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Dumped on: Subway-less Red Hook left out in cold by early bus closure

Missed the bus: Downtown resident Jack McConnell is stranded in Red Hook after Gov. Cuomo ordered buses suspended at noon on Saturday. The mechanic got off work from a tour bus depot minutes before service closed.
Community News Group / Max Jaeger

The closure of Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses riled riders in Red Hook, who had to hoof it in and out of the subway-starved neighborhood as Winter Storm Jonas blasted them with snow and bitter off-harbor wind on Saturday.

Gov. Cuomo announced that morning that buses would stop rolling at noon, but authorities should have given working Brooklynites more notice, one stranded B61 rider said.

“I live Downtown — I don’t know how I’m gonna get home,” said Jack McConnell, a mechanic who got off of work from a Van Brunt Street tour bus depot at noon. “They know people are coming out this morning — you’d think they’d have a backup plan.”

Another rider forced to trudge took the inconvenience in stride.

“I better start walking,” Ramon Castillo said with a sigh at the corner of Van Brunt and Van Dyke streets upon finding out buses had been halted for the last 20 minutes.

The closure forced a tourist wading up Van Brunt Street to visit a friend on Pacific Street to brave the cold so she could give her host and host’s kids a little space, she said.

“I had to let her do her own thing,” said a woman who identified herself as Angela.

The governor issued a State of Emergency early Jan. 23, later barring driving after 2:30 pm and ordering elevated train lines shut at 4 pm.

Many Red Hookers have to walk more than a mile to the nearest subway station, Smith–Ninth Street, but Bergen Street in Cobble Hill is their local station after the 4 pm elevated service suspension, according to information from the authority.

McConnell was miffed he was left out in the cold, but he stayed hopeful he’d catch one last bus home, he said.

“I’m gonna stick it out here a bit longer,” he said, gripping a coffee at the half-buried bus stop between Dikeman and Wolcott streets.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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