I was lucky enough to live on an SBS line for three weeks during the summer of 2012 – I was working temporarily at NBC for the London Olympics and crashed with a friend on 191st in the Bronx. Walking 20 minutes to the D at Fordham Road in the middle of August was not a fun experience, so when the air conditioned (if crowded) Bx12 pulled up at the right time it was always a relief.
I was also unlucky enough in 2011 to pick up a friend (complete with suitcases) at La Guardia and escort him back to Brooklyn, all via public transit. By far the worst part of the trip was the ride on the M60 between the airport and 125th – as packed as any bus I’ve ever been on and running all local stops.
As you might imagine, I’m quite in favor of the new service along 125th – it improves the airport connection, provides a smoother connection between Harlem and Queens, and links East and West Harlem together far more efficiently than the local bus service (which should see reduced crowding to boot).
SBS isn’t the last word in transit, but it serves an important role as part of a long term regional strategy along already busy routes where installing anything else would be either infeasible or absurdly expensive.