It's (going to be) back! Victory! (Photo by Allan Rosen)

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: After petitions, public workshops and letters from local officials, the MTA will announce today that the B4 bus line will be fully restored by January 2013.

The fate of the line, which had weekend and off-peak service axed in 2010 east of Ocean Parkway, was unclear earlier this week, when Sheepshead Bites reported that the agency was considering major improvements across the borough. But local leaders told Sheepshead Bites that MTA officials informed them this morning that the agencies plan to announce that the B4, as well as other diminished lines across Southern Brooklyn, will see full or partial restorations.

The B4′s restoration already has locals elated, including members of the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association, which collected more than 2,000 signatures to a petition demanding the agency bring back the line to Emmons Avenue, Shore Parkway and Knapp Street.

“I am just so glad. Everybody is going to be so thrilled,” said Kathy Flynn, president of the SBPB Civic, upon hearing the news. “This is going to help everyone who has to go to the hospital, the clinic, the businesses, anyone who has to visit, as well as the disabled in the area. People who commute to Manhattan every day, they only have to take one bus to the station. It’s going to save a lot of people a lot of time and a lot of stress.”

The news comes on the heels of a Sheepshead Bay Transit Town Hall, organized by Sheepshead Bites, Transportation Alternatives, Assemblymembers Steven Cymbrowitz and Helene Weinstein, and the SBPB Civic. Additionally, it was attended by numerous elected officials. There, Cymbrowitz was handed the petitions, who sent it to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota along with a letter demanding the return of the bus line and details of residents’ concerns.

“We spoke and the MTA listened,” Cymbrowitz said. “After my long and hard-fought battle, I’m pleased that the MTA recognized the tremendous hardship that thousands of commuters were suffering as a result of the bus line’s elimination in my community.”

Golden, a recently appointed member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Capital Review Board, added further pressure to restore the B4 as part of his ongoing negotiations to improve service in other areas of his district. Other bus lines to be restored in full or in part can be found on BensonhurstBean.com.

“I thank MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota, NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast, for their continued dialogue and for understanding of just how important the commuters are,” Golden said. “As MTA revenue has increased, I applaud them for going back to the maps and looking where people have been left stranded, and from that, move to improve the system’s efficiency.”

The line’s restoration is expected by January 2013, and the MTA is slated to unveil specifics of this restoration and others across the city later today. It’s still possible that they may announce adjustments to the B4 route.

UPDATE (2:49 p.m.): Assemblywoman Weinstein just sent us the following statement:

I’m overjoyed that my constituents will no longer be stranded with long delays waiting for the B4 bus. The community came out in force at the May 14 meeting that I cosponsored, and the MTA has responded to the thousands of residents who signed petitions or spoke out along with myself and colleagues in local government.

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  • BayResident

    Something tells me that between today and January 2013 a lot of things will still change. Non the less, as happy as I am about this, I will no longer have an excuse for why I can’t stay late at work. “My bus stops running after 7pm” was my favorite line.

  • chaueche wu

    B64 will also restored to Coney Island-Stillwell Av subway station terminus. Confirmed by NY1:  http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/news_beats/transit/165114/sources–mta-to-restore-about-a-third-of-2010-service-cuts

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      Thx. Both these restorations help me greatly.

  • Arthur Borko

    I hope everyone that reads this realizes, without Sheepshead Bites series of articles bringing this whole issue to attention, this never would have happened.

    • Barkingspider07

      Sheepshead Bites does so much for our community, unlike the SBPB Civic Association, who I am sure will take all the credit for this.  Useless group of assholes – all talk, no action.  That is the way it is now and has always been.

      • MrArtTuro

        No really,  don’t hold back.   Tell us what you really feel.

      • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

        Thank you guys very much. But I will point out that SBPB volunteers went door-to-door to collect more than 2,000 petitions. If that’s not action, I don’t know what is.

        • Flatbush Depot

          The spider was over-barking =)

      • Plain Truth

        Ya know people in glass houses should not through stones.. Some People Worked very Hard to get the B-4 Back For People Like You….Who Do Nothing But Complain..

