The B25 bus line could be brought back from the brink.
State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office has announced that the MTA reversed its proposal to cut service along the B25 bus line, though an MTA spokesperson would not confirm whether individual lines are being rescinded.
“The MTA is reviewing the package of service cuts adopted by the MTA board adopted in December,” said MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan. “As far as cuts to individual subway lines, everything is under review. The bus is still running.”
That is still relief for many Brooklynites, including Senator Squadron, who feared the discontinuation of a service that stretches along the A-C subway line from Broadway Junction to Brooklyn Bridge Park, crossing through East New York, Ocean Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO.
“What Brooklyn Bridge Park needs is increased access, not ill-conceived service cuts, and there is no question this is that category,” said Squadron, in an interview with Gothamist. “The thought here should be, how can we get more folks down to it from Atlantic Avenue all the way down to DUMBO. What this would do (if cut) is decrease access and connectivity.”
Transportation advocates caution that any celebrations would be premature, as the MTA is still adjusting its routes in light of proposed bus and subway service cuts throughout the borough.
“Before we put on our party hats and open up the champagne, they’re still going to go ahead with the same amount of cuts, $129 million annually. B25 riders won’t suffer, but something else is slouching toward us in the moment,” said Straphangers Campaign for NYPIRG spokesperson Gene Russianoff. “For a big stretch of the B25, the only alternative is to take the A or the C and that’s no alternative if you’re a senior citizen or have kids in a stroller. It’s definitely one of the lousier cuts in their arsenal.”
Transportation Alternatives’ spokesperson Wiley Norvell also warned about larger service cuts that await Brooklyn bus and subway riders.
“The holes in the MTA’s budget aren’t getting any smaller,” said Norvell. “Right now, one neighborhood’s relief doesn’t diminish a crisis that’s hitting dozens of neighborhoods, especially in the outer boroughs, hard. We need big infusions in the MTA operating budget to keep the rest of the proposed cuts from taking effect.”
Indeed, Senator Squadron emphasized that he would continue to fight draconian cuts across his district, while his legislative colleague Assemblymember Joseph Lentol castigated the MTA in a letter for the proposed reduction of service along the G train and the B24, B61 and B48 buses, and the recent split of the B61 bus to two lines.
“What was the point of us all making sacrifices and contributing to the system if the MTA was going to make the cuts anyway?” said Lentol. “The people of my district and this city rallied to save the transit system once already this year. The fact that the MTA is once again telling us to just go ahead and suffer through these kinds ofcrippling service cuts is quite simply unacceptable. I want to know where the money went and when things will start to improve.”