Bronxites Need #BetterBuses ‘Back To School:’ Riders Rally With Elected Officials

Bronxites Need #BetterBuses ‘Back To School:’ Riders Rally With Elected Officials, Demand Mayor De Blasio Complete Critical Bus Lane Projects To Help Students And Families
With gridlock growing and schools yet to reopen, Bronx bus riders, allies, and City Council member Oswald Feliz urged the mayor to finish the borough’s slate of badly needed bus lane projects during his time left in City Hall
Bronx, NY–With time running out for Mayor Bill de Blasio to speed up buses by putting them first on more city streets, Bronx bus riders rallied and called on him to finish strong and build back fairer by completing a planned slate of bus lane projects to improve commutes and save time for hundreds of thousands of long-delayed Bronxites, including students and their families across the borough.
“Hundreds of thousands of Bronx bus riders are still stuck in slow traffic,” said Riders Alliance Senior Organizer Jolyse Race. “Mayor de Blasio needs to expedite projects on Story Avenue, Gun Hill Road, University Avenue, and Fordham Road. By completing these crucial improvements before he leaves office, the mayor can leave behind a strong, equitable legacy for bus riders.”
Wednesday’s rally comes as the mayor’s Red Carpet to Recovery runs up against the short time remaining in his administration. Given the mayor’s focus on equity, there is a compelling case to devote time and energy now to improving service for Bronx bus riders, 95% of whom are New Yorkers of color and earn an average annual income of $20,000. With improvements, speakers explained, the bus can be a powerful engine of opportunity and save riders valuable time they can devote to work, school, parenting, and community life.
“Bronx bus riders deserve fast, reliable service, which is why these bus lanes were proposed in the first place,” said Straphangers Campaign field manager Cecilia Ellis. “It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to keep his promise to riders and get these projects done by the end of the year. Students, teachers, and parents may be going back to school and getting back on the bus this fall: give them the greenlight on bus lanes.”
“According to the DOE nearly 90,000 students rely on buses for their daily commute, and for many of those students trip times can be 2 hours or more. After nearly 2 years of interrupted education, and the lingering uncertainty of the pandemic, making it to class on time shouldn’t be an added stressor. Faster, more reliable bus service means students get to school more rested, and more likely to succeed. But with winter fast approaching the city must act quickly to implement these bus lane projects so students can reap the benefits of a less stressful commute. NYC students are relying on the red carpet recovery the Mayor promised, and there’s no time to waste in getting it done,” said Ashley Pryce, Senior Advocacy Associate, TransitCenter.
“The Bronx deserves #BetterBuses. Transportation Alternatives stands with the Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign and Council Member Oswald Feliz to call on the Mayor to keep his promise to build and improve our bus infrastructure in the Bronx.  We have the tools to address asthma, congestion, and traffic violence in the Bronx. Car-free busways and better bus lanes reduce traffic and its fatalities while increasing reliability and our quality of life.  #BetterBuses does all of this by reallocating and converting our public space away from solely the storage and movement of cars.  At Transportation Alternatives we are excited for the future of the Bronx as we advocate for and envision a greener, more equitable and people-friendly city,” said Luke Szabados, Chair of the Transportation Alternatives Bronx Activist Committee.
“Mayor de Blasio must stick with his commitment to roll out miles of new bus lanes before his term is up,” said Liam Blank, Spokesperson for Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “Bronxites need fast and reliable bus service to be there for them as they return to work and daily life.”

“In order to improve our public transportation system, we must ensure that our bus system is a modern, integrated system, and that starts with creating dedicated bus lanes. I implore Mayor de Blasio to follow through on his Red Carpet to Recovery Plan and implement the Bronx bus projects that are so badly needed. These bus lanes must be implemented to improve the speed and efficiency of our bus system for the hundreds of thousands of Bronxites who rely on our city’s public transit everyday,” said Senator Alessandra Biaggi.


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