Click here for the new Brooklyn bus map, in effect starting Sunday, June 27.

Where will the restructured B4 operate starting this Sunday? No one seems to know.

The B4 will no longer operate on Neptune Avenue, but instead will use Avenue Z. It will also now terminate at Coney Island Avenue at all times when it operates, except on Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. during rush hours, when it will continue to serve Plum Beach. (UPDATE 6/25/2010: We’re having trouble confirming the exact time the B4 will be running the Emmons Avenue/Shore Parkway route. The MTA’s webpage just says “rush hours.” Elsewhere on the site we read that means 6:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. / 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., but we’ve heard from others that the B4 will run between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. / 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.)

But even those in charge of placing signs around Coney Island Avenue appear to be confused where the bus is headed.

The new MTA map shows it operating eastbound along Avenue Z between Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue, and westbound along the Shore Parkway north service road between these points at all times. However, DOT posted B4 bus stop signs in both directions all along Avenue Z.

The question is what route will the B4 use westbound when it operates to Plumb Beach, Avenue Z or the Shore Parkway service road? Clearly it is more expensive, indirect and confusing to divert one block south during these times. However, if it operated westbound along Avenue Z between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway from Plumb Beach, it would be very confusing for passengers coming from and going to Coney Island Hospital because they would not know which bus stop to use during the times of the switchover in service occurring four times a day. That is the dilemma.

However, this whole mess could have been easily avoided if the buses terminated at Sheepshead Bay Station instead of Coney Island Avenue during hours it will not go to Plumb Beach. This would have been a much more logical choice because it would have maintained connections with the subway and the B49.

Terminating at Sheepshead Bay Station would not cost anymore since the six extra blocks to the Station balances out with the bus not having to divert to the Shore Parkway service road when terminating in Plum Beach as the MTA map shows. If it will use Avenue Z in both directions according to the DOT bus stop signage, it would only cost pennies more to operate. But the MTA has always been pennywise and pound foolish, and this is another example.

You can read about the other changes going into effect on Sunday in Southern Brooklyn at BKSouthie.com

Allan Rosen contributed this article. Rosen is a Manhattan Beach resident and former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981).

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  • http://www.facebook.com/DrAlex16 Alex Nathanson

    In addition to endlessly long wait times, this bus's route never made any logical sense to me. All I knew is that it can take me to Bay Ridge, or to the UA movie theater, and I don't even know if it'll do that anymore.

  • BrooklynBus

    Too often a bus route's long waits are a deterrent to usage. However, it is the only route from Plumb Beach to the Sheephead Bay Station. It will still take you to Bay Ridge or the UA Theater Monday through Friday between 7and 9 AM and Between 2 PM and 7 PM if you want to wait for it. But I wouldn't see a long movie or eat at Jordans Lobster Deck or TGIFs unless you want to walk home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/m1keyn Mike Nemoy

    So if I'm reading this correctly someone like me who lives on Emmons where the only bus service we get is the B4 will now have no way of getting back from the train station after work other than walking/cab? Good job MTA.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    The B4 will run there during rush hours.

    Just don't grab a drink after work and MAYBE you can still catch one.

    Oh, and you'll be getting a fare hike next year in order to maintain the MTA's high level of service and convenience.

  • BrooklynBus

    Page 56 of the Revused Service Cuts (Revised March 19th) specifically states afternoon service will begin at 2 PM. The reason for 2PM is that I showed them at the public hearing that there are 35 people per bus riding the proposed discontinued portion of the route at 2:30 PM, which they wanted to eliminate at all times. They can't just change this willy nilly after publishing it. My feeling why the signs on the buses say rush hours was due to space limitations.

  • BrooklynBus

    Here is the link from their website which states that the peak for the B4 is 2PM to 7PM. http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/ServiceReducti

    Ned, don't doubt me again. You can remove the strikeouts now and change 5PM to 7PM which is what I thought was originally written.

  • BrooklynBus

    It does also say rush hours elsewhere as you pointed out. Consistency has never been one of the MTA's strong points, but I'll still go with the 2PM. Will there be confusion? Yes. If no one rides between 2PM and 4PM, I wonder why?

