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New York City installed more miles of bus lanes in a single year last year than ever before — and a group of elected officials wants Mayor Bill de Blasio to go even further in 2021.
City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and company want city officials to commit to 30 miles of new dedicated bus-only lanes by the end of the year, according to a letter issued to Hizzoner on Monday.
The record-setting total would be nearly double the 16 miles laid down in 2020 — which was itself four miles less than Hizzoner had promised.
“Without a strong network of bus-priority streets in place as the city recovers, mounting traffic congestion will cost bus riders time, add stress, strain household finances, and limit opportunity,” reads the letter, also signed by Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the Manhattan and Brooklyn borough presidents and 15 others.
“We urge you to vigorously expand and upgrade the bus lane network to achieve a significant citywide improvement for bus riders before leaving office,” the letter says.
“We laud DOT’s unprecedented expansion of bus priority last year. Now is the time to build on that momentum and actualize a network that brings riders the fast, safe and reliable service they need.
The officials also note that de Blasio administration has fallen far short on its January 2019 goal to increase bus speeds by 25 percent within two years.
Average citywide bus speeds stood at 8 mph at the end of 2020, according to their letter — just 5 percent faster than the 7.6 mph average the month before de Blasio announced to the 25 percent goal.
Letter-signers will rally Wednesday with advocates who support the push for 30 miles.
“We live in a city where millions of New Yorkers lives in underserved communities,” Rodriguez told The Post. “By increasing and enforcing our bus lanes we will significantly improve and bus speeds and decrease rider wait times.”
City Hall spokesman Mitch Schwartz said the de Blasio administration welcomes the elected officials’ input — but stopped short of committing to their request.
“We love advocacy for faster and more reliable transit, and we love busways even more,” Schwartz said in a statement.
“Our partners in government are right: busways work, and we look forward to building on the record-setting Better Buses initiative to improve service for even more New Yorkers this year.”
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