Select Bus Service

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Select Bus Service
Select Bus Service logo.png
New York City Transit NovaBus LFS 1254 M15 SBS.JPG
An M15 Select Bus Service bus operates through the Lower East Side, bound for South Ferry.
Founded 2008
Locale New York City, New York, United States
Service type Bus rapid transit
  • 17 bus routes
  • 15 corridors
  • (22 proposed)
Destinations Bronx (3 routes):
Bx6: Washington HeightsHunts Point
Bx12: InwoodBay Plaza
Bx41: The HubWilliamsbridge
Brooklyn (2 routes):
B44: WilliamsburgSheepshead Bay
B46: Bedford-StuyvesantKings Plaza
Manhattan (7 routes):
M15: East HarlemSouth Ferry
M23: Chelsea PiersEast Side
M34: West SideEast Side
M34A: P. A. Bus Term.Waterside Plaza
M60: Upper West SideLaguardia Airpt.
M79: Upper West SideUpper East Side
M86: Upper West SideYorkville
Queens (4 routes):
Q44: Bronx ZooJamaica
Q52: ElmhurstArverne
Q53: WoodsideRockaway Park
Q70: WoodsideLaGuardia Airport
Staten Island (1 route):
S79: Staten Island MallBay Ridge
Stations 261
Fleet S79: Daimler Orion VII
B46 & Q70: New Flyer XD40
Q44 & Q52/Q53: New Flyer XD60
Bx6: New Flyer XN40
M23, M34/M34A, M60, M79 & M86: Nova Bus LFS Artic and New Flyer XD60
Bx12, Bx41, B44 & M15: Nova Bus LFS Artic
Operator MTA Bus & MTA New York City Bus
Website MTA website • DOT website

Select Bus Service (SBS; stylized on the buses as +selectbusservice) is a brand used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's MTA Regional Bus Operations for bus rapid transit service in New York City. SBS began service in 2008 in order to improve speed and reliability on long, busy corridors.

SBS routes use vehicle-segregated, camera-enforced bus lanes; sidewalk extensions for bus stops; relatively large distances between stops; vehicular turn restrictions along corridors; and next-bus travel information screens. The first route was the Bx12 along Fordham Road and the Pelham Parkway; as of November 2017, seventeen SBS routes run along fifteen corridors. Several more corridors are proposed for Select Bus Service, with one route planned for implementation in 2018, and twenty-one more routes proposed through 2027.



In 2002, Schaller Consulting conducted a study on potential bus rapid transit services in New York City.[1][2] In 2004, the MTA in conjunction with the New York City Department of Transportation and New York State Department of Transportation, performed an initial study on bus rapid transit, with 80 corridors studied citywide.[2][3][4] In late 2004, the MTA identified five corridors for implementation of bus rapid transit, one in each of the five boroughs: the Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway corridor in the Bronx, First Avenue and Second Avenue in Manhattan, Merrick Boulevard in Queens, Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, and Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Four bus priority corridors were also identified for implementation or expansion (three in Manhattan, one in the Bronx): Madison Avenue (expansion), Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, and Webster Avenue.[4][5][6][7][8] The Merrick Boulevard corridor was eventually scrapped because of community opposition related to loss of parking.[9][10][11] However, the corridor is being considered again as part of the Bus Forward study in 2017.[12]

The Select Bus Service program was unveiled to the public on March 25, 2008.[13][14] At the time of the announcement, the MTA and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg had stated that implementation on other corridors was contingent on the passage of congestion pricing, which ultimately did not make it for a vote in the legislature.


The first Select Bus Service corridor, on the Bx12 along 207th Street, Fordham Road, and Pelham Parkway, was placed into service on June 29, 2008.[15] The next line, the M15, saw Select Service begin on October 10, 2010 after the delivery of new low-floor buses.[16][17] The M34/M34A line was started on November 13, 2011. Initially, a 34th Street busway was planned that would require eliminating 34th Street as a through street, but it was dropped in favor of the standard SBS model.[18] The B44 Rogers/Bedford/Nostrand Avenues bus route, the fifth Select Bus Service corridor in the city, was implemented on November 17, 2013 after the arrival of new fare machines. The S79 Hylan Boulevard/Richmond Avenue route, initially slated to be converted to SBS in 2013, was moved up to September 2, 2012; the local equivalents of the S79 route are the S78 and S59 buses.[19] A sixth corridor, the second for the Bronx, began service on the Bx41 Webster Avenue route on June 30, 2013; this route was the first "Phase II" SBS route to begin service (the existing corridors plus the B44 comprise Phase I). Another Select Bus Service route on Webster Avenue, which will be extended to run between LaGuardia Airport and Fordham Plaza alongside the local Bx41 route, is proposed for later implementation.[5][8][9][20]

A seventh corridor, and the third for Manhattan, the M60 125th StreetTriborough BridgeAstoria Boulevard bus route to LaGuardia Airport, was converted to SBS on May 25, 2014; local service was replaced by other routes running alongside the route of the M60 (the M100, M101, Bx15, and Q19).[21] An eighth Select Bus Service route was planned in the 2014–2017 Financial Plan.[22] The eighth Select Bus Service corridor (ninth route overall), and the fourth in Manhattan, was for the M86 running on 86th Street, which was originally scheduled to start running on June 28, 2015, but pushed back to July 13, 2015; it does not include a major change in stops.[23]

