Archive for the tag 'b1'
A B1 Service Update, Plus: Tomorrow Marks The 35th Anniversary Of The Southwest Brooklyn Bus Changes: Part 1 Of 2
THE COMMUTE: More about the anniversary tomorrow, but first an update regarding B1 bus service. Last Monday, I noticed a steady stream of college students, about 30 of them, walking a mile and a half from the Brighton Beach train station to Kingsborough Community College (KCC) a little past 9:00 a.m. I haven’t monitored B1 service in awhile, so I figured it was about time for an update. This past Wednesday, I decided to watch the buses arriving and leaving the station. I intended to get there for the morning peak. I know it gets very crowded just before 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. classes. However, I didn’t arrive until 9:15 a.m. Approximately eight buses left the station, just around 9:00 a.m. All of them were full or at least had a seated load. It seemed like service was running pretty well. I didn’t expect to find too many problems since it was already after 9:00 a.m. What I saw surprised me.
Kingsborough Community College administrators have moved the drop-off location of the yellow school bus that shuttles students from campus to subway station and back, no longer allowing it on the school’s property. The new location has a local civic group fuming that the school is piling on more traffic problems along the problem-prone Oriental Boulevard.
The school made a decision approximately five
years weeks ago barring the Safe Coach bus from entering the campus out of a concern for safety, said Ruby Ryles, the school’s spokesperson.
“Public Safety feels they can scrutinize students and others entering the campus on foot better than on the bus,” Ryles told Sheepshead Bites.
The solution they came up with was to begin dropping students off in the same turnaround the MTA uses at Mackenzie Street for its B1 and B49 buses. The problem is, they never asked the MTA’s permission, and the Manhattan Beach Community Group said they feel like the school snubbed them by not asking their opinion.
“They just do things without telling us,” said the group’s president, Ira Zalcman. “They’re in our community, but they never bother listening to our concerns. This has been going on for years.”
Zalcman said he notified the MTA to find if the agency okay’d the co-location. The MTA said absolutely not.
“MTA New York City Transit runs very frequent service out of that loop,” MTA spokesperson Deirdre Parker told Sheepshead Bites. “We feel there is not enough room to accommodate Safe Coach in addition to NYCT buses at that location. We are looking into our options which includes restricting the stop to Transit buses only.”
The school today agreed to move the location again – this time to Oriental Boulevard just outside of the gates. But they still won’t enter.
“The matter is now resolved,” Ryles said.
Not to the Manhattan Beach Community Group, though.
“Kingsborough almost capitulated. Almost,” Zalcman said when he heard the news. He pointed out that there No Stopping Anytime signs all along that stretch of Oriental Boulevard, which the DOT defines as “you may not wait, stop to load/unload packages or merchandise at curbside, or drop off or pick up passengers at this location.”
“We’re going to call the police station and we expect them to enforce all existing laws. They can’t stand there,” Zalcman said.
The problem, he claims is that it adds to traffic and safety concerns to have a large vehicle there, and to be unnecessarily dumping Kingsborough students into the community. He wants the school bus – and the MTA buses, for that matter – to drop off students on campus.
“It’s enough that we have cars sitting there all day waiting for students. We think they should have a waiting area that should also be on campus. The MTA turnaround should be on campus, the waiting area should be on campus, the yellow bus should be on campus” he said. “We have enough car safety issues in the community, and they just don’t want to listen to our concerns.”
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the decision to discharge students off campus was made five years ago. It was five weeks ago, and the article has been corrected.
THE COMMUTE: It is difficult to believe that I have been writing “The Commute” for two years. In my reflections for 2011, which seem like yesterday, I explained what I hope to accomplish in this column. I stated that my primary goal is to make a positive difference by getting people more involved in transportation issues. I think we have partially succeeded in that goal. Many of you attended Sheepshead Bay’s transit town hall last summer, which resulted in the full restoration of the B4, effective January 6, 2013. Still, much work remains to be done before Sheepshead Bay residents and those in adjacent neighborhoods have the reliable and affordable service we deserve, which takes us as quickly as possible to our destinations.
THE COMMUTE: Although buses are scheduled at 10 minutes intervals, if you were trying to get home from Manhattan Beach on the evening of July 4, there is a good chance that you would have had to wait for an hour for a B49. Two weeks ago I reported long waits on both the B1 and B49 buses on a hot summer weeknight during the rush hour, and how service is disrupted on an entire route because the MTA does not pay attention to heavy beach loadings. I decided to return on July 4 to see if conditions would be better or worse.
THE COMMUTE: As the second anniversary of the largest service cutbacks in New York City History quietly passed on June 27th, the MTA hinted at its monthly board meeting for the first time that they were considering the restoration of some cuts. The New York Times has the story. No specific mention was made as to which cutbacks were considered for restoration, but it does not hurt to be optimistic that restoration of the B4 and B64 are being considered.
THE COMMUTE: Yesterday I discussed service irregularities on the B1 and B49 last Thursday afternoon, a day when the temperature reached the mid-90s and passengers were trying to get home from the beach. Today we look at other service irregularities and measures that can be taken, which the MTA resists.
THE COMMUTE: Regular readers of this column know that my favorite subject is bus service, especially in Brooklyn. I particularly like to focus on subjects that virtually no one else pays attention to such as service to the area’s beaches. I’ve written about this subject several times before. Having ridden the B49 since the 1960s to go to Manhattan Beach, and constantly witnessing service irregularities dating back to then, I first attempted to get the MTA to pay attention to this problem in 1982 when I was director of the Brooklyn Transit Service Sufficiency Study, since irregular or poor service not only affects beachgoers, but it disrupts service along the entire route for all passengers.
The Kingsborough Community College yellow buses that have been shuttling students from the campus to the Brighton Beach subway station is now in jeopardy, as school officials threaten to cut the program following complaints that students are using the rear emergency exit to disembark.
NY 1 reports that locals are complaining about students dangerously jumping from the rear door in the packed shuttle buses, rather than make their way to the front when the buses arrive at the station.
The school launched the shuttle program several years ago to alleviate crowding on the B1 and B49, by providing an alternate way for students to get to the station. A cancellation of the program would put hundreds of students back on city buses.
But the school isn’t giving the ax to the shuttle buses, operated by SAFE Coach Bus Company, just yet. In the face of complaints, they’ve placed school safety officers on the buses and are warning students of the risks of using the back door.
The bus company, though, is also coming under fire from the MTA, which claims that the yellow buses are pulling into city bus stops, forcing the B1 to pull two car’s widths away from the curb, discharging passengers and disabled riders into the street rather than the sidewalk. The school said SAFE is now working with the MTA and the NYPD to find a better place to let passengers out.
The MTA said they’re also adding more B1 and B49 buses to the route, beginning next week.
Welcome Big Brother!
Hoping to provide everyone with more safety, the NYPD and MTA are installing cameras and driver safety partitions in hundreds of buses, according to the New York Post.
Since last year, the number of felony assaults against bus drivers rose by 20 percent, and authorities hope the cameras will stop crimes from happening or help police identify the suspects. With 195 buses already having cameras in them, the MTA hopes to add 231 camera-equipped buses to the fleet in the spring. Sheepshead Bites’ transit writer, Allan Rosen, tells us they’ve been installed in the recent batch of B1 buses.
“An attack against any MTA employee is an attack against all of us, and we will do everything we can to eliminate these deplorable acts,” said Joseph Lhota, the MTA executive director.
Now whenever the MTA purchases a new bus, it will come with a Plexiglass partition. As for the old ones, they plan to place the partition in them. Little by little, all 4,576 buses will have tools to prevent crime.