Commuters, officials disagree on bus traffic solution

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Commuters and local officials are battling over what to do about bus traffic problems in Hunts Point.

According to the MTA, the BX6 bus serves 25,000 riders each day, but only moves about 50 percent of the time because of traffic and time spent boarding passengers.

Riders say that the traffic severely affects the time of their commute.

"It gets like so crowded you can't get in the bus and the hold up with the traffic is so bad," said Jason Jenkins of Hunts Point. "Majority of the time you get late to the place that you're going."

That is why plans for a BX6 Select Bus Service (SBS) has many commuters excited. Part of the SBS includes the creation of a bus-only lane on 163rd Street between Tiffany Street and Southern Boulevard.

This would leave just one lane open to drivers, which some local officials see as a problem.

Community Board 2 Chairman Robert Crespo says the plan would bottleneck the whole community and only add to congestion. Councilman Rafael Salamanca says that traffic from school buses and ambulette services will also be affected.

The Department of Transportation, however, says about 75 percent of the households in the area are car-free and two-thirds take mass transit. Emergency vehicles and school buses are also allowed to use bus lanes in all five boroughs, so they shouldn’t be affected.

The DOT received a letter from the councilman, Community Board Two and other elected officials Thursday demanding the lane changes be stopped. The DOT told News 12 they are currently reviewing it.

The BX 6 SBS is expected to begin on Sept. 3.

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