|Fordham Road−Pelham Parkway|
207th Street Crosstown Line
|System||MTA Regional Bus Operations|
|Operator||Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA)|
New York City Transit Authority (NYCT)
|Garage||Gun Hill Depot|
|Livery||Bx12 SBS: Select Bus Service|
|Locale||Manhattan and The Bronx, New York City|
|Start||Inwood – Broadway / 207th Street (full route)|
University Heights – Sedgwick Avenue (daytime local)
|Via||207th Street, Fordham Road, Pelham Parkway|
|End||Pelham Bay Park (daytime local)|
Orchard Beach, Bronx (summertime local)
Co-op City – Edson Avenue (late night)
Bay Plaza Shopping Center (full route)[note 1]
|Length||9 miles (14 km)|
|Operates||24 hours (Bx12 Local)[note 1][note 2]|
|Annual patronage||14,913,624 (2017)|
|Timetable||Bx12 Bx12 SBS|
The Bx12 is a public transit line in New York City running along the 207th Street Crosstown Line (also called the Fordham Road−207th Street Crosstown Line or Fordham Road Crosstown Line), within the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. The line runs along 207th Street in Upper Manhattan and along the continuous Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway in the Bronx.
The line started operating in the early 1900s as a streetcar line between Inwood in Manhattan and Belmont in the Bronx. In 1948, the streetcar route was converted into a bus route, operated by the New York City Transit Authority under the subsidiary Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA). Throughout the late 20th century, several separate bus routes were combined to form the Bx12. The bus line became the first bus rapid transit route to enter service in the city in 2008, when the Bx12 Limited became the Bx12 Select Bus Service (SBS). Both the Bx12 local and SBS carry over 45,000 riders each weekday. The total ridership in 2014 was 15,812,906, making the route the busiest citywide.
Route description and service
Current bus service
The Bx12 runs crosstown from Inwood in Manhattan 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, Fordham Plaza, and Belmont until the road becomes Pelham Parkway near the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden in Bronx Park. 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.
At the Pelham Bay Park station, Manhattan-bound buses use stops directly adjacent to where Bay Plaza and Orchard Beach-bound buses pick up passengers—along southbound Amendola Place. Westbound buses use the southernmost two stops, while terminating eastbound locals and buses towards Bay Plaza and Orchard Beach use the northernmost two stops closest to the subway. The setup requires westbound service to make a U-turn onto the New England Thruway before heading onto Pelham Parkway.
During the daytime and evening hours, local service runs between Sedgwick/Webb Avenue in University Heights and the Pelham Bay Park subway station (6 and <6> trains). Some local service also originates from Belmont Avenue and 182nd Street in Belmont during the afternoons on school days. 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 Inwood 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 during these times.
Select Bus Service
The Bx12 is New York City's first bus rapid transit service, marketed as Select Bus Service, which began on June 29, 2008. Selected as the Bronx corridor for the pilot project in 2004, the MTA, New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) 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 special identification (including a special blue wrap and blue route signs) and traffic signal prioritization was enacted along the route, timing traffic signals in favor of the bus. The NYCDOT also added dedicated bus lanes painted in maroon-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, via MetroCard fare machines and coin meters, allows passengers with proof of payment to board through any door. Bx12 Select Bus Service operates daily, from around 6am to 10pm weekdays, 7am-11pm weekends.
|West 207th / Isham Streets
West 207th Street
|University Heights Bridge|
West Fordham Road
West Fordham Road[Bx12 1]
NYC Bus: Bx12 Local
West Fordham Road
|Jerome / Walton Avenues
East Fordham Road
|Grand Concourse / Valentine Avenue
East Fordham Road
|Webster and Third Avenues
Fordham Plaza / Fordham University
East Fordham Road
Bronx Zoo / Botanical Garden
East Fordham Road
|White Plains Road
Jacobi Medical Center
NYC Bus: Bx12 Local
|Pelham Bay Park
Bay Plaza Boulevard
|Bay Plaza Shopping Center
The Mall at Bay Plaza
NYC Bus: Bx5 (Weekend Only), Bx29, Bx38
|Co-Op City Boulevard
Bay Plaza Boulevard
NYC Bus: Bx5 (Weekend Only), Bx29, Bx38
Bartow Avenue[Bx12 2]
MTA Bus: Bx23, Q50
Gun Hill Depot
NYC Bus: Bx5 (Weekend Only), Bx26, Bx28, Bx38
The Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway service began as a streetcar line operated by the Union Railway Company, a subsidiary of the Third Avenue Railway, and was the last Union Railway franchise to be constructed. In February 1903, the company announced plans to construct a two-track line along Pelham Avenue (the former name of Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway) between Bronx Park and Pelham Bay Park, running through largely undeveloped land and parkland. Called the Pelham Avenue Line, its western terminus would be at Third Avenue in modern Fordham Plaza, at the Fordham station of the then-New York Central Railroad (now the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line) and the entrance of what was then St. John's College (now Fordham University's Rose Hill campus). Its eastern end would be at the Pelham Bridge in Pelham Bay.
