B37 to return on June 29

April 8, 2014 Helen Klein
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On June 29, after a lengthy hiatus, the B37 bus will return to Third Avenue.

The bus had been axed in 2010 as the result of a straitened budget and what the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) said was poor ridership.

But, Ridgeites and residents of Sunset Park, among others, had refused to take the loss of the line lying down and, when word came last year that the MTA had a budget surplus, joined in a grass roots effort with local elected officials to push the MTA to bring the bus back, holding rallies and petition drives and testifying on the subject at MTA hearings.

They succeeded, for the most part, with the authority agreeing to restore the bus, though truncating its route to end at Barclays Center, rather than at Livingston and Court Streets, 10 blocks further into downtown Brooklyn.

“This is a tremendous victory for residents, businesses, and workers who rely on the MTA for transportation along Third Avenue every day,” noted Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis. “Now it is up to the riders to use the service and show its need to be further extended.”

“The people who were served by the B 37 bus route have waited three years for this bus to return,” noted State Senator Marty Golden, adding, “The rallies, the petitions, and the activism worked, and the announcement we have all been waiting for has finally been made.”

City Councilmember Vincent Gentile concurred, remarking, “Over 75 elected officials and community organizations banded together to make this happen. This is a major win for Brooklyn – for seniors, students, the disabled and businesses along the corridor – from Bay Ridge to Prospect Heights. For people who need to get to work, doctor’s appointments, schools and houses of worship, this route is essential. And I hope once the MTA sees just how crucial this route is, they’ll agree to extend it all the way to Court Street, the way it should be.”

But, says MTA Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, it is to benefit riders that the route was shortened. “Prior to the route’s elimination in 2010, it was losing ridership due to reliability issues,” Ortiz explained. “The bus was often stuck on congested streets in downtown Brooklyn where several other bus routes run. Terminating the B37 at Barclays Center will improve the route’s reliability and provide more seamless service for customers. Customers can use the B103 for service to downtown Brooklyn.”

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