I’m very pleased to report that the MTA – in response to our advocacy – is improving transit service in our neighborhood.
As you’ve probably heard, the MTA has agreed to make the G train 5-stop extension to Church Avenue permanent. The G extension has increased the number of trains running along the Culver line through Kensington, Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, and connecting our neighborhoods to Downtown Brooklyn and North Brooklyn. Thousands of people raised their voice in support of Brooklyn’s “Crosstown Local,” and the MTA heard us.
In addition, the B57 bus (which now runs along Smith and Court Street), will be extended into Red Hook (past Smith/9th Street and down to IKEA), and more buses are being added to the route. That means another bus serving Red Hook, which desperately needs a second bus, and much less crowding on the B61 line, which often skips stops because buses are too crowded.
These victories are a direct result of work we did together. Last fall, my office (together with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Councilwoman Sara González) released the report Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus, which outlined problems on the troubled bus line. Volunteers and staff from my office gathered hard data to back up what many constituents have been saying for a long time: that the B61 has not been serving its riders well. One of the things we called for was the extension of the B57, and now we have it.
This significant expansion in service follows several smaller improvements that have been made to the B61 bus line over the last year, including:
- More buses were added to the evening B61 rush hour, so that buses will come more often.
- The MTA recently installed BusTime on B61, so you can use your phone or computer to find out “where is the next bus?”
- Changes were made to the schedule that will make buses more reliable.
Unfortunately, these restorations do not restore service levels back to where they were a few years ago, since the MTA is restoring $18 million, compared to $50 million that was cut in 2010. Without the old B71 and B77, many in our neighborhoods still lack the transit options we need. New York needs to prioritize stable funding for transit, so we can restore these bus lines and avoid cutting transit in the future. Please sign this petition calling for restoration of the B71 bus, initiated by Assemblywoman Joan Millman. Working together, I hope we can soon restore the B71.