Things are looking bright for the slowest bus route in The Bronx.

While it’s not the busway lie 14th Street in Manhattan which we advocated for here in The Bronx earlier this year, it’s a start: The Bronx will be getting new dedicated bus lanes along 2.7 miles of 149th Street.

City Hall announced today that work will begin this month to reconfigure 149th Street to accommodate bus lanes in either direction which will help speed up bus services especially for essential workers to get to their destinations quickly and safely.

The bus lanes will stretch from River Avenue at the foot of the 145th Street Bridge and stretch across to Southern Boulevard covering most of the street which is one of the busiest east/west corridors in the South Bronx.

Last year the 19 bus, which travels across 149th Street, was yet again named the slowest bus in The Bronx

149th Street carries 55,000 passengers a day along four bus routes and connects to major intersections like The Hub and the 2/5 trains at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street as well as 149th Street and Grand Concourse on the 2/4/5, Hostos Community College, and Lincoln Hospital.

“As New York City emerges from the difficult days of COVID-19, our commitment to faster and more reliable bus service has never been more important, as buses serve a critical role — both in communities hit hard from the pandemic and by essential front-line workers,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

“We are proud to undertake transformational work on some of the busiest bus corridors in the city, including 149th Street in the Bronx and on 14th Street in Manhattan, where the busway has been such a tremendous success.  We look forward to working with our partners at the MTA to get these transformational changes finished this year.”

We sincerely hope that this is a beginning step towards converting 149th Street into a full car-free busway like 14th Street.

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