Archive for the tag 'b4'

THE COMMUTE: I asked if that was the case back in 2010 when I documented 14 buses in a row bypassing bus stops after loading up at Kingsborough Community College. Since then I have done numerous B1 updates documenting service problems. I have written many times to the last two directors of Bus Operations over the past five years. Each time, I promptly received courteous replies and have met with a half dozen operating personnel on about four occasions, assured that the problem would be addressed and Manhattan and Brighton Beach passengers would not be ignored . Yet the problem persists.

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Should performers sanctioned by the MTA be subject to arrest for drawing a crowd? Photo by Erica Sherman

THE COMMUTETwo weeks ago, I reported on the TWU’s concern for rider and employee safety. However, according to Channel 2 News, instead of focusing on some of the problems regarding safety, such as the accuracy of crime statistics — a major concern among the prospective mayoral candidates — the transit police are endangering rider safety by arresting and jailing riders overnight for infractions that are usually dealt with by handing out summonses.

Have you ever walked between subway cars at the terminal in Brighton Beach? Not only should that not be illegal because it is not dangerous, it can subject you to a $75 fine or, worse yet, land you in jail. So don’t do it unless your life is in danger. However, that is not even the worst of it. When questioned by Channel 2 News, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly had the audacity to defend the arresting officers, calling this a good police practice. And this man was actually asked to run for mayor?

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All photos by Allan Rosen

THE COMMUTE: The DOT gets an ‘Incomplete.’

Reason One: As of January 10, the Ocean Avenue Footbridge still has not reopened, although the scheduled completion date for repairs was the end of 2012.

Reason Two: Although new bus stops and signage for the restored B4 were in place by January 6, the first date of operation, the old signs for bus stops formerly located on Avenue Z between Ocean Parkway and East 14th Street were still not removed as of January 10.

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As we announced last week, the B4 is slated for a full service restoration beginning this Sunday, marking the first time since 2010 that the line has operated 24/7 east of Ocean Parkway.

This week, the MTA released the updated service brochure for the restored line, which features a handful of route alterations – including traveling down Neptune Avenue between Sheepshead Bay Road and Ocean Parkway – as well as its full schedule.

Here is the new brochure:

A look back in transportation on the year that was. Photo by Brian Hoo

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.

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Photo by Allan Rosen

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The MTA will announce next week that most bus lines identified earlier this year for service restorations, investments and improvements will take effect on January 6. Other improvements will not kick in until January 20.

Sheepshead Bites first got wind of the date when local groups pushed to have B4 service restorations expedited to help the Plumb Beach community recover from Superstorm Sandy. The MTA told us at the time that service could not be expedited until the Department of Transportation completed installation of new stops, and that the new service would begin January 6.

This week, an MTA spokesperson confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that the vast majority of service restorations and enhancements will begin Sunday, January 6. Those lines are:

  • Bx13, Bx34, B4, B24, B39, B48, B57, B64, B69, M1, M9, M21, Q24, Q27, Q30*, Q36, and Q42*

On Sunday, January 20, the following lines will also have new routes:

  • S76, S93*, X1 and X17

The Q30 and Q42 are weekdays only, so they are being introduced on Monday, January 7.  The S93 is also weekday only, so that will be introduced on Tuesday, January 22.

The MTA said they will be issuing a press release next week announcing the dates, as well as other specifics.

Many of the lines are restorations following severe service cuts made in June 2010 to close budget deficits. However, some lines will see modifications to their routes.

The MTA announced in July that it would be making the changes in January, but had not yet given a specific date. With their July announcement, they also announced a handful of new routes in Manhattan, South Bronx and Northern Brooklyn, which are set to take effect in fall of 2013. A list of the changes can be found here.

Source: Allan Rosen

The MTA denied a request yesterday to restore ’round-the-clock B4 bus service to Plumb Beach just one month ahead of schedule, even though scores of residents remain stranded by Superstorm Sandy.

Bay Improvement Group (BIG) made the request through Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein earlier this week, claiming the lack of cars and mass transit options have not only made it difficult to get to work, but also to rebuild. Residents can’t shop for food and supplies or visit doctors – or even access the numerous recovery workshops that have so far only occurred outside of the neighborhood.

“A lot of people lost their cars and are stranded,” said Laura McKenna, BIG’s acting executive director. “They don’t have their own vehicles and it makes it more difficult for them to get to the subway, and we have an older population that can’t get to doctors or get groceries.”

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All maps conceived and created by Allan Rosen. Click to enlarge

THE COMMUTE: Last week I criticized the MTA for referring to the proposed service restorations announced last month as “service investments.” Although 17 out of the 32 proposals are restorations and 15 are new services, these numbers are misleading because most of the proposed new services are minor in nature, such as adding overnight service on a route when buses usually operate hourly. On the basis of cost, the vast majority of the proposals are service restorations and only one-third of what was cut is being returned. Further, none of the new services proposed (click on New York City Transit) serves southern Brooklyn.

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MTA Chairman Joe Lhota. Source: Flickr | Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

THE COMMUTE: When MTA Chairman Joe Lhota took the helm at the MTA from Jay Walder at the beginning of this year, I asked the question: New ideas or same old politics? Last week I stated that Lhota has begun to turn the MTA in the right direction by announcing service restorations, such as the B4. Prior to Lhota, the MTA was purely in cutback mode. Has the MTA really changed? Have they reversed their trend of reducing service?

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THE COMMUTE: Ned heard my name for the first time when I emailed him in March 2010 with my testimony opposing the Brooklyn bus service cuts at the public hearing held in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. That was shortly after I discovered Sheepshead Bites. He quoted a significant portion of my testimony for a story and ultimately asked me to become a regular contributor. At that hearing, I was the only person who spoke out against the B4’s proposed elimination, at all times, east of Coney Island Hospital.

Find out what we can learn from our fight for the B4.

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