After being canceled over the summer, plans for faster bus service along 125th Street are back in motion, city officials announced Friday afternoon.
A plan to bring Select Bus Service to the M60 is now scheduled to launch in April 2014. The new plan is very similar to the one scrapped in August, which some community leaders—including State Sen. Bill Perkins—said was “moving too fast” and didn’t address community concerns.
Perkins said in a statement on Friday that the project will continue “after a thorough community task force vetting.”
“I am satisfied that this is a service that will be of benefit to the community and look forward to its successful use by my constituents and the community at large,” Perkins said.
City Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito and State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who sent letters to the Department of Transportation expressing support for the project after its cancelation, are also supporting the rekindled plan.
The new version includes minor changes from the previous plan, including elongated bus stations; the installation of new streetlights; and “wayfinding” signs, which provide local maps and live bus arrival information, at bus stops. As in the earlier plan, bus-only lanes will be installed on 125th Street between Second and Lenox avenues for use by all buses, while the M60 will see reduced stops and off-board fare collection.
Democratic mayoral nominee and current frontrunner Bill de Blasio, SIPA ’87, said in June that he wanted to expand the city’s network of bus rapid transit lines from six to 20.
Barbara Askins, President of the 125th Street Business Improvement District, welcomed the changes.
“The Select Bus Service is a critical first step for developing a comprehensive Streetscape and Transportation Plan for 125th Street,” she said in a statement. “The state-of-the-art wayfinding signage and the attractive LED lights are critical aesthetic elements and amenities consistent with the BID’s goal of providing a safe, walkable environment for residents and visitors alike.”
Not everyone is happy with the plan’s revival. Community Board 10 chair Henrietta Lyle told DNAinfo on Saturday that her board wasn’t asked for approval.
“Community Board 10 was not asked to approve this. We were told it was happening,” she said in the article. “I don’t have any position on this right now except that DOT is doing what they planned to do all along. It’s not about getting support from the community.”