MTA to slash service along three Brooklyn bus lines

Less is more: The Metropolitan Transportation Agency plans to cut the B38 schedule but will introduce longer articulated buses that hold more straphangers this fall.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to cut service to three Brooklyn bus routes starting this fall.

The scheme to take busses off the road and lengthen waits along a whopping 23 bus lines citywide will allow the MTA to shave $7 million off its operating costs, according to internal documents first reported on by the New York Daily News.

Following the service cuts, commuters relying on the B38 — which runs through Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Downtown — will wait up to three minutes longer for busses on weekdays during the morning and evening rush, as well as during most times Saturdays, and from noon to evening on Sundays.

The nearby B54, which runs a similar route along Myrtle Avenue, will have less buses weekdays during all hours except peak hours in the evening, while the B15, which goes from Bedford-Stuyvesant to John F. Kennedy Airport, will suffer longer waits at midday on weekdays.

The Authority chose to strip busses off the Bed-Stuy lines due to relatively low ridership figures, according to agency documents, which claimed that the effect on riders would be minimal during morning and evening rush hours.

And transit honchos will monitor those routes to ensure riders aren’t completely screwed, according to the memo.

“We will closely monitor the service to ensure that the new schedules provide sufficient service to meet customer demand,” the MTA document reads.

But one straphanger said the route is already poorly managed, and complained of busses that arrive in groups of two or three, only to be followed by long waits afterwards.

“They have enough at rush hour but they all pull out at the same time — it makes no sense,” said Dyckman Welcome, who boarded his homeward bound bus from America’s Downtown Monday evening. “More space will be helpful but they need to be more spaced out.”

To mitigate the affect of a smaller service fleet, the Transit Authority is adding longer, articulated buses — capable of holding an additional 20 passengers over standard busses — to the B38 route, according to agency spokeswoman Amanda Kwan. The B54 and B15 routes, however, will not benefit from the bigger busses, documents show.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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