Yesterday, the city rolled out its second Select Bus Service to replace the M15 Limited, the first having replaced the old Bx12. The bus will run in exclusive traffic lanes and requires riders to pay at the curb so nobody holds up the bus while trying to remember in which pocket their MetroCard is hiding. Mayor Bloomberg was among the first passengers, and told the Daily News, "We're really rolling out the red carpet for bus riders." However, the carpet had some kinks.
Shaunté Miller told the Times that she was surprised to find she couldn't swipe her MetroCard onboard, and was informed the ticket machine had run out of paper when she went to buy her $2.25 fare. A worker told her the bus driver wouldn't care, but she worried about the $100 fine she could get for not having a ticket. The driver did care, wouldn't accept her MetroCard, and told her to go back and get a receipt. She said, "It ended up holding up the bus. I’d rather swipe my card than do all that. I think it’s asking for more problems."
Riders do not have to show their tickets unless asked, but officials plan tough enforcement to make sure no one abuses the honor system. They also plan to use cameras to catch drivers parked in the designated bus lanes and to install special sensors on the buses to prompt traffic lights to stay green longer. If all that happens and riders can actually get tickets, the East Side line could be 20% faster. Rider Yohannes Haile said, "Subway during rush hour? God help us all. You’re pretty much in somebody’s armpit," and said of the bus service, "it could be a game-changer."