MTA To Restore Bus Routes; Make G-train Extension Permanent
As reported yesterday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairperson Joseph Lhota confirmed in a letter to some local elected officials that several bus routes and subway service changes would be restored in $29 million worth of “service investments,” to be implemented by October, or January at the latest.
According to Lhota, the additions and restorations to service are coming now as a result of increased demand on weekends and in general, and because of the MTA’s slightly improved budget.
One change that will be popular for Brooklynites from Park Slope and Kensington up to Greenpoint is the making of the G-line extension permanent. Church Avenue will thus remain the line’s last stop, even after construction at Smith-9th Streets ends in a few months.
Restorations in bus service are slated for:
- B24 weekend service from Greenpoint to Williamsburg Bridge Plaza via Sunnyside
- B39 service from Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to the Lower East Side Delancey/Allen Streets via Williamsburg Bridge
- B48 service south of Atlantic Avenue to the Prospect Park station via Franklin/Classon Avenues
- B57 service from Carroll Gardens to Red Hook via Court Street, Lorraine Street and Otsego Street
- B69 weekend service from Kensington to Downtown Brooklyn
New routes will also be added to the following areas:
- Connecting Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, route to be determined
- Williamsburg waterfront service, route to be determined
A planned fare hike in January – to the tune of 7.5 percent – will also be postponed to March, according to Lhota, in order to soften the financial blow with the newly implemented improvement.
The service restorations were greeted with exclamations of relief and pride from residents and politicians alike.
Congressmember Nydia Velázquez , who represents neighborhoods as diverse as Red Hook, Williamsburg and Sunset Park, lauded the announcement as “good news for riders, particularly the elderly and people with disabilities who faced hardships after transportation service was cut.”
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol of the 50th Assembly District in Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Fort Greene, agreed, noting that “not only is Williamsburg an important destination in our city, but [we also] have many new residents [here] who use public transportation as their preferred method of travel.”
“I am very pleased and gratified that the MTA has acted to address our current level of inadequate bus service,” he added.
Although Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz welcomed the MTA’s news, he said “let’s not stop here. There are still many other routes that need to be restored, including the B51. I look forward to continuing to work with the MTA and our local elected officials to ensure that Brooklynites and New Yorkers get the very best and most accessible service possible.”
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