Bay Ridge to MTA: Stop dead

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bay Ridge residents and their political leaders rallied on Monday against proposed Metropolitan Transit Authority service cuts that will slice across the neighborhood far deeper than elsewhere in the city, they said.

About 50 people, brought together by Councilman Vince Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) and state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge), gathered at 88th Street and Third Avenue along the B37 route, one of the community’s arteries that the MTA would sever entirely to help plug a $383-million budget shortfall.

The line starts at Fort Hamilton and runs up Third Avenue to Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. It is one of the slowest buses in the city, according to the Straphangers Campaign. It is also the 156th busiest bus route out of 194 in the city, with a daily ridership of 3,524 people, according to MTA stats. By comparison, the city’s busiest bus line, the M1 in Manhattan, has 56,723 riders per day.

That said, the B37 has its fans.

“The B37 is southwest Brooklyn’s lifeline,” said Gentile, who rallied the troops in similar fashion when a prior round of cuts was announced roughly this time last year. “Don’t leave us out in the cold! We’re going to turn the heat up on the MTA!”

Golden, whose job in Albany presumably affords him more power over the state transit agency than Gentile’s position at City Hall, announced a petition drive to assist that effort.

The MTA proposal also includes cutting the B16 (the 111th busiest line), B4 (the 127th), X27 and X28 on the weekends, a move that would affect residents from Bay Ridge to Bensonhurst. The R train is nearby, but Gentile said that many seniors and disabled residents do not ride the subway.

Borough-wide, the cuts would include reduced service along the A, D, F, G, N, Q, J and M trains, along with another handful of bus routes and the Access-A-Ride service. The transit agency has also threatened to eliminate half fares for students.

If no arm of government ponies up at the 11th hour, the cuts will take effect in spring. But a Gentile spokeswoman thinks that coordinated efforts could pressure the MTA.

“The opposition is part of what deterred the MTA from making these cuts last year,” said Dena Libner, the spokeswoman.

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Reader Feedback

Brian from Bay Ridge says:
I am all for more public transport, but busses are dirty and polute and cost a fortune to run/maintain. Why not reintroduce trams (trollies)?

Or think of new and creative forms of public transport. Of course the MTA has huge budget shortfalls because they don't innovate or explore new technologies. They also make costly and unneccessary repairs to stations that are in good working order (why build all of the new mosaics along the R line in manhattan? the stations were perfectly fine as they were - which btw was an unneccessary cosmetic repair made in the 60's to cover up the older and still beautiful mosaics that were there before)
Jan. 12, 2010, 4:26 am
Phyllis J. Brannon from Bensonhurst says:
Pleases do not take away the B$ bus.
Jan. 12, 2010, 10:23 am
Ace from New Utrecht says:
Leave us our weekend and late night B4!
Jan. 12, 2010, 12:20 pm
Brian from Bay Ridge says:
Take away busses if you like, but please give us something else.
If you keep cutting service and then isolate parts of the city you will continue to lose money and support MTA. People will be beihnd you if you provide a valuable service and are helping the city. If you focus on costoumer needs and putting your money towards creating a truly world class and modern system, then people will have no problem raising your budget. If you continue to waste money, provide nothing new (in fact take away services you once provided) people will continue to be angry with you and will actually want to cut your funding even more.
Jan. 13, 2010, 4:05 am
Bayridgite from Bay Ridge says:
I thought they were still going to run the B37 on weekends. Where is there a list of exactly what they are planning?
Jan. 13, 2010, 11:26 am

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