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CB15 says B44 Select buses too long for neighborhood

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Leaders in Sheepshead Bay want to select some shorter buses.

The new B44 Select Bus Service along Nostrand Avenue has eaten up precious parking spaces for very little benefit, according to Community Board 15, and members are asking the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to take another look at the service’s extra-long buses.

“They’re taking away parking spaces, and the buses are empty,” said Morris Harary who chairs CB15’s transportation committee.

Harary and his committee want the city to look into replacing the articulated buses — which have 22 additional seats — with standard buses with regular ones and restore some lost spots, he said.

The 62-foot-long, two-section, “articulated” buses that serve Select Bus Service riders need longer loading lanes and more room to turn, so the city eliminated many parking spots along the Nostrand Avenue route.

“We must have lost two dozen spots, and we didn’t have many spots to begin with” said CB15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo.

The board sent a letter the Authority on March 19 requesting a ridership study, Scavo said.

The buses appear mostly empty along the southern portion of their route, which extends from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg, according to Harary, and he said the city needs to do a study to make certain the long buses are the best way to serve Brooklynites.

Scavo said she’s also skeptical that the articulated buses are necessary.

“You might need those buses on Second Avenue, but on Nostrand?” Scavo said.

This is not the first time the board or the community at large has pushed back against the new B44 Select Bus Service.

CB15 blasted the proposal in its early stages because the plan would eliminate parking in the space-strapped district.

The community recently scored a victory when the Metropolitan Transit Authority added two Select Bus Service stops that residents were clamoring for.

Harary said the board hasn’t heard back from the authority, but he expects a fight over the articulated buses.

“This will be a tough one, because they’re in love with them,” he said.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority did not return calls for comment.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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