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Long-delayed first draft of Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign plan unveiled

MTA, officials, urge riders to attend virtual workshops

December 2, 2022 Mary Frost
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At an upbeat press conference outside Brooklyn Borough Hall on Thursday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released its long-awaited draft plan for the Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign.

Originally due out in 2020, work on the first draft, which involved holding public workshops, was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today is a big day for Brooklyn — which is my home borough — as we release a new draft plan for the Brooklyn Bus redesign” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

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“The goal is to simplify the network and improve connections, frequency, reliability and most important, bus speeds,” Lieber said. “New Yorkers deserve buses that are faster and more reliable to connect them to jobs, education, health care and everything New York has to offer.”

Lieber called buses “the engines of equity in our city,” and said that improving service to areas underserved by mass transit is “a big priority. Fifty-five percent of Brooklyn residents have no access to automobiles.”

Riders have been complaining for years that the borough’s 62 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.

The redesign seeks to expand all-day service, and proposes 69 local routes and 19 express routes.

Four of the proposed routes, the B40 Rush, B53, B55 Crosstown (between Brooklyn and JFK Airport) and B66, would operate 24 hours during the weekday. Other routes would be re-aligned.

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon at Thursday’s announcement of the Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA

Officials urge residents to participate in the workshops

There will be 18 virtual workshops that Brooklynites can attend starting in January and continuing through March, each with a focus on a different part of Brooklyn. See the full draft plan and workshop schedule on the project website at new.mta.info/project/brooklyn-bus-network-redesign

Lieber said the design was not set in stone. MTA will be working closely with Brooklynites “to adjust the plan to reflect their feedback,” he said.

NYC Transit President Richard Davey said his team “will be working their tails off over the next months to take feedback and make changes.”

There had been some criticism that the first workshops held in 2019 left some neighborhoods out of the conversation. New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said on Thursday that in 2022, equity was a big priority. “We want everyone to be part of this process.”

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon said her 52nd District was home to “more bus lines than you can shake a stick at,” but a glance at her bus app showed that 17 lines were delayed.  “We’ll be working with MTA to make sure your voices are heard,” she said.

No hard deadline for second draft

Davey said the second draft plan would be released “later in the year, next year.”

But MTA is not setting a hard and fast timeline for the final plan. “We want to make sure every voice is heard,” Lieber said.

Davey added, “I guarantee you we do not have this 100 percent right.”

 

 


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