  • http://www.facebook.com/m1keyn Mike Nemoy

    So it says there that the B4 will still run to our neck of the woods from 6am -9am and 2pm – 7pm. I guess thats still bearable if I go straight home from work, because 5pm seemed a bit ridiculous. Thanks for the clarification BrooklynBus and thanks Ned for being the first person to explain this in any somewhat understandable fashion. Everything I've seen from the MTA in the past made absolutely no sense.

  • BrooklynBus

    I checked out the new B4 today. The bus does use Shore Parkway Service Road North at all times westbound and not Avenue Z between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway as their map shows. So it looks like DOT screwed up by making two new B4 stops on Avenue Z that will only be used by the B36.

    I asked one person waiting at E 16 St and Sheepshead Bay Road if she was waiting for the B4 when she didn't get on the B49. I told her it doesn't stop there anymore and told her where to wait. Figured a B49 driver would just tell her if I wasn't there but it turned out the B49 driver didn't know either after he announced a non-existent transfer point for the B4.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Are there stops along Shore Parkway North? If so, are there signs?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    These days rush hour is later than 7PM on the Sheepshead Bay end. They have to know that.

  • BrooklynBus

    They only know what they know.

  • BrooklynBus

    They placed one stop on Shore Pkway North, just a few feet from the existing one in front of Coney Island Hospital. However, no schedule has been placed telling when the bus stops there. My guess is that the stop was put there to replace the existing one so three bus lines shouldn't stop in one space. They also placed two new ones on Avenue Z which never will be used, except by the B36.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    It looks like not everyone got updates when when changes in the original plans were made, and then those changes were adjusted further. In this day and age that sort of incompetence is avoidable.

  • BrooklynBus

    The DOT error had nothing to do with changes in plans. The B4 was never scheduled to use that portion of Avenue Z westbound. The only way they are not guilty is if the MTA gave them the wrong instructions.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    So there were no interim plans. I see.

  • BrooklynBus

    The original plan was to discontinue Sheeepshead Bay service at all times. I was able to convince them to bring back partial weekday service.

    Dot removed the erroneous signs today at Hubbard Street and at Ocean Parkway. When will they get around to removing the other olf signs. For two days in a row I've told people not to wait at E 16 and SBR, but to walk to Avenue Z. The MTA put up at paper sign at E 14, telling people where to get the B4. They need to do this at E 16 also.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Unless they remove all traces of the stops they're going to have to do more than just put up a paper sign, which is temporary. Some people only use that route occasionally, and either don't know, or will forget.

  • BrooklynBus

    The original plan was to discontinue Sheeepshead Bay service at all times. I was able to convince them to bring back partial weekday service.

    Dot removed the erroneous signs today at Hubbard Street and at Ocean Parkway. When will they get around to removing the other olf signs. For two days in a row I've told people not to wait at E 16 and SBR, but to walk to Avenue Z. The MTA put up at paper sign at E 14, telling people where to get the B4. They need to do this at E 16 also.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Unless they remove all traces of the stops they're going to have to do more than just put up a paper sign, which is temporary. Some people only use that route occasionally, and either don't know, or will forget.

  • Edlane Nyc

    The new B4 bus route running along Shore Parkway has created another risk to this already congested street. Four lanes merge on Shore Parkway and Hubbard Street now which has created a dangerous traffic mess. Now a bus? I live on Shore Parkway and watch as the B4 bus comes dangerously close to pedestrians walking along Shore Parkway as the bus tries to jockey for position with the cars that go 50 plus MPH off the Belt Parkway. The bus needs to be rerouted.

    • BrooklynBus

      I’m going to forward your comment to the MTA.

      • BrooklynBus

        I just received correspondence that they are looking into your concern.

      • Edlane Nyc

        I tried but had no luck. Maybe you will.
        Thanks
        Ed

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  • Jen

    If you are upset about this, you should write to local politicians. I contacted them a few months ago and not one has any idea how this has inconvenienced us.

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