Select Bus Service is coming to 14th Street in Manhattan, as the MTA and the DOT try to ease commuters into the reality that come April 2019, the L train into Manhattan will not exist, and the street will have to turn into a bus corridor.
The new SBS will debut on January 6th, 2019, making five stops between First and 10th Avenues, and supplementing the existing M14A and M14D bus service. Once L train service is suspended between Bedford Avenue and Eighth Avenue for 15 months of tunnel repair work, the M14 will become the busiest bus line in America, at one bus per minute, according to an MTA release.
“We had planned Select Bus Service for 14th Street long before the announcement of the L train’s disruption, but now with more than 50,000 additional daily riders expected to move above ground along 14th Street, the need for SBS here is even more urgent,” Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in the release.
Once the shutdown begins, cars will be barred from 14th Street from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. The SBS route will also serve the new ferry terminal at Stuyvesant Cove.
According to an environmental study released by the MTA on Tuesday, the 14th Street busway will decrease the expected delays caused by the shutdown by 51 percent, as opposed to doing nothing (which some residents of the area have suggested).
These tables show the breakdown of how the L train's riders will get to where they need to go.
Meanwhile, the MTA/DOT predict that an extra 500 vehicles will attempt to use the Williamsburg Bridge when the L train shuts down. "Note that this is likely a conservative estimate since 500 is less than 2 percent of current AM peak-hour L ridership across the river," the report reads.
Their traffic models also don't include the recent surge in for-hire-vehicles, though they attempt to correct for this by looking at how FHV usage decreased on the East Side of Manhattan after the opening of the Second Avenue Subway.
The agencies posit that restricting the Williamsburg Bridge to trucks, HOV-3 vehicles, and the new Brooklyn-to-Manhattan bus service, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. will keep traffic flowing.