Brooklyn Boro

Jay Street Busway now made permanent

November 19, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The much-heralded Jay Street Busway in Downtown Brooklyn has now been made permanent, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman announced Friday as part of the mayor’s “City Hall in Your Borough: Brooklyn” series of events.

Piloted in August 2020 as the first step of the Better Buses Restart programs, the Jay Street busway serves 47,000 riders on seven different MTA bus routes. DOT data from the first year of operation shows buses have increased speeds by 47 percent.

The Jay Street busway serves MTA buses on the B26, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65 and B67 routes. It operates on a five-block section of Jay Street between Tillary Street and Livingston Street, where only buses and trucks are now permitted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Local access for cars is allowed, but cars must enter from side streets. Bus-lane restrictions are enforced by automated bus-lane cameras, both stationary and positioned on MTA buses.
This section of Jay Street, although short, is extremely important for the borough because it flanks the state courthouse building, the District Attorney’s Office, MetroTech Center, NYU Tandon engineering school, the New York City retirement office, one of the entrances to the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge and more.

DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. Eagle file photo

“Downtown Brooklyn deserves better bus service, and the Jay Street busway has already improved commutes for thousands of residents, workers, and students who rely on it every day. It’s time to make it permanent – and build on this progress to make public transit faster, safer, and more reliable for riders in every borough,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“Forty-seven thousand of our fellow New Yorkers are enjoying faster, more reliable bus rides because of this busway,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “We’re transforming Downtown Brooklyn, getting cars out of the picture and focusing on our sustainable transportation future, transit and cycling.”

Brooklyn’s Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. Photo by Susannah Pasquantonio

“The Jay Street Busway has significantly improved bus speeds along that bustling roadway since its implementation last year,” said MTA New York City Transit Interim President Craig Cipriano. “The tens of thousands of riders who use this busy route will continue to benefit from the bus lanes that have now been made permanent, allowing people to get to their destination at a much faster pace than before.”

Since 2020, the city has also expanded the program to 181st Street in Manhattan, Main Street in Flushing and along Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue in Downtown Jamaica. Combined, these new busways serve more than half a million riders every day.

Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Photo by Julienne Schaer

“Making the Jay Street Busway permanent is terrific news for Brooklyn’s transit passengers. So many of us use this busway every day to access the educational, business, medical, and cultural areas of Downtown Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, who represents the area. “I am so pleased that this faster, reliable, and sustainable service with accessible options for older adults and people with disabilities is permanently part of our transit system.”

“The Jay Street busway is a great example of how we can reclaim our streets for transit that is more efficient, more sustainable, and safer than single-occupancy vehicles can ever be,” said Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “The busway complements our vision for Downtown Brooklyn’s public realm by prioritizing people and the environment, and we look forward to seeing more transformative city-led projects coming our way.”

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