Brooklyn’s busiest bus route may have gotten a little quicker.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority rolled out B46 Select Bus Service on July 3, promising a speedier commute for 44,000 riders along its Marine Park-to-Bushwick route. The line skips more stops than the B46 Limited it is replacing, and straphangers can now pay before they get on — two features that should expedite trips, officials say. Riders are still getting used to the changes, but anything beats waiting to board a bus while people fumble to swipe their MetroCards, one local leader said.
“To be quite honest, with any transition, there’s always a stir. It’s getting used to it,” said Community Board 18 district manager Dottie Turano. “It’s hard waiting in line, and with today’s demands and schedules, it’s hard to wait in line.”
Kiosks at stops along the route let commuters swipe their cards in exchange for a printed ticket used to gain admission people-movers.
The new system is definitely quicker, but not as intuitive as the old-school way, according to one Flatbush rider who caught a B46 outside of Kings Plaza Mall on July 11.
“It’s faster for the bus to move, but I think that I’m more used to using the [old way],” said Jehsse Samuel.
Transit authority workers and members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 have been manning each stop for the last two weeks to teach riders about the new ticket system and ease the transition, said union member Rocky Beltri.
“We’re here to assist people with the new service, show them how the machines work, how the system works, any other questions they have for us,” he said.
The services runs along Utica Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard to ferry people from Kings Plaza in Marine Park to Broadway on the border of Bedford–Stuyvesant and Bushwick. From there, riders can take a local to get to the route’s terminus at the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza Bus Terminal.
Select buses also get their own dedicated lanes, a notion that has riled drivers in car-heavy southern Brooklyn, but the Department of Transportation worked closely with locals to lessen onerous roadway changes and even make some safety improvements, according to Turano.
“DOT has been very amenable. Whatever we have asked for, they have done,” she said. “We have to wait and see and just keep tweaking it.”