Today’s news:

Fordham Rd./Pel. Pkwy. Select Bus Service starts

With the new, faster Select Bus Service scheduled to begin soon across the Bx12 limited bus line, from Inwood to Co-op City, many straphangers are wondering how the new arrangement will change the way surface transit works in the Bronx.

The change to pre-paid service for travelers on the Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road route commences on June 29.

MTA NYC Transit is putting the final touches on new bus shelters and off-board fare collection kiosks along the current limited bus route.

 “Select Bus Service has the capacity to completely alter the way our customers view their bus trips,” noted MTA CEO Elliot Sander. “With Select Bus Service, we envision significant savings in travel times.”

Under SBS, a fare payment will be made prior to boarding the bus through vending machines at “stations” along the line. Initially, a MetroCard or cash will be required.  Customers will be issued a receipt, which must be displayed upon request by enforcement personnel aboard buses.

Using this fare payment method reduces the time a bus must remain stopped and allows customers to board either the front or rear door without stopping at the fare box.

SBS buses will also use of Traffic Signal Prioritization, which holds a green signal by several seconds to allow a bus through an intersection without stopping, or expedites changing a red signal back to green when a bus is approaching.

The cross-town Bx12 SBS route, which begins at Broadway and 207th Street in Upper Manhattan, stops at the Bronx Zoo, Fordham Plaza, Grand Concourse, Jerome Avenue, University Avenue, and Cedar Avenue on Fordham Road and White Plains Road, Williamsbridge Road, Eastchester Road, and Pelham Bay Park at Pelham Parkway before terminating at the Bay Plaza Mall Terminal in Co-op City. During the summer, Bx12 Select Bus Service will expand to Orchard Beach.

 “Some of the stops will be located in different places than the local service,” said Fernando Tirado, district manager for Community Board 7. “I think initially this may confuse some travelers, but the MTA is looking for volunteer ambassadors to facilitate a smooth transition on June 29.”

The amount of miles dedicated solely to bus traffic along the route will also be increased, from 1.5 to 3 miles of lanes on Fordham Road. Bus lanes will be included in the reconstruction project of Pelham Parkway, scheduled to begin in 2009.

NYC Transit, NYPD and DOT will work to keep bus lanes clear of traffic, ensuring the free-flow of buses along SBS routes.

These new efforts will speed up trips for the 42,000 passengers every weekday that uses the BX12 line.

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