By 1904, the line was running along Fordham Avenue and Pelham Avenue (today's Fordham Road) between Sedgwick Avenue in University Heights and Third Avenue in Fordham. That year, the company released plans to extend the line west across the yet-to-be-constructed University Heights Bridge to Broadway and 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan. By fall 1908, after the opening of the bridge, the Union Railway petitioned for an extension west to Manhattan, and east to Pelham Bay Park. By 1909, the planned eastern extension was truncated to Southern Boulevard, with both extension plans delayed due to deadlock in negotiations with the city. In 1910, the company once again petitioned the New York City Board of Estimate and the New York State Public Service Commission for a western extension to Manhattan, and for an eastern extension from Southern Boulevard to the eastern edge of Bronx Park (at about Boston Road, White Plains Road, and Bronx Park East). The Manhattan extension was finally granted in June 1910. Service across the bridge to Inwood began on November 29, 1910.
In late 1916, the railway petitioned for another extension along either Vermilyea Avenue or Nagle Avenue, and Dyckman Street west to the ferry terminal at the end of Dyckman Street, to connect with ferries to New Jersey and upstate New York, particularly the Palisades region and Palisades Interstate Park. The franchise was granted in December of that year. The extension was initially opposed since many narrow streets in the area were narrow. Later, the Union Railway sought to annul the franchise agreement, which was opposed by the local Dyckman (Inwood/Washington Heights) community due to growing business interests created by the line. The extension was never implemented.
Conversion to bus service
Beginning in the 1920s, many streetcar lines in the Bronx, Manhattan, and the rest of the city began to be replaced by buses, particularly after the unification of the city's three primary transit companies in June 1940. That year, the railroad company began relinquishing its trolley franchises with the city, to be replaced by buses operated by the subsidiary Surface Transportation Corporation. The 207th Street Crosstown Line was replaced with the then-Bx19 bus service operating between Broadway-207th Street and Southern Boulevard on January 25, 1948, the same date as the motorization of the Bronx and Van Cortlandt Parks Crosstown Line (today's Bx9). The route would be operated by Surface Transit until 1956, and by the New York City Omnibus Corporation (later under the brand Fifth Avenue Coach Lines) until the company's routes were taken over by the New York City Transit Authority through its subsidiary Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) in 1962 after a strike.
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 in the Pelham Bay Golf Course, along with the introduction of limited-stop service on weekdays. The Orchard Beach branches were labeled Bx12A and Bx12B until July 1, 1974, when they were merged into the Bx12 designation.
On April 21, 1989, the New York City Transit Authority presented two proposals to rationalize the eastern terminals of service on the Bx12 to the MTA Board for approval. The first proposal called for the discontinuation of the summer only Bx12 Golf Course Shuttle, which ran between Orchard Beach and Pelham Bay Golf Course between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., since it was only used by an average of ten daily passengers. This change took effect in June 1989. The second proposal up for approval was the extension of Bx12 trips that terminated at the Pelham Bay Park subway station to the new Gun Hill Depot at Bartow Avenue and the New England Thruway when it opened in September 1989. This change was intended to rationalize service and establish a relief point for bus operators. While it increased net costs, it increased operating efficiencies. 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 current Bx29. The resulting service pattern remains in effect today, with some minor adjustments.
In 1988, due to the reconstruction of the University Heights Bridge, the Bx12 began detouring 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to cross into Manhattan via Bailey Avenue and the Broadway Bridge at 225th Street, as opposed to the direct path via 207th Street. The route was restored in September 1994 as the vehicle weight restriction on the bridge was removed. In 1989, limited-stop service began on the Bx12, saving up to five minutes per trip. In January 1995, an additional limited stop was added at Jacobi Hospital, and the hours of limited-stop service were expanded from 6:57 – 8:39 a.m. and 4:55 – 6:41 p.m. to 6:30 – 9:30 a.m. and 4 – 6:30 p.m.. Extending the span of the limited-stop service to operate all day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. was considered, with a plan to revisit the idea if the increase in the span of limited-stop service was successful. The span of the Bx12 was extended to operate all day between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on September 8, 1997. Exactly one year later, on September 8, 1998, the Bx12 began stopping in the Bay Plaza Shopping Center.
In 2004, the MTA in conjunction with the NYCDOT and NYSDOT, performed an initial study on bus rapid transit, with 80 corridors studied citywide. Five routes were prioritized, including the Bx12 route. On June 29, 2008, the Bx12 Limited was converted into the Bx12 Select Bus Service. Initially, during summer months Bx12 SBSs alternated between Bay Plaza and Orchard Beach. In 2009, Bx12 locals were extended to Orchard Beach during summer months, with all SBSs terminating at Bay Plaza. Summer local service to Inwood was also added at this time. The total ridership in 2009 was 14,736,515, ranking the route third in ridership citywide and the busiest in the Bronx. In March 2013, the high-floor articulated buses on the SBS route were replaced with low-floor articulated buses with three sets of doors to improve boarding and alighting of passengers.
- Overnights, no service operates to Bay Plaza
- Bx12 SBS does not operate overnights
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- "Starting September 8th, the Bx12 bus will make stops inside the Bay Plaza Shopping Center. How's that for convenience?". New York Daily News. September 4, 1998. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
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