Buses galore in Williamsburg

The Phantom Bus of Fort Greene
The Brooklyn Paper / Gregory P. Mango

Two new bus routes will ferry commuters around the bustling but transit-starved neighborhood of Williamsburg under a new Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan.

Transit officials announced on July 19 that they want to create a new route to serve the burgeoning Williamsburg waterfront and restore the B39 — an express bus and L train alternative that traversed the Williamsburg Bridge until it was eliminated in 2010 budget cuts.

The planned waterfront line will provide a vital transit link for residents of new developments west of Bedford Avenue, supporters say.

“Thousands of new residents have moved to the Williamsburg waterfront in the last few years, but we’ve needed transit service to meet our neighborhood’s growth,” said state Sen. Dan Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights). “This new bus route, combined with L train and B39 increases and other improvements, is an important step toward providing residents and businesses with the service they need.”

North Brooklynites cheered the return of the B39, saying the route could alleviate some crowding on perpetually packed rush hour trains.

The proposed North Brooklyn bus routes are part of a $29 million MTA plan that also calls for making a beloved but at-risk extension of the G train permanent, and creating a new bus route that will link DUMBO, Downtown, and the Navy Yard — an area dubbed the “Tech Triangle” by politicians.

Squadron, who will work with community leaders to help draft the new Downtown route, says the bus line will help Brooklyn remain on the forefront of technology.

“Brooklyn’s tech industry is changing the face of New York and now, we’ll have a bus route that will allow the booming ‘Tech Triangle’ to continue to grow and innovate,” he said.