The ninth corridor, and the second for Brooklyn, is the B46 on Utica Avenue. When implemented, the local and Select Bus Service route of the B46 changed northern terminals to improve reliability. Originally planned for implementation in fall 2015, it was instituted on July 3, 2016.[24] The tenth corridor, and the first for Queens, is the Q44 limited bus route running on East 177th Street (the Cross Bronx Expressway service road) and Main Street, which began on November 29, 2015. Selected stops in the Bronx were combined into much busier stops for faster service, and some stops in Queens have been replaced by the Q20A/B local routes. As both the Q20 branches do not enter the Bronx and the Q44 ran local late nights only, the Q44 gained 24/7 SBS service between the Bronx Zoo and Jamaica. The Q20A replaced the Q44 local in Queens late nights.[25]

On September 25, 2016, the eleventh corridor (twelfth route overall) and the second for Queens, the Q70, was rebranded as the "LaGuardia Link" and became a SBS route. As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 is wrapped in a light blue scheme with clouds and airplanes in order to encourage more people to use public transportation when using the airport. This marked MTA Bus's first SBS route, as well as the second for Queens and the eleventh overall.[26][27][28] The M23, the twelfth corridor (thirteenth route) and the fifth in Manhattan, became a Select Bus Service route on November 6, 2016 with dedicated bus lanes and countdown clocks at some stops, replacing M23 local service at the cost of $1.7 million.[28][29] The M79 became an SBS route on May 21, 2017,[30] with the installation of bus lanes along its route.[31][32] The Bx6, after the completion of bus lanes and widened sidewalks, became an SBS route on September 3, 2017. It will supplement the local service by stopping at high ridership stops. This is the third route for the Bronx.[33][34] Select Bus Service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards was implemented on the Q52 and Q53 routes on November 12, 2017.[35][36] The B82 SBS in Summer 2018. Bus lanes will be installed in conjunction with Vision Zero improvements, such as additional crosswalks and pedestrian islands.[37]

All current SBS corridors are enforced by cameras restricting non-buses in these lanes on weekdays where the bus lane is curbside, with the bus lanes marked by red paint. Where the bus lane is an offset lane (that is, one lane away from the curb), non-bus traffic is restricted at all times except for emergencies.[8]

Current routes[edit]

Currently, SBS operates seventeen different bus lines on fifteen different corridors. By order of implementation, SBS was placed on the Bx12, M15, M34, M34A, S79, Bx41, B44, M60, M86, Q44, B46, Q70, M23, M79, Bx6, Q52 and Q53 routes. SBS replaced nearly-identical limited-stop service on the Bx12, M15, Bx41, B44, Q44, B46, Q70, Q52 and Q53 where corresponding local bus service still operates (except on the Q44, whose nighttime local variant was eliminated and replaced with the full-time SBS route, and the Q70, which had no local equivalent before the conversion). The Bx6 SBS was split from the Bx6 local, which had no limited-stop variant prior to SBS implementation on that route. For the other routes, all service was converted from local to SBS, and numerous local stops were combined or omitted. The Bx12, M15, M34, M34A, S79, Bx41, B44, B46, Bx6, and Q52 routes run the whole day, while the M60, M86, Q44, Q70, M23, M79, and Q53 routes run at all times.


The Bx12 Limited was the first route to be converted into a Select Bus Service line, the Bx12 SBS. It was placed into service on June 29, 2008 replacing limited stop service with SBS on this line. Both Bx12 Select Bus Service and Bx12 local are based out of the Gun Hill Bus Depot. During late nights, the corridor is served by the Bx12 local service, which operates 24/7.[38]

A geographically correct map of the Bx12 Select Bus Service route, showing all stations and connections. The route is in light blue.


A geographically correct map of the M15 Select Bus Service, showing all stations and connections. The route is shown in turquoise.
Articulated bus, used on M15 SBS route, on its south terminus.

The M15 Limited became the M15 SBS on October 10, 2010, which replaced limited stop service with SBS on this line.

Southbound transfers from the M15 SBS require walking south to the corresponding streets and vice versa. Originally based out of the 126th Street Bus Depot, since January 2015, M15 Select Bus Service is based out of the Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot, while the M15 local is based out of the Tuskegee Airmen Bus Depot.

M34 and M34A[edit]

The M34 SBS and M34A SBS routes began on November 13, 2011.[41] These are considered by the MTA as two SBS services, the M34 34th Street Crosstown and the former M16 route, which was renamed the M34A; the routes share a single corridor.[42][43] Originally, a provision of this corridor was planned to create a special "Busway" which would have seen both the M34 and M34A SBS lines run along 34th Street in a special two-lane corridor with vehicular traffic travelling in only one direction (westbound after 6th Avenue/Broadway; eastbound after 5th Avenue), this was eventually scrapped and replaced with curbside and offset bus lanes along 34th Street with bus bulbs at selected bus stops. The stops are listed below from west to east. Alternate M34 SBS trips began originating/terminating at Waterside Plaza with the M34A SBS on September 3, 2017.[44]

This service used non-articulated Orion 7 hybrid-electric buses between November 2011 and early April 2013, when they were replaced by the articulated buses found on the majority of the other SBS routes.[45] The M34 and M34A are both based in the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot.

