Group worried about Nostrand Bus Rapid Transit

A local panel is not convinced that a new, quicker Nostrand Avenue bus will benefit the community.

Members of Community Board 15 told MTA officials this week that despite claims of more frequent service and quicker commutes, converting the B44 into a Bus Rapid Transit line will only frustrate commuters and cost the neighborhood too much parking.

MTA officials insist that that B44 riders catching the bus at Emmons Avenue can expect to reach Flatbush Avenue four-to-eight-minutes sooner once the new system is in place, thanks to a new fare collection system that has riders pay before boarding the bus and dedicated bus lanes.

“How can the MTA consider a four minute time savings per trip significant while at the same time proposing service cuts claiming that an added five minutes per trip is insignificant?” asked Manhattan Beach resident Allan Rosen.

Neighbors are also worried too many riders will end up missing their connections because they will no longer be able to pay their fares once inside the bus.

MTA officials admitted that drivers on the BX12 bus route are instructed not to wait for commuters fumbling at bus stop fare boxes.

The MTA claims that, on a BRT route in the Bronx in use for the past two years, fare evasion is down, and revenues are up — although 6,000 tickets for fare evasion have been issued.

The MTA says Federal stimulus dollars are fueling the plan.

The full board will consider the MTA’s select bus plan for Nostrand Avenue next week.

Community Board 15’s next meeting will be held inside Kingsborough Community College’s faculty dining room on May 25 at 7 pm.