2019 Project

Team members: Claudio Barboza, Amadou Barry, Issac Sevede, Victor Silvestre, Hamza Zindani

The first YULP cohort demonstrated right away the need to have youth voices and passion involved in urban planning. What started out as a summer internship soon carried on well into the fall with a project that has resonated with many. The planning team initially sought to improve parking conditions in their neighborhood, and looked to open spaces such as Van Cortlandt Park for this purpose. After an initial survey at the park, the team quickly found this idea not to be viable. Instead, they pivoted to focus on improving bus performance on the Bx9 route which passes near their school. The timing was perfect, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) was in the midst of a plan to redesign all bus routes in the Bronx. The draft plan didn't include many recommendations for the Bx9 line, and the young planners disagreed with this.

The team rode the line, surveying riders and gathering their opinions on the service. They asked questions on how fast, comfortable, and safe riders felt on the line, and received detailed responses from nearly 60 riders. Through this analysis and observation of the line, the team recommended the Bx9 become a Select Bus Service line with limited stops and pre-boarding payment options. They also recommended a new set of stops for the line, which they displayed in a scale model of the neighborhood around their school.

The team's scale model was a popular exhibit at the 2019 Hindsight Conference, where their work was seen by many professionals in the transportation planning world. The project team was also awarded the William H. Whyte award for creativity and ingenuity in planning by the APA-NYM Chapter. Most recently in 2021, some of the team members took a break from their college studies to present to the MTA, as the agency was seeking feedback on their Bronx Bus Redesign plan before presenting it to the full MTA Board of Directors. You can read their final report via the link below.