M34 & M34A Select Bus Service
12th Ave – Javits Center
11th Ave
Hudson Park Boulevard
10th Ave
Dyer Ave
Port Authority
Bus Terminal
(43rd St / 8th Ave)
Port Authority
42nd St / 9th Ave
Bus Terminal
40th St / 8th Ave
39th St / 9th Ave
37th St / 8th Ave
9th Ave
8th Ave
7th Ave
6th Ave
5th Ave
Park Ave
3rd Ave
2nd Ave
1st Ave
East Side – FDR Drive
29th St / FDR Dr
28th St / 2nd Ave
Waterside Plaza
23rd St / 2nd Ave
23rd St / Ave C
23rd St & 1st Ave


An S79 SBS bus at the Staten Island Mall.
S79 Select Bus Service
Staten Island Mall
Marsh Avenue
Ring Road
Ring Road
Richmond Avenue – Yukon Avenue
Eltingville Transit Center
Genesee Avenue
Eltingville Boulevard
Richmond Avenue / Hylan Boulevard
Hylan Boulevard / Winchester Avenue
Nelson Avenue
Bay Terrace
Buffalo Street
Guyon Avenue
Tysens Lane
Ebbitts Street
New Dorp Lane
Midland Avenue
Seaview Avenue
Old Town Road / Quintard Street
Clove Road
Narrows Road
Fingerboard Road
Verrazano Narrows Bridge
92 Street – Fort Hamilton Parkway
Bay Ridge – 86th Street

The S79 SBS route began on September 2, 2012. While the routing was left mostly intact, the S79 had all local service eliminated and replaced by local service on the S59 route along Richmond Avenue and the S78 route along Hylan Boulevard. The route was also straightened through New Springville to bypass the Yukon Bus Depot.[46][47] This route uses rigid 40-foot Orion VII hybrid-electric diesel buses, and is the only SBS line that does not utilize off-board fare collection. Additionally, it was the only SBS line in the 5 boroughs that did not use 60-foot articulated buses before the B46 SBS was introduced as well as the only SBS line to not have blue destination signs until July 2017. Riders must pay the fare on board, as they do on local, limited-stop, and express buses.[47] The S79 Select Bus Service is based out of the Yukon Bus Depot.[48]

Northbound is towards Brooklyn and southbound is towards Staten Island.


Bx41 Local and SBS
Gun Hill RoadWhite Plains Road
Gun Hill Road–Webster Avenue
205th Street
204th Street
Mosholu Parkway North
201st Street
Bedford Park Boulevard–Botanical Garden
197th Street
194th Street
Fordham Road
187th Street
183rd Street
182nd Street
180th Street
Valentine Avenue
Tremont Avenue
Cross Bronx Expressway
173rd Street
Claremont Parkway
170th Street
169th Street
168th Street
167th Street
Melrose Avenue / Park Avenue
161st Street
158th Street
156th Street
155th Street
152nd Street
The Hub – 149th/150th Streets

The Bx41 Limited, running along Webster Avenue and Melrose Avenue in the Bronx, was the first route to be converted into a Phase II Select Bus Service line.[49][50] The Bx41 SBS began service on June 30, 2013.[49][50] The stops are nearly identical to the limited service it replaced, and service was expanded from peak hours to seven days a week.[49][50][51] The stops are listed from south to north below. Both Bx41 Select Bus Service and Bx41 were originally based out of the Kingsbridge Bus Depot.[50] However, on January 8, 2017, the line was moved to Gun Hill Depot from Kingsbridge with the Bx12 local and SBS, to ease the pressure, and relieve the severe overcrowding at the Kingsbridge Bus Depot.


A map showing the B44 SBS (in light blue) with rail connections.

The B44 SBS route began on November 17, 2013, replacing the B44 Limited service with Select Bus Service. Initially planned for the end of 2011, then later the summer of 2012, the start date was pushed to November 2013 as the buses for the service did not arrive until early 2013.[52][53] Unlike other SBS routes, this service involved a significant change in route, and approximately 20 limited stops were eliminated. The elimination of the Avenue L stop, located adjacent to a school, from the SBS route, was controversial, with local elected representatives and community members starting a petition and calling for its restoration.[54][55] On February 11, 2014, just under three months since its launch, the MTA conceded to community pressure and added Avenue L and Gates Avenue to the SBS route.[56] This bus is based out of the Flatbush Bus Depot. Stops are listed from south to north.

