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Pricey New Plan Aims To Put Buses First In NYC And Barely Speeds Up Traffic

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Mayor de Blasio has announced a plan to cut commuting times for New York City bus riders. New measures that would be in addition to the controversial congestion pricing plan.

Right now, city buses tend to crawl instead of run.

"It's bad, really bad," one commuter told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

De Blasio wants to give buses a push with a new $280 million city action plan designed to take the current average bus speed of 7 ½ mph and increase it by 25 percent.

MORE: Reclaim Initiative Takes Aim At NYC Congestion Pricing

To do that, the mayor claims traffic must clear out for buses to move.

"Multiple delivery trucks can really screw things up," de Blasio said.

The mayor added that thousands of deliveries are being shifted to overnights. More and more companies are reportedly agreeing to deliver when traffic's thinner.

Restaurant chain "Just Salad" already made the switch.

"Early deliveries mean fewer idling trucks and lower emissions," Janani Lee of Just Salad said.

Buses are also getting signal improvements like the one on Manhattan's 57th Street and Third Avenue - where buses get a dedicated green light ahead of other traffic lanes.

The plan calls for an additional 300 key intersections to get them.

The mayor, who took reporters on a street tour, said the city issued 17,000 summonses for bus lane violations in the first three months of this year.

MORE: Confusing Bus Lane Signs Sending Mixed Signals To Drivers In Midtown

De Blasio said authorities will get even more aggressive after the bus lane's get a flashy redesign.

"You are going to be able to see the bus lane really clearly. We are taking the mystery out of it."

As for the goal of all these changes – prioritizing buses over other drivers - the city want to get that average of 7 ½ mph to a whopping 8 or 9 mph.

Sounds small? The mayor claims it's not.

"If you can give someone back five minutes every day that really matters to them."

$280 million for 1 mph? New Yorkers will have to be the judge for themselves if it's worth all that.

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