While I was in New York to talk with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg about efforts to restore transportation disrupted by Sandy, I also had the opportunity to celebrate a transit project that sets its sights squarely on the future, the Nostrand Avenue Select Bus Service (SBS).
Mayor Bloomberg and I were happy to watch Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan sign a $28.3 million grant agreement that will help construct this 9.3 mile bus rapid transit line in Brooklyn. The grant will cover 71 percent of the total cost of the $40.2 million project.
The line will run in a dedicated bus lane primarily along Nostrand Avenue and will feature traffic signal priority, 17 paired stations, and off-board fare collection to speed up the ride. The buses will boast three doors for getting on and off, and will be low to the ground for easier boarding. The route will extend from the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to the north all the way to Sheepshead Bay toward the south. Along the way, it will pass through the densely populated communities of Prospect Park and Flatbush.
These enhancements promise to be a marked improvement over the current B44 bus line in speed, convenience, and reliability. That's good news for the 44,000 people who ride the B44 each day, and it's also good news for those who don't ride the B44 because they find it too slow or unpredictable.
"The Nostrand Avenue BRT will offer commuters and others a real choice to get to where they need to go,” said Administrator Rogoff.
DOT will continue to coordinate with our state and local partners to get the entire New York region back on its feet. But we also know that the Nostrand SBS will bring badly needed improved service to those traveling to work, school and other activities. So, even as we work to recover from the devastation of Sandy, it's important to get this project's construction started.
The future won't wait, and the Obama Administration continues moving America forward by making critical investments to expand transit options in the communities that want it.