M60 [edit]

An M60 bus in Harlem during the debut of SBS service in 2014.
M60 Select Bus Service
Broadway – 106th St
116th St 116th Street–Columbia University (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
120th St / Broadway
120th St / Amsterdam Ave
125th St / Amsterdam Ave
St. Nicholas Ave / Douglass Blvd 125th Street (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
Lenox Ave 125th Street (IRT Lenox Avenue Line)
Madison Ave
Park Ave
Lexington Ave 125th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line) MTA NYC logo.svg
2nd Ave
RFK–Triborough Bridge
31st St Astoria Boulevard (BMT Astoria Line)
Steinway St
77th St
82nd St
Ditmars Blvd
87th St
94th St
LaGuardia Airport LaGuardia Airport
Terminal A
Terminal B
Terminal C
Terminal D

The M60 operates between the Upper West Side of Manhattan and LaGuardia Airport, providing crosstown service along 125th Street in Harlem. Select Bus Service was originally scheduled to begin in mid or late 2013, but was pushed to May 25, 2014 due to community opposition, citing loss of available parking spaces along 125th Street in Manhattan.[57][58][59][60][61] Due to its status as an airport connector, buses on the route are equipped with luggage racks.[59][62]

The M60 was based out of 126th Street Depot upon implementation as a Select Bus Service route. In January 2015, the M60 moved to the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot (where most Manhattan crosstown routes are based out of) due to the closing of the 126th Street Depot. The stops are listed below, west to east; stops at the eastern end of the route, within LaGuardia Airport, are marked "Airport Stop".


An M86 SBS during the debut of SBS service in 2015.

The M86 bus, running crosstown along 86th Street in Manhattan, was identified as a potential bus rapid transit corridor in 2009.[63] The M86 SBS route debuted on July 13, 2015.[23][64] It was the fourth corridor in Manhattan and the fifth Manhattan bus line to have Select Bus Service.[65] The M86 SBS was based out of the Tuskegee Airmen Depot, but was switched to the Michael J. Quill Depot on January 7, 2018.

A geographically correct map of the M86 Select Bus Service route, showing all stations and connections. The route is in light blue, bolded.


A Jamaica bound Q44 SBS in Flushing, Queens.

In 2015, the Main Street corridor, along with the parallel Kissena/Parsons Boulevards corridor and the 164th Street corridor, was studied by the NYC Department of Transportation for the implementation of SBS between Flushing and Jamaica, Queens. The Q44 Limited route, which formerly made limited stops only during the day, was planned for conversion into a full-time bus rapid transit line, with local service continuing to be provided by the parallel Q20A/B services.[66][67][68][69]

The Q44 SBS was approved in June 2015, with no changes from the original routing, which runs between Queens and the Bronx.[67] Due to community opposition, bus lanes were only installed on a small portion of the route between Roosevelt Avenue and the Long Island Expressway in Downtown Flushing and Queensboro Hill, and on Archer Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica;[66][70][69][71] portions of the Archer Avenue lanes were installed before the implementation of SBS.[72] The route began service on November 29, 2015. The Q44 is the first Q-prefixed route to have Select Bus Service, which replaces both the Q44 late-night local and daytime limited-stop buses; local bus service in Queens is provided by the Q20A/B, while there is no local equivalent in the Bronx. The Q20A/B and the Q44 SBS are based out of the Casey Stengel Depot.[73]

Q44 Select Bus Service
West Farms SquareBronx Zoo
E 180 St/Devoe Av
Terminus from Queens
Boston Rd/E 180 St
First stop to Queens
E Tremont Av/Boston Road
Devoe Av/Wyatt St
CBE (E 177 St)/Rosedale Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Commonwealth Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Beach Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Taylor Av
Westchester Av/Virginia Av
Hugh Grant Circle/Metropolitan Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Newbold Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Pugsley Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Castle Hill Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Haviland Av
CBE (E 177 St)/Zerega Av Northbound: discharge only
Brush Av/Bruckner Blvd
Hutchinson River Parkway/Lafayette Av
Bronx–Whitestone Bridge
The Bronx
Parsons Blvd/14 Av
Parsons Blvd/20 Av
Union St/26 Av
Union St/31 Rd
Union St/Bayside Av
Union St/35 Av
Main St/38 Av
pick-up only
Main St/39 Av
Northbound: discharge only
Main St/41 Av/Kissena Boulevard
Main St/Elder Av
Main St/Booth Memorial Av
Main St/Horace Harding Expressway
Main St/63 Av/146 St/Reeves Av
Main St/Melbourne Av
Main St/Jewel Av
Main St/73 Av
Main St/Union Turnpike
Main St/139 St
Main St/Manton St
Queens Boulevard/Main St
Sutphin Blvd/Hillside Av
Sutphin Blvd/Jamaica Avenue
Archer Av/Sutphin Blvd
Jamaica Center Bus Terminal
Merrick Boulevard/Jamaica-Archer Avenues


B46 Local and SBS
WB Plaza
 B46  northern terminus
Local only
Marcy Avenue
Hooper Street
Heyward Street
Lorimer Street
Gerry Street
Thornton Street
Flushing Avenue
Park Avenue
Myrtle Avenue
Willoughby Avenue
Broadway / Malcolm X Boulevard
 B46 SBS  northern terminus
DeKalb Avenue B46 local
DeKalb Avenue B46 SBS
Lafayette Avenue
Greene Avenue
Gates Avenue
Madison Street
Halsey Street
Decatur Street
Fulton Street/Malcolm X Boulevard
Fulton Street/Utica Avenue
4 local stops
Dean Street
Prospect Place
St. Johns Place
Eastern Parkway
Carroll Street
Empire Boulevard
Midwood Street
Winthrop Street
Lenox Road
Linden Boulevard
Church Avenue
4 local stops
Snyder Avenue
Tilden Avenue
Beverly Road
Clarendon Road
Avenue D
3 local stops
Foster Avenue
Farragut Road
Glenwood Road
Avenue H
Avenue I
Avenue J
Flatlands Avenue
Avenue K
Avenue L
Avenue M
Avenue N
4 local stops
Avenue O    
Fillmore Avenue
Flatbush Avenue
Avenue T
Kings Plaza
 B46  SBS  southern terminus

