New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is hoping to gain ridership on its under-utilized bus service by adding more busses, restoring old bus routes that had been cut during 2010 budget cuts and by the addition of new bus routes.
New routes are also needed to meet the increase in demand from several fast-growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn and on Manhattan’s far west side. Out on Long Island more trains are being added to provide for the increased ridership to Long Island’s eastern shores at night and on weekends.
According to officials from the Transit Authority, use of the subway has grown so much in recent years that it just about matches the high levels of ridership that existed back in the 50s. Evenings and weekend usage is responsible for a large percentage of that growth. Metro-North Railroad is coming close to reaching a record high number of rides in 2012 at about 85 million.
Chairman of the MTA, Joseph Lhota said last week that the funding for the additional service will come from the increased revenues brought in by the surge in usage which will take place over the next few months. Lhota also warned commuters that the increased revenues will not prevent the planned fare and toll increases in 2013. The increased revenue from fare hikes amounting to about $450 million will be used to cover certain discretionary costs such as pensions and health care.
Five new bus routes are being planned. One will service Manhattan’s far west side covering the West Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and Clinton. Brooklyn will receive three new routes: From downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and the Brooklyn Navy Yard; another along the Williamsburg waterfront; and a third route for those that live in Spring Creek.