DOT plans 96th Street bus lanes ahead of congestion pricing

The improvements are part of a broader effort by the DOT, which is working on 27 projects ahead of the congestion pricing launch in June.

Edric Robinson

May 23, 2024, 10:40 PM

Updated 27 days ago

Share:

As New York City gears up for the upcoming congestion pricing program, the Department of Transportation is rolling out plans to improve bus service on 96th Street. The proposal includes a dedicated bus lane aimed at speeding up the M96 and M106 buses, which currently average just 4 mph during peak hours.
"The goal is to make them faster," said Ydanis Rodriguez, commissioner of the DOT. The new bus lane is expected to positively impact both routes, enhancing overall transit efficiency.
The improvements are part of a broader effort by the DOT, which is working on 27 projects ahead of the congestion pricing launch in June. "We are expanding our bus lanes and bike lanes to make it easier for individuals to come to the central business district of Manhattan and get around it," Rodriguez added.
The DOT reports that over 15,000 daily riders use the M96 and M106 routes. The proposal will reduce the current two general traffic lanes in each direction to one, adding an offset bus lane. Other plans include creating left turn bays to reduce traffic conflicts, extending bus stops and adding new queue jump signals to give buses a head start and bypass traffic.
"This proposal will be helpful because this is a slower bus route," said Beatrice Clarke, a regular rider. "We have to wait a while until a bus shows up, especially at night."
However, not everyone is convinced. "I don’t think it’s going to help," said Selina Hernandez, another rider. "I think it’s going to add to traffic, and I’m speaking as both a driver and a bus rider."
In addition to the DOT's efforts, the MTA is boosting express bus service on six key routes. The agency is adding three peak buses to its fleet and recently purchased 15 buses from New Jersey Transit for $100,000, primarily for maintenance parts.
"We’re ready for this moment," Rodriguez said. "After June 30, congestion pricing will be happening in New York City."
Local community boards will review the dedicated bus lane plans this spring, with implementation targeted for this summer.


More from News 12