The B46 line is the busiest bus route in Brooklyn and 3rd busiest in the entire city. Select Bus Service began July 3, 2016, after being originally scheduled for a fall 2015 implementation. The B46 SBS replaced the B46 Limited, making similar stops along Utica Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard. Unlike the former Limited, the B46 SBS makes limited stops south of Avenue H, and only runs between Kings Plaza and DeKalb Avenue. The B46 local was extended along Broadway to replace limited-stop service to the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza Bus Terminal at all times. Both the B46 local and Select Bus Service are based out of the Flatbush Bus Depot, as is the B44 SBS. The B46 is the second Select Bus Service in Brooklyn, and the first one to not operate during late nights since the B44 in November 2013.[24]


Q70 Select Bus Service
61st Street / Woodside
Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street
LaGuardia Airport LaGuardia Airport
Terminal B – Central Terminal
Terminal C
Terminal D

In Queens, the Q70 limited-stop bus between Woodside and LaGuardia Airport via the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station was implemented in September 2013, replacing the portion of the Q33 local bus that went to LaGuardia Airport. Although the Q70 was intended as a bus rapid transit project, it had yet to be branded as Select Bus Service and did not employ most SBS elements, as it lacked ticket machines, all-door boarding, branded buses, and dedicated bus lanes.[74][75][76] The Q70 SBS was implemented on September 25, 2016,[77][78] when it was rebranded as the "LaGuardia Link" with the implementation of off-board payment of fares. As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 is wrapped in a light blue scheme with clouds and airplanes on the top half of the bus imposed with the standard SBS livery on the lower half.[26][27][28] The Q70, based out of LaGuardia Depot, is the second Queens bus line to have Select Bus Service and the first one for MTA Bus.


The M23 route has been traditionally crowded, with 4,862,343 riders in 2010 and 3,831,755 riders in 2015, or 15,000 riders a day. In 2003, it was given the "Pokey Award" by the Straphangers Campaign, the least prestigious award given to other New York City Bus routes that also runs at a speed of 4mph;[79][80] it also got that distinction in 2007 when it also ran at an average of 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h), slightly faster than the average walking speed of 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h).[79][81] In 2009, the MTA and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) identified the M14A/D, on parallel 14th Street, as a potential corridor for Phase II of SBS, the city's bus rapid transit system, as well as finalized plans to implement SBS on the M16/M34 along the also-parallel 34th Street. The crosstown bus corridors were noted for slow travel speeds.[82] The M23 was originally not planned to be an SBS route, but in 2008, it had been part of a pilot program in which 30 articulated, redesigned SBS buses were rolled out on the M23 for some time.[83]

After lengthy consultation, the M23 was converted to SBS on November 6, 2016, replacing the identical local counterpart bus line. Unlike the former local line, the westbound stop on 5th Avenue and two bi-directional stops on Lexington Avenue will not be served by this line. The M23 is based out of the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot, as is the M34 and M34A SBS. The M23 is the fifth corridor in Manhattan and the sixth Manhattan bus line to have Select Bus Service.


A westbound M79 SBS at 81st Street and Central Park West.
M79 Select Bus Service
West Side – Riverside Dr
Amsterdam Ave
Columbus Ave / 80th St
Columbus Ave / 81st St
Central Park West / 81st St
79th Street Transverse
5th Ave
Madison Ave
Lexington Ave
3rd Ave
2nd Ave
1st Ave
York Ave
East End Ave / 79th St
Yorkville – East End Ave (80th St)

The M79 local bus route was identified as a heavily traveled corridor in a 2009 study by the DOT and NYCTA, and in a December 2013 study by the Pratt Center for Community Development of Brooklyn.[74][82] It was converted to SBS on May 21, 2017.[31][32]


The Bx6, a critical Bronx crosstown corridor, was split off into 2 different routes from the original Bx6 local on September 3, 2017. The Bx6 local continues to make all local stops along the route. The Bx6 SBS will operate a similar route as the local, but the eastbound service will match the westbound service instead of exiting the Macombs Dam Bridge to Jerome Avenue. The Bx6 SBS supplements the existing Bx6 local service, making stops at select high-ridership locations and all transfers points to Metro-North and subways. The Bx6 SBS is based out of the West Farms Bus Depot, as is the Bx6 local. It is also the third Bronx Bus line to have Select Bus Service and the first one since the Bx41 on June 30, 2013. The Bx6 is also the MTA's 15th Select Bus Service line to date.[84]

The Bx6 corridor is the first to use bus lanes in the median of the street at the E 161st Street/Sheridan-Sherman Avenues stops, as opposed to curbside or offset bus lanes. The median bus lanes supposedly speeds up traffic by going around double-parked cars.[85] Originally, a similar provision of median bus lanes was planned for the 34th Street Corridor in Manhattan. A planned "Busway" would have seen both the M34 and M34A SBS lines run along 34th Street in a special two-lane corridor with vehicular traffic travelling in only one direction (westbound after 6th Avenue/Broadway; eastbound after 5th Avenue), this was eventually scrapped and replaced with curbside and offset bus lanes along 34th Street with bus bulbs at selected bus stops (see above).

