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What’s your idea to transform Brooklyn’s bus service? Take it to an MTA open house

November 6, 2019 Mary Frost
Brooklyn's B35 bus. Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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The MTA’s open houses on the transformation of Brooklyn’s bus network continue on Wednesday, Nov. 6, with the next session at New Lots Library.

The agency says it wants input from Brooklyn’s 650,000 bus riders about what’s needed to totally transform the borough’s bus service through its “Fast Forward: Brooklyn Network Redesign” program.

Riders have been complaining for years that the borough’s 63 local and 9 express bus routes are infuriatingly slow or fail to serve transformed neighborhoods. Most were laid out decades ago, with many replacing old trolley lines.

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Local bus ridership in Brooklyn has declined 14 percent between 2016 and 2019, according to the MTA. Bus speeds have continued to decline — they are 3 percent slower since 2016, at 7.7 mph.

At a public meeting about Brooklyn’s B38 and B54 lines in September, City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo told MTA representative Andrew Inglesby that if MTA’s ridership figures showed a drop, it’s because people are tired of waiting for delayed buses and are finding other options.

The network redesign “will take a clean-slate approach,” Inglesby promised.

Some local leaders say the open houses are leaving their neighborhoods out, especially parts of southern Brooklyn.

MTA says the meetings were scheduled to take place near Brooklyn’s busiest bus stops, and there will be more opportunities to give input in the future.
Those who can’t make the open houses can take an MTA bus survey.

A draft plan will be released in the second quarter of 2020, according to the MTA. More public sessions will be held to allow input on the draft. The final plan will be released in late 2020.

Schedule of upcoming open houses:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the New Lots Library, 665 New Lots Ave.
  • Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Williamsburgh Library, 240 Division Ave.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the Park Slope Library, 431 6th Ave
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Bay Ridge Library, 7223 Ridge Blvd.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Brighton Beach Library, 16 Brighton 1st Rd.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, at the Walt Whitman Library, 93 St. Edwards St.
  • Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Kensington Library, 4207 18 Ave.

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