Downtown Alliance Installs Two More NextBus Signs
The Alliance for Downtown New York installed two NextBus signs in Battery Park City last week, bringing the total number of signs along the free, 37-stop Downtown Connection route to ten.
The new LED signs are located on the north and south sides of Vesey Street between North End Avenue and West Street and list the next two bus arrival times. Funding was made possible by a grant from Goldman Sachs.
“Lower Manhattan is the center of a vast, multi-modal regional transit network. Our Downtown Connection extends that reach, making it easier for Lower Manhattan’s 305,000 workers, 56,000 residents and nine million annual visitors to get around,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “Thanks to Goldman Sachs, our nearly 900,000 overall annual riders will know, with certainty, when the next bus is coming.”
"As a long-standing member of the Lower Manhattan community, Goldman Sachs supports the Downtown Alliance and is very pleased that many riders will benefit from this new service," said Timur Galen, a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and board member at the Alliance.
The NextBus program uses Global Positioning System tracking satellites to provide accurate vehicle arrival and departure information and real-time data to passengers waiting at selected Downtown Connection stops.
The Downtown Alliance piloted the NextBus service two years ago at two of the Downtown Connection’s stops in Lower Manhattan. Last September, the Alliance posted new LED signs at six more spots, bringing the total number of signs to eight. Those signs are on Water, Warren, Washington, Greenwich and Pine streets, and at 4 New York Plaza.
Funding for the program was secured by New York State Senator Daniel Squadron and established in coordination with the New York City Department of Transportation. Goldman Sachs provided a grant for the two new signs, along with maintenance costs over the next five years.
The Battery Park City Authority is proud to have worked with the Downtown Alliance to bring this state of the art technology to our district,” said Gayle Horwitz, President of the Authority. “The addition of these two NextBus signs will further enhance the convenience of the Downtown Connection free bus service. BPCA would like to thank Goldman Sachs and the Downtown Alliance for continuing to support and improve this amenity for Battery Park City residents.”
In addition to broadcasting messages about arrival times, the NextBus signs also can be used to transmit emergency public service messages. You can learn more about NextBus—already offered in Boston, Montreal, Washington, D.C. and at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J—at http://www.nextbus.com/.
“We are pleased to work with the Alliance for Downtown New York to bring this passenger enhancement to Lower Manhattan and showcase our proven technology,” said Owen Moore, President of Nextbus, Inc.
Passengers can also check on the buses before they even step outside. In 2004 the Downtown Alliance introduced a Web page— http://downtownny.interfleet.com/ —that allows them to pinpoint the exact location of buses throughout the day from the comfort of their offices and homes.
The Downtown Alliance launched the wheelchair-accessible Downtown Connection in late 2003, instantly improving Lower Manhattan’s quality of life and accessibility. The buses shuttled more than 860,000 workers, residents and visitors in 2010, and the Downtown Alliance expects ridership to increase this year. The shuttle buses run at 10-minute intervals from 10 AM to 8 PM daily, with more limited service on weekends.
In 2009, service was expanded to offer direct access to the World Financial Center and Battery Park City, the 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, C, E, R, J and Z subway lines and retailers on Warren and Murray streets.
New Connection buses with more seating and onboard screens featuring information about Lower Manhattan will hit the pavement this spring. In the meantime, the Alliance is using an interim fleet. Riders can expect the same level of service and same schedule, but the interim fleet features more seats than the old buses and onboard information screens. The interim fleet is not wheelchair-accessible. Riders requiring such access should call 212-232-0141 or 917-939-1037 to arrange for a pickup and drop-off along the route.