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Rebuilding Bus Ridership in America

A Case Study in Brooklyn, New York

+ Eric Goldwyn, Alon Levy

Abstract

Bus ridership in cities across the United States is declining. In Brooklyn, New York, annual ridership has declined by nearly 50,000,000 rides between 2007 and 2017. While this 21% reduction in ridership is alarming, it isn’t impossible to reverse. Based on experiences in other cities around the world, namely Barcelona, we have proposed a radically specific redesign of the Brooklyn bus network that translates best practices from other cities into a plan for Brooklyn that consists of new route designs, greater service frequency, revamped street configurations, and fewer stops. Furthermore, we have limited our redesign to the existing operating hours budget provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority so that our redesign doesn’t ignore budgetary constraints. By making the bus faster, more reliable, and less vulnerable to traffic congestion, the bus can again be a mode of transit that stitches Brooklyn together and provides access to the promise of New York. 

 

Rebuilding Bus Ridership in America

Eric is a Research Scholar in the NYU Urban Expansion program at the Marron Institute.

An affiliated scholar with the Marron Institute, Alon Levy's work focuses on public transportation and how to apply best practices from cities around the world.

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