Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No More Bus Rides Between Brooklyn and Manhattan

How pathetic is this? The only bus that travels between Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan -- the B51 -- is about to be cut, along with the B39, the only bus from Williamsburg to Manhattan.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz hosted a press conference with and transportation advocate Christopher Greif at the Joralemon Street bus stops outside Brooklyn Borough Hall yesterday to complain about the effect this will have on elderly and disabled riders, and everyone else as well.

The B51 serves nearly 1,000 riders each weekday; the B39 carries 1,300 passengers daily. Cuts to these routes, along with other bus and subway service reductions, are expected to be voted on by the MTA board today.

Markowitz points out these buses "are absolute lifelines for riders with disabilities or who are elderly. There is simply no reasonable way for people with mobility and accessibility issues who cannot take the subway—especially considering many stations along these routes are not ADA-compliant—to get over to Manhattan without these vital bus routes.”

Here are some of the planned cuts:

- The MTA plans to cut a dozen other bus routes in Brooklyn, eliminate the M train to Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, cut the X27, X28, X29, X37 and X38 (Bay Ridge, Bath Beach and Gravesend, Coney Island).

- Also, the MTA plans to reconfigure Brownstone Brooklyn’s B69, B71, B75 and B77 routes, which will complicate commutes and lead to increased wait times. Also on the table are reductions for Borough Park’s B23, Marine Park’s B2, Greenpoint’s B24, the B7 on Kings Highway, the B31 in Gerritsen Beach and several other routes.

- The MTA plans to slash millions of dollars from Access-A-Ride, used by disabled people.

Brooklyn Screwed?

Assemblywoman Joan Millman said that the cuts “disproportionately affects Brooklyn. "Contrary to the MTA’s assertion, bus service does not replicate subway service because so many of our city’s subway stations are truly inaccessible to the elderly and people with disabilities. Buses are not only easier to board, but deliver riders closer to their destinations. Yet again, the most populous borough has been short-changed by the MTA.”

- Brooklyn's B25 Bus Restored
- MTA's Bus Cuts Will Hit Bay Ridge Seniors Especially Hard 
- Bus Cuts: Manhattan Riders Yelling Louder
- Crucial Brooklyn Bus Routes Face the Ax

Photo by Kathryn Kirk

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Anonymous said...

Eight years ago I broke my kneecap and heavily relied on the B51 for six weeks since I couldn't go down the subway steps. It's messed up to get rid of that route, there's all sorts of disabilities out there be they temporary or permanent. Or it could be as simple as someone not liking the subway.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how this is acceptable under ADA Title II.

Anonymous said...

We take the B51 from Brooklyn Heights to Chinatown. It takes about 10 minutes, sometimes less. It takes half an hour or more on the subway, which doesn't go near Elizabeth Street. No more dim sum!

Anonymous said...

Bring back the B51! When the subways are out due to weather, there is no way to get to Manhattan from Brooklyn!