UPPER EAST SIDE — Commuters will have to wait another month for Select Bus Service to begin on the crosstown M79 route, the MTA said.
In February, the MTA announced the new service — which will travel crosstown from East End Avenue to Riverside Drive with fewer stops, off-board ticket purchasing and new bus lanes — would begin sometime in April.
But officials at an MTA board meeting Monday said the launch date had been pushed to May 21.
Agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz said that preparation for the service, including the installation of ticket machines, began this month and that the actual rollout of the service would begin next month.
As of Monday, most of the SBS machines had been installed on the east side of the route but were "out of service." The local M79 bus was still running.
In March, locals complained that the M86 SBS stop at Second Avenue was still not in service, despite being told it would be after the Second Avenue Subway was completed. It turned out that the MTA was waiting on Con Edison to provide power to the site.
Select Bus Service on the M79, which currently serves more than 15,000 riders, will cost $1.7 million annually while cutting down on commute times, according to the MTA.
In 2014, the M79 bus won the Straphangers Campaign's "Pokey" award for being the slowest bus in the city.