Helter shelter! City gives B61 riders a place to wait for their lame bus

Helter shelter! City gives B61 riders a place to wait for their lame bus
Gimme shelter: Jermaine Cecilai of Red Hook waits for a B61 bus on Van Brunt Street in a new shelter.
Photo by Bryan Bruchman

Red Hook straphangers will at least have a dry place to wait for their lousy B61 bus.

The city plans to erect shelters along the bus route, which runs from Red Hook to Downtown via Park Slope by September, 2012 — though a warm bus stop will be cold comfort to many riders, whose complaints about the bus were confirmed last week in a scathing report by Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope).

That survey recommended additional buses or an extension of the nearby B57 line. For now, though, riders will get shelters at bus stops at Van Brunt Street and Hamilton Avenue; Columbia and Warren streets and Lorraine and Hicks streets.

Riders were underwhelmed.

“Shelters make it a little better — but it doesn’t address the real problem: Crowding and infrequent buses,” said Brad Kerr, a Columbia Waterfront District resident.

Lander’s report revealed that the B61 had a 43-percent on-time rating during rush hour — nearly two times worse than the B44, which the Straphangers Campaign named Brooklyn’s least reliable “key route.”

“We need better transportation options in Red Hook,” said Gary Reilly of Community Board 6.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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