After the commencement of Select Bus Service on Fordham Road this summer, many at the western end of the route were perplexed at the loss of the Sedgwick Avenue stop on what was the Bx12 Limited. Now the stop on the westbound Fordham Road SBS at Sedgwick Avenue has been restored, with a new stop at Loring Place and Fordham Road.
In the summer, Assemblyman Jose Rivera and Community Board 7 held a public meeting where residents of Sedgwick Avenue were uhappy that their stop on the bus route had been eliminated.
“The restoration of the bus stop began with a meeting with Assemblyman Rivera, the Fordham Hill Cooperative and other tenants groups who voiced their concerns,” said district manager Fernando Tirado. “It just goes to show that the process of working with city agencies can produce quick results. The MTA was very helpful in addressing community concerns.”
Tirado said that the MTA had conducted studies in which 89% of riders of SBS said that service had improved since the new concept in surface mass transit was implemented. In that survey, 68% of riders said that paying the fare at kiosks located on the street instead of on the bus was more convenient.
While those living in the community were happy that they were seeing their important mass transit link restored, the Fordham Road Business Improvement district, which runs from Third Avenue to Jerome Avenue, has had mixed – though mostly positive – results.
“We were involved with the DOT and MTA studies when they were looking into implementing SBS,” said Fordham Road BID deputy director Daniel Bernstein. “I think that the project is great for the ridership, but it totally eliminated 30 to 40 muni-meter spaces which can hurt some of the businesses who rely on people coming to shop in cars.”
Bernstein said that mass transit is absolutely vital for the BID, as it is how 97% of shoppers said they reach Fordham Road in a recent survey. However, the SBS service lane is often not only prevents parking on the street during regular business hours, but also initially posed challenges for businesses that needed use of the curb to receive deliveries.
“We had some issues with parking agents who issued tickets when we feel were unwarranted when SBS service first began, until we established loading areas and times when deliveries can be made,” Bernstein said. “SBS hurt some businesses which rely a lot on cars.”