Transit advocates on Tuesday rallied in support of a busway on Fordham Road that would restrict drivers from traveling through the corridor.
“The bus lanes here, they’re unmaintained, they’re casually ignored, the paint is barely there anymore. We definitely need to improve Fordham Road in some way for bus service,” said Derrick Holmes, digital strategist at the Riders Alliance.
Officials with local Business Improvement Districts and iconic institutions like The Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden agree. But they oppose the busway, arguing in a May letter to the mayor that it would make traffic worse on the side streets and make it tougher for car-driving customers from getting to businesses.
The Business Improvement District leaders say the city should instead focus on repainting the existing bus lane and do a better job at keeping drivers out of it — before putting a busway.
Joel Ney, who takes the Bx12 almost every day to see his mother in the bronx, complained about slow bus speeds
“During the day, very slow. Very, very slow. Extremely slow,” Ney said.
He’s for a busway.
“We’re often times simply standing, so I don’t know what’s going on in the front or the back,” Ney said. “And it’s not traffic accidents. It’s just such a major thruway for all sorts of vehicles.”
These bus lanes on Fordham Road were installed in 2008 and the average speed of a Bx12 bus was nine miles an hour, but over the years that speed has declined to seven and a half miles an hour as of 2019. In some parts of Fordham Road, the bus crawls slower than four miles an hour.
As the buses got slower, fewer people took them.
In some parts of Fordham Road, the bus crawls slower than four miles an hour.
Instead of a busway, the DOT is now considering a plan to create in each direction one parking and loading lane near the curb, an offset bus lane, and a travel lane.
An MTA official at the rally touted the improvements to bus service a busway can make.
“The MTA stands ready to reap the benefits of having a longterm busway,” Shanifah Rieara, the MTA’s acting chief customer officer, said. “Our goal, of course, is to get our customers moving from one point to the other in a faster and more reliable way.”
A DOT spokesman argued that a new curbside parking and loading lane Road would keep bus lanes clear for 85,000 daily bus riders on Fordham Road.