Main St used to be one of the most congested bus corridors in Queens and the city as a whole, before the Main Street Busway was fully implemented 2 years ago. Now, the corridor has improved, and bus speeds have dramatically increased. On July 15th, 2022, the last session of the NYC DOT Community Advisory Board for the Main Street Busway concluded, and we now have some hard stats on just how much the Busway has helped the hundreds of thousands of riders who commute through the corridor each day.
During the pilot phase of the Main Street Busway, the MTA documented about a 30% increase in bus speeds since the launch of the Busway and a 50% increase from pre-pandemic levels. On Main Street in the northbound direction alone, bus speeds have increased over 30% during the PM Rush, and 50%, when adding both the Kissena Blvd and Main Street Stats together. Not only have bus speeds increased, but the number of accidents have decreased as well. The total number of crashes on the corridor is down 75%.
With both the speeds increasing and the number of accidents along the corridor decreasing, the city has determined the Busway a success and will make it permanent, however, under political pressure, the DOT was forced to limit the hours of the Busway (from 24/7) to 6 AM - 7 PM. Despite, the reduction in the active hours of the Busway, this is a huge win for Queens and the city as a whole. Queens is well-known for its confusing and convoluted bus network, and New York City has some of the lowest bus speeds in the nation. With the Main Street Busway’s success, and the MTA recently releasing their draft plans for the new Queens Bus Redesign, Queens’ Bus Network seems to be heading in the right direction. Hopefully, the MTA can continue this trend with their future Brooklyn and Manhattan Bus Redesigns, and give NYC a bus network that fits riders' needs’ in the 21st Century.