals between arriving buses will shrink. Instead of a bus coming every 10 to 20 minutes, their plan outlines a system where a bus arrives at least every 6 minutes.

The duo points out that they would need a daring mayor to sign on to such a plan, one willing to “embrace a bold vision for change.”


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