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A New York MTA bus drives down Broadway in April 2021. Pre-pandemic, the city operated the largest — and slowest — bus network in the US. Now it’s trying to pick up the pace.

A New York MTA bus drives down Broadway in April 2021. Pre-pandemic, the city operated the largest — and slowest — bus network in the US. Now it’s trying to pick up the pace.

Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg
CityLab
Transportation

How New York City Plans to Speed Up its Buses

Armed with new technology and redesigned routes, New York has restarted a service improvement campaign that aims to lure riders back to a long-beleaguered bus system. 

As the evening rush arrived in downtown Flushing, Queens, buses were everywhere. The thoroughfare hosts 11 northbound routes, which meet the terminus of the 7 line, one of the easternmost subway stops. Traveling past this point sans car? You’re probably taking the bus. 

Pre-pandemic, traffic here was so thick that people walked faster than the buses, which crawled through traffic at an average of 5 miles per hour. (When I used to take the Q19 here, I’d hop off two stops early to avoid this.)