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Select Bus Service Coming to 'City's Slowest' M79 Bus Next Year: Officials

By Shaye Weaver | October 7, 2016 3:42pm | Updated on October 10, 2016 8:48am
 The M79 will become a Select Bus Service route in the spring of 2017, according to DOT officials.
The M79 will become a Select Bus Service route in the spring of 2017, according to DOT officials.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

UPPER EAST SIDE — Upper Manhattan residents who've been stuck at a crawl on the M79 bus — named the slowest bus in the city in recent years — will get some relief next spring.

Select Bus Service is coming to the M79 route, which shuttles 18,000 passengers across town per day, improving bus speed and reliability, according to Department of Transportation officials.

The M79 currently runs at an average speed of 4.3 miles per hour, and bunches roughly 8.8 percent of the time, according to Bus Turnaround, a coalition of transit activists calling for a comprehensive overhaul of New York's bus system.

DOT representatives announced the plan during Community Board 8's transportation committee on Wednesday.

With Select Bus Service, customers will be able to pay their fare on kiosks at bus stops, cutting the time it takes for passengers to board when buses arrive. The street will also be redesigned to include bus lanes so that they can get in and out of stops more quickly, the reps said.

The DOT also plans to remove the stop at West 81st Street and Amsterdam Avenue because of low ridership and because the sidewalk is too narrow for a fare machine to be installed there.

The DOT did not have further details about the plan, but will release more information after completing a traffic study. Representatives will return to CB8 with a draft proposal, and the service is expected to roll out in spring of 2017.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated which Upper West Side bus stop will be removed. It will be the West 81st Street and Amsterdam Avenue stop.