BROOKLYN — The MTA board voted to add buses to Brooklyn’s B61 route, which connects Downtown with Red Hook, during the evening rush hour.
The move, part of a package of changes to bus schedules citywide, will mean that buses on the route will come more frequently and following a study on the bus line released by Brooklyn elected officials and community groups in December.
The report, “Next Bus Please: Improving the B61 Bus,” found that less than half — only 43-percent — of B61 buses arrived within an acceptable time frame during rush hour. The MTA has since verified the report’s findings of overcrowding during some periods, which led to the changes in the bus schedule.
“I am happy to see that the MTA is listening to the people and taking this important first step to improve the B61 bus,” said City Councilmember Brad Lander (D-Park Slope/Cobble Hill). “We look forward to working with the agency to address other concerns raised in our report, such as overcrowding and long waits during morning rush hour, buses that are skipping stops, and the need for real time bus arrival information for B61 riders.”
“The action taken by MTA is an important first step toward improving service on the B61 bus route, and I look forward to additional efforts by MTA that reduce crowding and delays for those using this overburdened bus line,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Sunset Park/Red Hook).
The changes approved at the Jan. 23 MTA board meeting will be implemented in April.
This move also follows a unanimous motion by the Brooklyn Community Board Six Transportation Committee to endorse the findings and recommendations of the study.
Next Bus Please was prepared by the elected officials and community members, who collected data on over 700 bus runs from July 5 to September 15, 2011 by tracking bus arrival times, counting passengers, and riding the entire route of the bus. It made a series of nine recommendations for improving the B61 bus route and the experience of riders, which is viewable at www.bradlander.com/b61.