Last week I took an MTA bus for the first time in a few years and was reminded how slow it is to get anywhere by bus in nyc. It seemed to take forever to go even a few stops and let’s not mention how late I was to meet my friend for dinner.
Then yesterday I came across this article about NYC’s plans to improve the bus system. The article confirms my thoughts from last week and reports that the average speed of a nyc bus is 7 mph. At 1.9 million daily bus rides that’s a whole bunch of frustrated New Yorkers.
The city has focused on changes in the past – designating more ‘bus only’ lanes, incentivizing deliveries to happen late night, etc. But what I found to be the most interesting part of their new strategy is the use of a software/hardware combo that should increase those speeds (and relieve some frustrations).
“Transit Signal Priority, or TSP, is a combination of software and hardware that enables traffic signals to switch or remain green when a city bus is approaching — giving the “priority” to public transit over regular vehicles, and allowing them to better adhere to timely schedules.”
Implementing TSP will definitely take a lot of work on the city’s part. Navigating the various traffic patterns is likely to be very complex but it should mean that travelers are able to get to their destination a little quicker.
Now here’s hoping they can find a solution for the subways.