NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Starting today, new bus-boarding platforms are being installed along 14th Street in Manhattan.

The platforms are supposed to speed up service and give pedestrians a little more room on the sidewalk.

They will be installed at seven M14 A/D Select Bus Service stops.

The idea is to create a dedicated space for customers to wait for and board buses, making it faster, more convenient and safer to get from the sidewalk to the bus. It’s also expected to free up sidewalk space for pedestrians.

Last month, the MTA and DOT turned 14th Street into a busway, restricting cars from the busy crosstown street to improve bus service. The new platforms are the next phase of that plan.

While it’s considered a pilot program, city leaders have already said they’re considering expanding busways to other parts of the city. 

In the matter of a month, 14th Street has been transformed from a busy thoroughfare to what bus rider Lisa Donneson called a breeze.

“I go to Chelsea Piers, I get off the subway, and it used to take forever to get there, with an extra half hour or something. Now, the buses move along,” she told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.

“Now, the parking is much more readily available, and at that point, we can get in and out faster, and plus there’s much less traffic on this road,” Commercial driver Fred Heller said.

As for the new platforms, they were met with mixed reaction Thursday.

“If it makes everything go smoother, I’m all for it,” said Guy Rabinowitz.

“If you’re going to put platforms, it’s only going to make it worse for the drivers,” Chuck Horsky said.

(Credit: NYC DOT)

Transit officials say work at each bus stop will take about six days, with crews working from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Crews will only work on two bus stops at a time, and never consecutive stops.

So if your stop is affected, you can use the next closest one. If you’re unsure where to go, there will be signs at each stop and announcements on buses.

Construction on the seven platforms is expected to be completed by December.

See the schedule below:

  • Westbound Seventh Avenue stop, Phase 1 (7 a.m. Thursday, November 7 until approximately November 14)
  • Westbound Fifth Avenue stop, Phase 2
  • Westbound Irving Place stop, Phase 3
  • Westbound Eighth Avenue stop, Phase 4
  • Eastbound University Place stop, Phase 5
  • Westbound Sixth Avenue stop, Phase 6
  • Eastbound Eighth Avenue stop, Phase 7

Click here for more information from the MTA.

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