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14th Street busway finally set to get moving today


After two litigation-related delays, the 14th Street Busway finally makes its debut today.

Last Friday, a panel of judges from New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division overturned an Aug. 9 (Lawsuit No. 2) ruling to block the busway, as Streetsblog first reported.

Here’s a quickie overview via the DOT:

6 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Buses and trucks only between Ninth Avenue and Third Avenue. All other vehicles may make local trips, but must turn at the next available right.

10 p.m. to 6 a.m.: All vehicles may make through trips along the corridor.

This DOT link has more information about the busway, which is expected to be an 18-month pilot program.

The city will install onboard bus-lane-enforcement cameras along the M14 routes this fall. However, DOT officials said that they won’t start issuing tickets for another 60 days.

Streetsblog had more on the enforcement yesterday:

Stationary enforcement cameras on every block to catch drivers blocking bus lanes and for failing to exit 14th Street at the first available right turn after their pickup or drop-off. Those $50 tickets — rising by $50 to a maximum of $250 for every infraction in the same 12-month period — also won’t be issued for 60 days.

As for more backstory: In late June, right before the new busway was to launch on July 1, a coalition of block associations filed a last-minute lawsuit to block the project, arguing that the city failed to complete the proper environmental review for the work. (Lawsuit No. 1!)

The busway was originally to coincide with the arrival of the new M14 Select Bus Service, which debuted on July 1 featuring off-board fare payments and all-door boarding… all in an effort to speed up the notoriously sluggish M14 line during the L-train slowdown.

DOT officials said they hope to improve M14 travel time by up to 30 percent on a corridor that’s one of the slowest in the city.

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