  • Flatbush Depot

    Awesome. Now if they could just do something about its frequency. Better to wait on those plans until its restoration though.

  • Edlane Nyc

    Not sure if I’m happy. The B4 bus was routed along Shore Parkway and goes past my house. The street shakes and my foundation was damaged. Does this mean there will be more B4 buses???? Are they going back to the original route from two years ago?

    • Flatbush Depot

      They will go back to the original route. See link: http://www.mta.info/mta/2012_13_investment.html
      Click the “New York City Transit” agency link on that page; it says there that the B4 will run via Neptune again.

      • winson

        oh dear, putting it back on Neptune Avenue will actually make it worse. The street is jammed with double parked cars and bike lanes. find a better street to put it on!

        • Flatbush Depot

          Not easy to do due to local geography and distance to parallel streets. Better off putting it back on Neptune; not too many other choices since network coverage in the form of at least one bus line needs to be maintained there. As for the traffic, people just have to muddle through the problem for now. They did not seem to think much of it before considering the fact that many have been clamoring for the return of the only eastern Neptune Ave service, so better to just let it be.

    • chaueche wu

       B4 now has news buses and a lot quieter… Oh wait, they still have Orion VII CNG buses that sounded like a lion or a monkey roar…

  • Georgia

    This is great newa for both lines about time

  • Brighton Rider

    Quote from the MTA site:

    B4

    Restore route from Ocean Pkwy to Knapp St via Neptune, Sheepshead Bay Rd, Emmons Ave/Shore ParkwayServes Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay

    Maybe I’m misreading it, but nowhere does the MTA mention restoring service to Knapp  on the weekends.

    • Flatbush Depot

      This is true. They only wrote “route segment restoration” next to the B4.

      However, the Bensonhurst Bean article did say that Sen. Golden sent out a press release in which he stated that the B4 would be completely restored:
      ———————————————————————-
      And just minutes ago, State Senator Marty Golden, who will also have a press conference at the Ulmer Park Bus Depot in Bath Beach this afternoon, sent out a release announcing the following improvements in his district:X 27 -Weekend Express Bus ServiceX 28 – Weekend Express Bus Service (negotiations in finalization stage)B2 -Weekend ServiceB64 – complete restorationB 4 – complete restorationS 93 – service direct from Brooklyn to the campus of the College of Staten Island

    • Flatbush Depot

      Formatting issue, sorry.

      This is true. They only wrote “route segment restoration” next to the B4.

      However, the Bensonhurst Bean article did say that Sen. Golden sent out a press release in which he stated that the B4 would be completely restored:

      ———————————————————————-

      And just minutes ago, State Senator Marty Golden, who will also have a press conference at the Ulmer Park Bus Depot in Bath Beach this afternoon, sent out a release announcing the following improvements in his district:

      X27 – Weekend Express Bus Service

      X28 – Weekend Express Bus Service (negotiations in finalization stage)

      B2 -Weekend Service

      B64 – complete restoration

      B4 – complete restoration

      S93 – service direct from Brooklyn to the campus of the College of Staten Island

  • BrooklynBus

    I am glad they are also restoring the Neptune Avenue portion of the B4. Now what about the three new bus shelters that were demolished? Will they be replaced?

    • guest

       I was just going to ask about that. More wasted money = Oops. Maybe we can’t restore it after all.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Very good question.

  • aherring

    Thanks, Allen Rosen, & Ned, for your coverage.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      A very special thanks to Allan Rosen, who was the first person I knew to publicly beat the drum on this issue.

  • Andrew

    Good news indeed!

    I just hope Cymbrowitz and his fellow elected officials remember this episode the next time they’re tempted to snatch up dedicated downstate transit funding to be spent for other purposes elsewhere. It’s great that it’s coming back, but it would have been much better if it had never gone away in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1048993713 Ilya Alexander Rubnich

    This is my proudest moment as a Sheepshead Bay resident. I was the youngest guy at that bus meeting, some things do work out for us.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

    Absolutely welcome news—and a case where the MTA oftentimes only looks at a map and fails to notice barriers that cut an area off. 

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