Bx6 Local and SBS
Riverside Drive West
Riverside Drive / 160th Street
Riverside Drive / 156th Street
Edward M. Morgan Place / 157th Street
Broadway / 155th Street
Amsterdam Avenue
St. Nicholas Place/Edgecomb Avenue
Seventh Avenue
Ogden Avenue / Jerome Avenue
Macombs Dam Bridge / 161st Street
River Avenue
Gerard Avenue
Sherman Avenue
Morris Avenue
Park Avenue
Melrose Avenue / 161st Street
Elton Avenue
Third Avenue / 163rd Street
Trinity Aenue
Tinton Avenue
Prospect Avenue
Westchester Avenue
Intervale Avenue
Simpson Street
Hunts Point Avenue / 163rd Street
Garrison Avenue / Seneca Avenue
Gilbert Place
Lafayette Avenue
Coster Street
Faile Street
Hunts Point Avenue / Spofford Avenue
Bryant Avenue
Spofford Avenue / Halleck Street
Food Center Drive / Halleck Street
Food Center Drive Terminal
Viele Avenue
Hunts Point Market
Ryawa Avenue
Farragut Street

Q52 and Q53[edit]

Q11, Q21, Q52 SBS, Q53 SBS
 Q53 SBS  northern terminus
61st Street / Roosevelt Avenue
75th Street / Broadway
78th Street–Baxter Avenue
Whitney Avenue
Queens Blvd / Broadway / Grand Av
 Q11  Q21  Q52 SBS  northern terminus
Woodhaven Blvd / Hoffman Dr southbound
Woodhaven Blvd / Queens Blvd
northbound (Q53)
drop-off (Q11, Q21, Q52)
Wetherole Street
61st Road–Alderton Street
62nd Road
63rd Road–Penelope Avenue
Furmanville Avenue
66th Avenue–66th Road
68th Avenue
Metropolitan Avenue
81st Road–81st Avenue
Myrtle Avenue
Forest Park Drive
85th Road
Jamaica Avenue
89th Avenue
91st Avenue
Atlantic Avenue
97th Avenue
101st Avenue
Rockaway Boulevard
Sutter Avenue
Linden Boulevard
Pitkin Avenue
 Q11  to and from Howard Beach
149th Avenue
 Q21  local via Lindenwood
 Q21  local via Lindenwood
157th Avenue
159th Avenue
 Q21  local from Howard Beach
161st Avenue
163rd Avenue
 Q21  local to Howard Beach
Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge
Wildlife Refuge
Noel Road
15th/16th Road
Cross Bay Bridge
Beach 96th Street
Beach 98th Street
Beach 101st Street
Beach 102nd Street
Beach 105th Street
Beach 110th Street
Beach 116th Street
 Q53 SBS  southern terminus
Beach 91st Street
Beach 86th Street
Beach 81st Street
Beach 73rd Street
Beach 67th Street
Rockaway Freeway
Beach 59th Street
Beach 54th Street
 Q52 SBS  southern terminus

The Q52 and Q53 buses were converted to Select Bus Lines on November 12, 2017. The Q52 SBS is based out of the JFK Depot, while the Q53 is based out of the LaGuardia Depot. They are also the 3rd and 4th Queens bus lines to be converted into Select Bus Service (the 2nd and 3rd bus lines of MTA Bus).

Future routes[edit]

Other Select Bus Service routes are planned for the near future as part of the continuation of Phase II, including neighborhoods underserved by rapid transit and heavily used express bus routes. These were identified during a 2009 study by the DOT and MTA, in a December 2013 study by the Pratt Center for Community Development of Brooklyn, and in a 2017 by the DOT and MTA.[74][82][86] Twenty-one routes are expected to be added to the SBS system between October 2017 and 2027.[87][88]

Corridors chosen for implementation[edit]

Below are potential corridors and neighborhoods listed under the 2009 and 2017 study that have been implemented.

  1. Main Street / Parsons−Kissena Boulevards / 164th Street / Utopia Parkway corridor (current Q20, Q44, Q25, Q34, Q65, Q30, and Q31): Q25 has been proposed for future conversion[89][12][90] and Q44 was implemented on November 29, 2015.[25]

The B82 Limited will be converted to SBS in 2018.[37]

A new SBS route along 14th Street in Manhattan would be created before April 2019, in anticipation of the closure of the 14th Street Tunnel. It would not be converted from the existing M14A or M14D routes. This new SBS route would terminate at Stuyvesant Cove and operate via Avenue C, where it will connect with the new ferry service. 14th St would undergo extensive SBS conversion creating a new busway between 3rd Ave and 9th Ave eastbound, and between 3rd Ave and 8th Ave westbound. Three temporary SBS routes from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the Williamsburg Bridge would also be created. One route would go from SoHo, Manhattan, to the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn; a second would connect SoHo to the Grand Street station in Brooklyn; and a third would stretch from Union Square, Manhattan, to the Grand Street station[91]

Other potential routes such as the B41 have undergone preliminary studies and community outreach, but have yet to be considered for implementation.[92][93]

Potential corridors[edit]

Below are potential corridors and neighborhoods listed under the 2009 study, current Phase II plans that have not already been implemented, and from the 2017 study.

