Though the Second Avenue subway is years away, East Side commuters have something to smile about.
Select bus service that runs in dedicated lanes along First and Second avenues was launched Sunday, which will slash rush-hour transit time by 20 percent, according to the MTA.
Riders along the M15 route now must pre-pay at street kiosks before boarding, and can use all three bus doors to get on. Security will randomly check for receipts to ensure payment.
“Not only does SBS increase bus speeds … [it attracts] riders to what previously had been a slow and undependable service,” said Joseph Smith of the Department of Buses.
The routes run between South Ferry and 125th Street in red, bus-only lanes. New bike lanes in select sections were added, along with pedestrian islands in some spots to reduce crossing distances.
Cameras will be installed next month to catch cars using the bus lanes.
Select bus service debuted on the Bx12 in 2008, where the MTA said speeds improved by 20 percent.