Goodbye Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Hello, Luxury Bus?
If you can still remember the days when the city was covered with highways and freeways that ran through the most scenic areas of the city, then you’ll know that even the roads that the bus you see in front of you on your right on the next photo above are not what we think of as “highways”, but rather a “motorway”. You are reading the story of the future of urban transport with a bus. It is, however, a luxury bus – a “luxury” one that seats up to 50 people.
Last April, the idea of a luxury bus was proposed by a team of transportation experts – a team that included former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The goal is to change the image of the bus from what we know it is today, a common sight in the streets of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, to a luxury bus that is on the road today and is already being ridden by travelers.
Transportation consultants and experts in the field of urban mobility – from public transportation, ride-hailing, taxis and luxury transportation operators – came together to propose a new system of transport that will transform the bus into a new form of transportation in the city.
So far, the system has been tested with a four-person bus – the Kedarnath Express. The first version of the proposal is a 60-passenger bus with an interconnecting bus lane. But eventually, the system will expand to a much larger fleet, including electric vehicles that can take up two lanes.
As the bus becomes a more common sight on the streets of New York, a number of questions will arise. What will happen to the other 50,000 buses that operate in New York? Where will they go? Will they stop at the end of every day? Will they only run between certain hours during the day? Is it safe?
The experts say that they are not worried about the safety of the vehicles. “The buses are designed for the same purpose, and are designed so that the driver can tell the passengers that they are on a bus, not a subway,” says Matt Smith, CEO of the Transportation Altern