207th Street Crosstown Line

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A Bx12 Select Bus Service bus (special livery not yet applied, but since applied) picks up customers at the Eastchester Road stop along Pelham Parkway.

The 207th Street Crosstown Line is a public transit line in New York City serving the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. The line, originally a streetcar pre-dating 1910,[1] ran from Inwood in Manhattan to Belmont in the Bronx. The line is now the Bx12 bus route, operated by the New York City Transit Authority. After buses replaced streetcars in 1948, there have been a number of changes to the route. Most notably, it is the first Bus Rapid Transit route to enter service in the City of New York, branded as Select Bus Service. Both the Bx12 local and SBS carried a combined total of 45,777 riders each weekday. The total ridership in 2009 was 14,736,515, ranking it third in ridership citywide and the busiest in the Bronx.[2]

History[edit]

The streetcar line was constructed in or shortly before 1910 as New York Times articles in the era state. The streetcar line was replaced with the old Bx19 bus service operating between Broadway-207 Street and Fordham Plaza on January 24, 1948. As the years progressed, service was eventually consolidated from multiple routes, and was given a single label, the Bx12. The route saw extensions east to City Island, seasonal service to Orchard Beach, and a branch to the Bartow-Pell Mansion[3] along with the introduction of limited-stop service on weekdays. In the early 1980s the Bay Plaza Shopping Center was constructed in Co-op City and the Bx12 was extended there from Pelham Bay. Service to City Island remained until around 1990, when through service was discontinued and replaced with a dedicated route from City Island to Pelham Bay, the Bx29. Service to the Bartow-Pell Mansion was discontinued due to low ridership and is now served by Bee-Line's W45 bus. The resulting service pattern remains in effect today, with some minor adjustments.

On June 29, 2008, the Bx12 Limited was converted to bus rapid transit, with a system in place that will have passengers pay fares before boarding the bus, as part of an effort to shave up to 20% off of travel time across the Bronx.[4]

Bx12 bus[edit]

Bx12 Select Bus Service
Bay Plaza
JC Penney
Co-Op City Boulevard
Bartow Mall
Baychester Avenue
early-morning service
when Bay Plaza is closed
Edson AvenueGun Hill Depot
Pelham Bay Park
Eastchester Road
Williamsbridge Road
White Plains Road
Southern BoulevardBronx Zoo
Fordham Plaza
Valentine Avenue
Grand Concourse
Walton Avenue
Jerome Avenue
University Avenue
Sedgwick Avenue
Cedar Avenue
University Heights Bridge
Bronx
Manhattan
Tenth Avenue
BroadwayInwood
The Bx12 (in light blue), as of Summer 2012

The current form of the Bx12 runs crosstown from Inwood to various areas in the northeastern Bronx. The line, eastward, begins at the Inwood – 207th Street subway station (A train) on Broadway and West 207th Street. The Bx12 then loops around via Isham Street and Sherman Avenue and rejoins West 207th Street, continuing across the University Heights Bridge into University Heights. The route runs along Fordham Road through Fordham Center and Belmont until the road becomes Pelham Parkway near the Bronx Zoo. The route then runs along Pelham Parkway's main roadway to Pelham Bay, where it takes a somewhat circuitous route. The line turns off Pelham Parkway onto Burr Avenue stopping at the Pelham Bay Park subway station. From here, the Bx12 services that do not terminate here make a u-turn and join the New England Thruway to Bay Plaza or veer east along Shore Road to Orchard Beach. In a somewhat confusing fashion, Manhattan-bound buses use a stop directly adjacent to where Bay Plaza buses pick up passengers. Manhattan-bound service also makes a u-turn onto the New England Thruway, but then exits west onto Pelham Parkway, resulting in passengers sometimes boarding buses going in the wrong direction.

During the daytime and evening hours, local service runs between Sedgwick Avenue, University Heights and the Pelham Bay Park subway station (6 <6> trains). Most service between Manhattan and Bay Plaza is served by Bx12 Select buses during that time, although some local buses continue to Bay Plaza. During the summer, Bx12 local buses are extended to Orchard Beach, with all weekend service operating to/from Manhattan during the summer.

During the overnight hours, all service runs local, serving the entire route with the exception of Bay Plaza. Buses instead terminate on Edson Avenue, in front of the Gun Hill Bus Depot, as the shopping center is closed.

Select Bus Service[edit]

The Bx12 is New York City's first bus rapid transit service, marketed as Select Bus Service, which began on 2008-06-29. Selected as the Bronx corridor for the pilot project in 2004, the MTA, New York City Department of Transportation and the New York State Department of Transportation drew up plans to convert the Bx12's limited service to BRT. The route was selected for the project mainly because of its mostly straight crosstown route through the Bronx, intersecting with seven different subway lines and all Metro-North lines. Buses are outfitted with blinking blue lights on either side of the destination sign (there was also a teal scheme which has since been dropped for new low-floor buses being introduced to the route in 2010) and traffic signal prioritization will be enacted along the route, timing traffic signals in favor of the bus. The DOT has also add dedicated painted bus lanes painted in red along Pelham Parkway and Fordham Road, with signs indicating that the lanes are bus-only from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays, along with additional police enforcement. Off-board fare collection will be used by way of modified MetroCard Vending Machines and parking Muni-Meters, allowing passengers with proof of payment to board through any door. There will be spot checks of proof of payment receipts by fare enforcement officials, with $100 fines for those found without the required receipts. Bx12 Select service operates daily, from around 6am to 10pm weekdays, 7am-11pm weekends.[4]

Some previous Bx12 Limited stops are no longer served by Bx12 Select buses and are now served by local buses, most notably Jacobi Medical Center.

References[edit]

External links[edit]