Brooklyn lawmakers secured a $9 million federal grant to improve bus safety and accessibility at select south Brooklyn bus stops, according to freshman Congressman Max Rose.
“Four months ago, we organized and called on the federal government to listen to the needs of local residents, and disburse grant funding to help us upgrade the south Brooklyn bus network—because the sad fact is that for too long we’ve been ripped off, forgotten, and ignored,” Rose said.
The money will fund the installation of asphalt platforms that extend off the sidewalk and into the street, improving boarding safety at bus stops along 86th Street under the elevated D train, and on Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst and Bath Beach as part of the Department of Transportation’s “Safe Routes to Transit and Bus Stops Under the El” program.
The stops will also benefit from so-called “bus pads,” which prevent buses from tearing up the street.
Transfers from elevated trains to public buses – where commuters often are stuck waiting in the roadway – have been a longtime issue for the Department of Transportation, and the improved stops will make commuting safer both on the street and above it, according to the agency’s head.
“The elevated trains of Southern Brooklyn are critical connectors, but especially at interchanges where riders move from MTA buses to the subway, we have long faced design challenges,” said Polly Trottenberg. “The bus bulbs, bus pads, subsurface work and accessibility improvements will create a safer and improved experience for bus and subway riders.”
Rose led a coalition of Brooklyn house reps including Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Yvette Clark and Congresswoman Nydia Velazque, who pushed for federal funding for South Brooklyn buses in a letter penned to the Federal Transit Authority in July.
“South Brooklyn is a particularly underserved area when it comes to public transportation,” the letter said. “Not only are subway stations sparse when compared with other neighborhoods of New York City, but also the service on these lines are some of the worst in the MTA system. As a result, bus service is often the only reliable way for Brooklynites to get about their daily lives.”