Corridors and Neighborhoods include:

  1. Middle Village (current Q29, Q47)
  2. Jamaica / Hillside Avenue Corridor (current Q1, Q36, Q43, Q110)[74][89][12]
  3. Southeast Queens (current Q4, Q5, Q85, and Q84 routes)[94][12]
  4. Southeast Queens (current Q113 and Q114 routes)[90][12]
  5. Union Turnpike (current Q46 route)[89][12]
  6. Flatbush Avenue Corridor (current B41)[74][95][12]
  7. Multiple Southern Brooklyn East-West Corridors (current B6 and B82):[96][93][95][12] B82 planned for implementation in 2018.[37]
  8. Manhattan West Side – Amsterdam Avenue/135th Street to Hudson Street/8th Avenue (current M11)[74][95]
  9. Broadway to Central Bronx (current Bx9)[12]
  10. University Avenue (current Bx3)[12]
  11. Tremont Avenue (current Bx40 and Bx42 routes)[12]
  12. Harlem to Southern Boulevard (current Bx19)[12]
  13. Soundview to Washington Heights (current Bx5 and Bx6 routes)[12]
  14. 96th Street Crosstown (current M96)[12]
  15. Church Avenue (current B35)[12]
  16. Ridgewood to Flushing (current Q58)[12]
  17. Flushing to Springfield Boulevard (current Q27)[12]
  18. Queens Access to JFK (current Q10)[12]

High-volume express bus corridors include:

  1. Major Deegan Expressway (I-87)
  2. Bruckner Expressway (I-278)
  3. Long Island Expressway (I-495)
  4. Gowanus Expressway (I-278)
  5. Staten Island Expressway (I-278)

"Difficult trips", trips that are difficult to make and/or require many transfers, as identified by the MTA:

  1. 14th Street Crosstown Corridor – 23rd Street/11th Avenue to Grand Street/Avenue D (current M14A/M14D); planned for implementation in 2018 or 2019.[95][12]
  2. Jamaica to Flushing Corridor: Q25 Limited is proposed for future conversion.[89][12][90]
  3. Bushwick to Downtown Brooklyn Corridor (current B38 and B54)[74][97][98][95][12]
  4. Central Brooklyn East-West Corridor
  5. Southern Brooklyn East-West Corridor – Bay Ridge to JFK Airport (current B6, and B82 routes)[96][95][12]
  6. Northern Boulevard Flushing – Manhattan Corridor via Queensboro Bridge:[74][89] Q66 is proposed for future conversion.[95][12]

The following subway lines have been flagged for being at or above 95% of New York City Subway loading guidelines during rush hours:

  1. Broadway–Seventh Avenue 2 and ​3 trains
  2. Lexington Avenue 4, ​5, ​6, and <6> trains
  3. Queens-Manhattan connections: 7, E, N, and W trains

Areas that are undergoing or may undergo significant growth in housing units and that have limited transit access:

  1. South Bronx:[92] Bx6 SBS was implemented on September 3, 2017.[99]
  2. Queens East River waterfront
  3. Brooklyn East River waterfront
  4. Western Shore/Southern Shore (Charleston, Tottenville) of Staten Island[82]

Additional Study Areas include:

  1. North Shore of Staten Island (Current S40 and S90 routes; former North Shore Branch of Staten Island Railway); being studied by the MTA[82][100][101][12]

There are also "tiered" corridors based on importance, identified in the Pratt Center report in December 2013 and a previous report from 2007.[100][94]

"First-tiered" corridors:

  1. LaGuardiaWoodhaven/Cross BayRockaway (Queens); Combination of current Q72 and Q52/Q53 routes.
    1. Q52/Q53 LTD (Woodhaven & Cross Bay Boulevards) converted on November 12, 2017.[35]
  2. North Shore (Staten Island); Current S40, S90 routes; former North Shore Branch of Staten Island Railway[100][101]
  3. Industry City/Sunset ParkLindenJFK (Brooklyn–Queens); B35 route and eastern portion of the B15 route.[100]

"Second-tiered" corridors:

  1. Far RockawayJamaica (Queens); Current Q113 and Q114 routes[95]
  2. Bush Terminal/Sunset Park–JFK via Southeast Brooklyn (Brooklyn–Queens)
  3. East Bronx hospital cluster–East Harlem (Bronx–Manhattan)
  4. Mid-Staten Island–Hudson County, NJHolland Tunnel–Manhattan (Staten Island–New Jersey–Manhattan)

Fare and payment[edit]

SBS shelter (left) and fare inspection aboard a SBS bus (right).

