M15 Select Bus Service is Faster Way to Travel the East Side

A little more than two weeks after Select Bus Service (SBS) was introduced on the M15, speeds are improving and we have a clear blueprint on how to make this vital service even better.

For a sizable portion of the 53,000 customers who use the M15 daily, SBS has the potential for a significant reduction in travel times. Off board fare collection, low-floor high capacity buses and dedicated bus lanes combined with bus stops situated approximately one-half mile apart all contribute to speedier buses. However, the new service did cause some confusion early on, which led to delays.

"We have been working closely with City DOT and the NYPD to keep the lanes clear and we are seeing some positive results," said MTA NYC Transit Senior Vice President of Buses Joe Smith. "Also, helped by our customer ambassadors, riders are getting accustomed to the new method of fare payment and that is reducing the amount of time a bus remains in the bus stop, which is a major component of making this service work."

To help eliminate long gaps between buses, we have added four more buses to the weekday schedule and additional supervision has been assigned to key points along the route to regulate service. Travel time is now running about ten minutes less between E. 126th Street and South Ferry. Also, responding to riders' requests, customers purchasing their fares for SBS may now use their receipts to board M15 locals, should one arrive first. Planned upgrades to the fare machine graphics, which will be larger and easier to understand, will also benefit SBS customers.

Further service improvements are expected with the use of traffic lane enforcement cameras, due to begin next month, and traffic signal priority which should be in place by the middle of next year.