Soon hipsters in Williamsburg will be able to scout out Sheepshead Bay for cheaper rents and Russian beers as the B44 Select Bus Service (SBS) finally begins express service next month. NY1 is reporting that the new B44 line will represent the MTA’s sixth SBS, bridging the gap between parts of Brooklyn that are notoriously hard to reach by regular transportation options.
Sheepshead Bites’ Allan Rosen extensively covered the in’s and out’s of the B44 SBS line in a three part series, ultimately arguing that the MTA’s planning process, which includes the construction of bus bulbs that will make the streets narrower, will increase traffic. A local man questioned by NY1 agreed.
“Definitely too narrow. Maybe somewhere like Harlem, somewhere in Manhattan where, you know, the streets are a lot wider,” a passerby said.
While noting that the project has been delayed, NY1 described the MTA’s thinking when it came to implementing the new service, which rolls out next month:
The other Select Bus Service lines in the city have been praised for making buses move a little faster, but the process of getting this particular line off the ground has been anything but fast. The Nostrand/Rogers route was first selected for SBS service back in 2008.
Close to 40,000 riders used the B44 on weekdays last year, making it one of the city’s busiest bus lines. So the DOT and the MTA are applying a formula that they say has worked by cutting travel times along routes in Manhattan and the Bronx by up to 20 percent.
That’s the hope along the 9.3-mile bus route, which stretches from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg.
“People have to get down to Williamsburg Plaza, which is way away from here,” said one person. “It will be great to be able to just fly there.”
While some might be annoyed at the (unlikely) possibility of hipsters flooding Sheepshead Bay, the concerns locally have been about lost parking spaces to the larger bus stops. We’ll keep an eye out to see how it’s affecting local businesses and motorists.