Bus Rapid Transit on Woodhaven Blvd

February 18th, 2014

Good news for Queens residents in areas underserved by subway and rapid transit. Since 2008 New York City’s Select Bus Service (SBS) has reduced travel time along seven routes implemented to date. For years, Woodhaven Blvd has been a top prospect for SBS, and now, according to the New York State DOT Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-18 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) report, planing appears to be underway. (link to pdf) The project is laid out over a 5 year period. Total project cost is stated as between $9.5-15.5 million and funding has been allocated (page 276). According to this report it appears the preliminary design began in Spring 2013, the detailed design will begin Spring 2014 and construction could begin January 2015.

In addition to reducing travel time for millions of New Yorkers, comprehensive plans for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Corridors (which includes SBS service) provide opportunities for improving quality of life for the communities adjacent to them. Sure, BRT on Woodhaven Blvd can help Queens residents get to work in less time, but let’s not forget about those who live en route.

In December 2013, the Pratt Center for Community Development published a report advocating for Full Featured  BRT in eight corridors in areas where it is “physically feasible and would help now” support underserved populations.

According to the Pratt Center, “BRT would not only provide fast and reliable service, but would make  would make wide streets safer for riders, drivers, and pedestrians, and would support the added commercial and residential density needed to keep local retail attractive and competitive.”

Of those eight corridors listed in the report Woodhaven Blvd is tied for first, based on criteria cited on p. 24

Read the full report Here.

Research for this article by Anna Hellman

Map of proposed BRT corridors by the Pratt Center