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Bus rapid transit concepts deployed in New York City attracted new riders accounting for 18 percent of ridership; 61 percent of these riders were attracted to the improved features of the new service.

Before and after data from implementation of bus rapid transit were analyzed to identify changes in ridership, travel time, and traffic volume.

Date Posted

B44 Select Bus Service on Nostrand Avenue: Bus Rapid Transit-Induced Mode Shift and Route Shift in Transit-Dense Brooklyn

Summary Information

This paper documents transportation network changes and user decisions resulting from implementation of the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) in Brooklyn, New York. SBS is a joint program between MTA New York City Transit and the New York City Department of Transportation intending to improve transit service through the application of bus rapid transit concepts to New York City’s busiest bus routes. Route B44 has the third highest ridership in Brooklyn and the sixth highest overall in New York City, historically carrying about 40,000 individuals on an average weekday.


To assess the B44 SBS, and nearby traffic performance, five types of data were collected and analyzed: bus ridership data from MetroCards and on-board checks, bus speed data from on-board GPS devices, traffic volume data from automatic traffic recorders, traffic speed data from cell phone-based probes, and survey data collected from 387 B44 SBS riders. Data were collected both in 2011 before construction started (pre-implementation data) and in 2014 after service was implemented and normalized (post-implementation data).


Prior to SBS implementation, daily ridership on the B44 was 39,516. In 2014 daily ridership was 36,016, which may be related to effects of ongoing construction. However, in the first five months of 2015 ridership returned to pre-implementation levels and continued to grow.

Of the 387 B44 SBS riders surveyed, 18 percent had not been B44 riders in the past. Of these new riders, 61 percent indicated they were attracted by the features of the new service, including better service, accessibility, and comfort. The remaining indicated they had no other available choice, and it is assumed these riders are new residents or newly employed in the route service area.

Results Type
Deployment Locations