Archive for the tag 'b64'

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.

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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Why is this B49 only going so far as Church Avenue? Photo by Allan Rosen

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.

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Source: MTA

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.

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Protesters in front of the depot (Photo: Allan Rosen)

THE COMMUTE: Last week, I had to conduct some business at the courts in Downtown Brooklyn. The trip going there using a bus and train, and two trains and a bus to return home, including the two minutes I spent at the court, took me less than 90 minutes. That was fabulous, but mass transit is often not that quick in New York City, especially when the bus you used to rely on no longer operates and you need to find alternatives.

Today, bus riders are still reeling from the effects of 36 bus routes eliminated in June 2010. Last month, Sheepshead Bites held a Transit Town Hall, primarily to ask for restoration of the B4 cut. Last Saturday was Bensonhurst’s turn.

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The B2 bus. Source: Robert McConnell for The Bergen Network

THE COMMUTE: Last week, I wrote about the MTA’s sinister plot to destroy the B64, which they already have partially accomplished. They are also most likely planning to eliminate the B2, once one of the most profitable and successful bus routes in Brooklyn, operating every two minutes during rush hours in the 1950s. Today, overnight and weekend service have already been eliminated and service at other times is infrequent. I previously discussed reasons for the downward ridership trend on the B2. The next step is to reduce it to a rush-hour only route, then to finally discontinue it entirely.

Read more on why the MTA will eventually do this…

The B64 bus. Source: Robert McConnell for The Bergen Network

THE COMMUTE: Here are my predictions about the MTA’s plan to systematically eliminate B64 service. Divide and conquer!

  1. Chop off its head and its tail;
  2. End service overnight;
  3. Severely cut its service frequency;
  4. Eliminate weekend service eroding its ridership base further, then finally…
  5. Eliminate the route entirely by directing riders to more inconvenient alternative routes.

The MTA already accomplished Steps 1 and 2 in June of 2010. Step 3 will be implemented this September. I am surmising that Steps 4 and 5 are planned along with a similar plan to eliminate the B2. More on that later.

Read more on how the MTA plans to further accomplish these steps.