City To Move B1 Bus Stop
By Paula Katinas
Bay Ridge — Changes to S79 bus stops on Staten Island that the Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to make will have a spillover effect on the B1 bus line, according to local officials.
In an effort to ease crowding on Fourth Avenue between 86th and 87th streets, where both the B1 and the S79 buses terminate, the DOT is planning to move the B1’s last stop to a spot around the corner, on 87th Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, said Brian Kieran, chairman of the Traffic and Transportation Committee of Community Board 10.
“The final stop will be moved,” Kieran told board members at their April 16 meeting. “The B1 will let off passengers on 87th Street, not Fourth Avenue.”
After making the last stop and discharging their passengers, the B1 drivers will then make a right-hand turn from 87th Street onto Fourth Avenue and pick up passengers at the first stop on its route, on Fourth Avenue between 86th and 87th Streets, Kieran said.
“Passengers will get on the B1 on Fourth Avenue, as they do now,” Kieran said.
Moving the B1 bus stop is part of an overall plan that really has more to do with the S79 bus than it does with the B1, Board 10 officials said.
The DOT is planning to remove some stops along the S79 route on Staten Island and move other stops.
The S79 runs from Eltingville, Staten Island, over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, to its last stop on Fourth Avenue between 86th and 87th streets in Bay Ridge.
When DOT officials looked at the S79 route, they realized that the block of Fourth Avenue between 86th and 87th streets often contained two long lines of passengers waiting for the B1 and S79.
Add to that the fact that large numbers of passengers also disembark from the two buses at that same location and you have a recipe for pedestrian gridlock, officials said.
The decision to move the B1’s last stop is an attempt to ease that gridlock, officials said.
Board 10 voted at the meeting to recommend that the DOT move ahead with the plan to move the bus stop.
One problem, according to Kieran: The new bus stop on 87th Street will mean that three parking spaces for cars will be lost.
The parking spaces will be removed to accommodate the bus, he said.
In other transportation news, a representative of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 told the board that the union is working with Bensonhurst Assemblyman Bill Colton to restore full service to the B64 bus.
Henry Butler said that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shortened the B64’s route two years ago and that the bus terminates on 25th Avenue in Bensonhurst. The B64 used to travel all the way to Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island.
The shortened route “has been a hardship on senior citizens,” Butler said.
Butler, who is also the chairman of Community Board 3 in Brooklyn, asked Board 10 to support the effort by reaching out to local elected officials and by signing a petition he brought to the meeting advocating the return of full service to the B64.
The B64 runs from Shore Road and 71st Street in Bay Ridge to 25th Avenue in Bensonhurst.
Butler also hinted that the union may fight the MTA to restore other shuttered bus services.
“We do know the MTA does have the funds to restore all of the services cut over the past two years,” he said.
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