MTA extends itself for Ikea

Construction of the Ikea store on Beard Street in Red Hook continues. Bus service to the site will begin in January, months before the store actually opens.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Take your flat pack on the bus.

New York City Transit has agreed to reroute the B61 and the B77 bus lines next year so they stop at a corner of Red Hook that is fast turning blue — Ikea blue.

The B61 — which travels through Cobble Hill and western Carroll Gardens before terminating at the intersection of Van Brunt and Beard Street, two blocks west of the site — will stop in front of the store’s entrance at the intersection of Beard and Columbia streets.

The same spot will also be a stop for the B77, which travels west on Ninth Street from Park Slope to Red Hook and currently terminates one block north of the site at Lorraine and Dykeman streets.

The new bus stops could reduce what is generally expected to be an influx of car traffic to the store, which will open next spring, according to Charles Seaton, a spokesman for MTA NYC Transit.

“This will allow a large number of people to reach [Ikea] without using a car,” said Seaton.

The extension of Red Hook’s two bus lines has been on the drawing board since 2003, when the city gave Ikea permission to build the superstore over the cries of residents who fear the traffic congestion it will bring.

Ikea will also introduce its own private shuttle bus to famously transit-starved Red Hook. The private shuttle will stop at subway stations in Brooklyn, connecting riders on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, M, N, and R subway lines to the store, which will be the country’s largest.

Even with these new transit choices, the superstore is expected on a busy day to attract 11,000 cars, 100 trucks and several commuter ferries.

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