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MTA to cut service along B38 bus this fall

The B38 bus will make nine less stops in Brooklyn and Queens when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolls out longer articulated buses on teh route starting Labor Day.
Brooklyn Paper
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Transit officials will ax stops and run longer buses along the B38 through Brooklyn and Queens in an effort to streamline service along the cross-borough route beginning Sept. 2.

The transit agency plans to remove four stops along the Brooklyn portion of the route — which includes Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Downtown — in addition to five stops in Queens starting Labor Day, according to a notice the Metropolitan Transportation Authority sent out to Community Board 2 on Aug. 13.

In Brooklyn, the Transit Authority will eliminate:

• Downtown-bound Ashland Place stops at DeKalb Avenue

• Queens-bound Kossuth Place stops near Bushwick Avenue

• Downtown-bound Bushwick Avenue stops at DeKalb Avenue

• Queens- and Downtown-bound stops at Cypress and DeKalb avenues

On the bright side, the route will benefit from longer, 60-foot busses capable of traveling at higher speeds and holding an additional 20 passengers each.

To accommodate the bigger busses, the MTA will lengthen 13 stops in Brooklyn, which will not block driveways, bike lanes, or intersections, according to Transit Authority spokeswoman Amanda Kwan, who directed questions regarding loss of parking to the city’s Department of Transportation.

“Longer buses require extending bus stops so that the back of the bus does not interfere with traffic at intersections or right turn lanes, block driveways or bike lanes, or create safety hazards for customers, other motorists or pedestrians,” said Kwan.

A city transit spokeswoman, Alana Morales, could not immediately comment regarding loss of parking.

The reductions are part of the Authority’s scheme to cut service along 23 bus routes citywide to save $7 million in operating costs, according to internal documents released last month.

By removing stops, transit officials hope to make the city’s bus system — the slowest of any major city in the nation — run faster and more reliably, a policy the agency piloted in a redesign of the Staten Island network last year.

“Our customers have called on us to increase bus speeds, and part of the solution is to re-examine our bus stop spacing, which is much closer than peer transit systems,” said Kwan.

The agency plans to launch a similar makeover for Kings County’s bus network in the coming months, the first on a borough-wide scale in decades, a spokeswoman previously told this paper.

“We welcome customer feedback as we approach our planned redesign of the entire Brooklyn bus network in the coming months when we will re-examine the route network for the first time in decades,” Kwan said.

This story was updated to include comment by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Aug. 19.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 12:23 pm, August 19, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
It's a blessing and a curse: We get 62 foot articulated buses. However, because of higher fare evasion, which leads to lesser fare revenue, expect a major cut of this bus route. Not only the MTA is responsible for bad service, but some of us are blamed for not paying our own fare. That's the consequences we get. Catch-22 anyone?
Aug. 19, 8:53 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
We could do a better crackdown on fare evaders to keep bus lines like this from having their normal stops, but then certain advocacy groups will be crying foul to this, though I won't be surprised if some of them are part of their group(s).
Aug. 19, 9:13 am
Tooney from Staten Island says:
It’s hard for them to run the buses with all these out of control bicycles on the road.
Aug. 19, 9:56 am
Reed Woodhouse from Fort Greene says:
I live along the 38 bus route on Lafayette Avenue. While I occasionally use it, I prefer the subway. But as a Lafayette Ave resident, I can say that I’ve long felt there were simply too many 38’s running, both Express and Local. And even the stop nearest me, S Portland, is two blocks from the previous stop and four from the next. It seems like overkill, and noisy to boot, though I’m sure if I used the line more frequently I’d be grateful.
Aug. 19, 10:03 am
Brenden from Mineola says:
This title is incredibly misleading. They are removing stops to make the service more efficient, while increasing capacity through using larger buses. Not "cutting service".
Aug. 19, 10:25 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
We could do better cracking down on motorists parking and driving in the bus lane, but the overweight car zealots will cry foul. They flout the laws, then cry when ticketed.
Aug. 19, 10:54 am
Robert Berrios from Red Hook says:
Pay your Fare and you will get better service.
Aug. 19, 11:16 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Enforcing bus fares is racist
Aug. 19, 12:12 pm
Obvious says:
No Joe, you’re racist. You filthy POS.
Aug. 19, 8:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Joe, there is nothing racist about having everyone who rides the buses and even the subways in that matter paying the fare. BTW, there have been people of many races and even classes that have been caught trying to evade them, which doesn't make it racist nor a class warfare, plus they should be able to afford the fares if they can afford what they are wearing. If everyone really did pay for it whenever they used it, then the MTA won't see a reason to constantly raise fares to just cover for what some aren't paying for or even cut service for that matter. I feel that the real catch-22 here is that many want the best transportation, but they always feel somebody other than them should be footing the bill.
Aug. 20, 5:14 am
Lucy from Bensonhurst says:
Tal Bazarlai - you never ride the bus, and it shows. Your comment is filled with willfull ignorance of our reality on the bus - what we deal with on a daily basis.
Aug. 20, 7:24 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
Only suckers take public transportation. In your car you are safe and comfy.
Aug. 20, 10:56 am
Joe from Greenpoint says:
My car smells like my sister.
Aug. 20, 1:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Lucy, there have been times I actually did ride the city buses, so I do know what it likes. However, I feel that you probably don't drive on a regular basis, which might show how little you know what it's like for me and why I oppose something like congestion pricing or other higher fees. The truth is that fare evasion needs to be stopped. Whenever there are those who sneak on the buses and subways, it hurts those that are paying, because it forces them to pay even more just to make up for what they weren't paying for. Overall, they are part of the reason for the hikes. Other reasons why the MTA is thinking about cutting some stops is because some of those stops have hardly any ridership, so they don't see a reason to stop there regularly. That was pretty much the reason why the LIRR has fewer stops and lines than it used to have, because having those empty stops would be a major net money loser for them.
Aug. 21, 6:20 am
Lisa from Clinton Hill says:
Why cut one of the busiest bus lines in Brooklyn? Every one and their mother takes the B38 bus. Buses need to be spaced more evenly so that bus 'bunching' doesn't occur. Fare evaders come in all races and classes- you should stand there and observe how many people board the buses without paying in the morning in those 'good neighborhoods'. It may surprise you to learn that they are not all the same race.
Aug. 23, 10:33 am

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