NEW YORK CITY — As hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers return to work amid Phase 1 of reopening the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday plans to create 20 new miles of busways and bus lanes.
The new busways and bus lanes will be implemented across the five boroughs, and they’re expected to serve nearly 750,000 riders each day.
“More service equals less crowding equals more social distancing,” de Blasio said during a coronavirus briefing.
In addition to five new busways opening between June and October, the 14th Street busway — implemented during the L train rehabilitation project — will be made permanent.
The city plans to open a new busway this month on Main Street in Queens.
In July, busways along Jamaica Avenue in Queens and part of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will launch.
Brooklyn’s Jay Street will turn into a busway in August and 181st Street in Manhattan will become a busway in October.
The new busways will operate as a one-year pilot program. If they’re successful, de Blasio said they will be made permanent.
The city will also be installing 16.5 miles of new bus lanes.
Bus lanes will open on East 14th Street in Manhattan and 149th Street in the Bronx in June, Staten Island’s Hylan Boulevard in July, and Merrick Boulevard in Queens in August.
The Staten Island Ferry is also increasing service as the city reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During Phase 1, ferry service will operate every 20 minutes on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and then again from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The ferry will run every 30 minutes weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
On weekends, the ferry will run every 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Ferries will be outfitted with social distancing markers, demarcated seats, hand sanitizer and free face coverings.
Monday marks 100 days since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.
As of Sunday, there were more than 17,000 lab-confirmed deaths related to the virus and over 203,800 people have tested positive since the outbreak began in March.