The fare for SBS is the same as on all New York City Transit local and limited-stop buses, $2.75, payable with a MetroCard or coins. Boarding procedures for the S79 SBS are the same as those on regular local and limited-stop buses. On all other SBS services, unlike other bus lines in New York City, fare collection for SBS uses a proof-of-payment system. Passengers are required to pay their fare before boarding the bus at pay stations located in bus shelters at the designated stops (for customers using UniTicket, which is valid for boarding). Once fare payment is made, one must board the bus at that stop within one hour. Boarding can be done via any of the two or three doors (depending on the bus fleet), except on S79 buses, where all passengers board from the front door since fares are paid on board. New York City Transit fare inspectors (organized in "EAGLE" teams), NYPD officers, or MTA police officers check for proof of payment receipts; those unable to produce one are subject to a fine of up to $100. These inspections are conducted randomly, or through the entire bus at specific stations.[102][103]

In addition, proof-of-payment receipts are only valid for the route that stops at the station at which one boards (i.e., an M34/M34A SBS receipt cannot be used on the M15 SBS). When transferring from one SBS route to another, one must obtain a second receipt from that route's fare payment machines. Free transfers between routes are also provided with MetroCards.

Fare machines[edit]

Ticketing machines used on B44 SBS route

Select Bus Service fare machines consist of modified versions of existing MTA and DOT devices. MetroCard payment utilizes MetroCard Fare Collection Machines,[104] similar in design to ATM/Debit Card MetroCard vending machines (known as MetroCard Express Machines) used in the New York City Subway, but without touch screens. Coin payment utilizes a modified Parkeon Muni Meter. The original machines used on the Bx12 in 2008 consisted of re-purposed versions of MetroCard Express Machines and first-generation Parkeon multi-space devices, which have since been replaced.[82][104][105][106]


The former blue flashing lights as seen on an M15 (top), which were taken down in 2013, and the new blue destination sign as seen on an M86 (bottom) that replaced the lights.

Select Bus Service buses are wrapped in a unique blue paint scheme that identifies them as operating in this particular service. Older buses are painted mostly white, with a blue stripe just below the windows and a teal pattern with plus signs and "+selectbusservice" logos. In March 2016, a new gold-and-blue livery was introduced across the entire MTA fleet.[107] SBS buses delivered after March 2016 have a variation of this livery, with the teal pattern below the windows and the new gold and blue livery above.

All SBS buses display +Select Bus in the destination sign. Bus stops where SBS buses stop are also identifiable with the SBS branding on the glass shelters, and machines for MetroCard and coin payment in or near the shelters (except for the S79 SBS, which does not employ off-board fare collection). In addition, all buses on the SBS services employ all-door boarding operation, in which each set of doors open simultaneously for easier boarding and alighting, with the exception of the S79 which does not employ all-door boarding.[82]

Upon the debut of Select Bus Service, blue flashing lights on both sides of the destination sign were used to help designate SBS buses from local buses (which have orange lights). While some, including bus operators, claimed the flashing blue lights helped improve travel times for buses, they were controversial due to some drivers mistaking them for emergency vehicles.[108] The use of the lights also violated the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (Article 9, Section 375 (41)).[109] NYS Law states "The use of blue lights on vehicles shall be restricted for use only by a volunteer firefighter" and "may be affixed to a police vehicle and fire vehicle, provided that such blue light or lights shall be displayed on a police vehicle and fire vehicle for rear projection only."[110] The lights were removed from service on January 18, 2013.[108]

To replace the lights, in July 2015 the MTA began overhauling the front destination signs of buses to display the route in a blue background, as well as a completely blue background that flashes twice when it says +Select Bus (formerly it read +Select Bus Service). At night on some routes, the front destination sign is blue text on an unlit black background. Starting with the Q44 in November 2015, the blue background is kept when the front signage transitions to show the terminal of the route and the main streets traveled. As of July 2017, the SBS fleet on all routes have had their front destination signs overhauled, and new routes that launched after that date came with the new destination signs.[111][112]

The following table lists the buses used on each route.

Photo Builder and
model name
Model year Length Energy source Routes
MTA New York City Bus S79 Select Bus Service bus.jpg Daimler Buses North America
Orion VII Next Generation (07.501)
2009 41 ft (12.50 m) Diesel-electric hybrid

Staten Island (1 route): S79

MTA NYC Bus M15 Select Bus Service bus passing 7th St.jpg Nova Bus
LFS Artic
2010 62 ft (18.90 m) Diesel

Manhattan (1 route): M15

MTA NYC Bus M23-SBS bus on 23rd St.jpg 2011-2013

Bronx (2 routes): Bx12, Bx41
Brooklyn (1 route): B44
Manhattan (7 routes):
M15, M23, M34, M34A, M60, M79, M86

MTA Flatbush South 15.jpg New Flyer Industries
2015 41 ft (12.50 m)

Brooklyn (1 route): B46
Queens (1 route): Q70

New Flyer Q44 SBS.jpg New Flyer Industries
2017 61 ft (18.59 m)

Manhattan (6 routes):
M23, M34, M34A, M60, M79, M86
Queens (3 routes): Q44, Q52, Q53

MTA (2016 livery, operated by NYC Transit) New Flyer Xcelsior XN40 724 in Washington Heights.jpg New Flyer Industries
41 ft (12.50 m) CNG Bronx (1 route): Bx6
MTA NYC Bus M86 Select Bus Service bus at Central Park West & 86th St.jpg Nova Bus
LFS Artic
2018 62 ft (18.90 m) Diesel

Manhattan (6 routes):
M23, M34, M34A, M60, M79, M86

See also[edit]


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