Photo by Steve Meicke

Photo by Steve Meicke

Select Bus Service payment machines have started popping up on Nostrand Avenue, Emmons Avenue and Knapp Street ahead of the kickoff for new express service that will replace the B44 Limited.

The machines are a key feature to the new service, allowing for off-board fare collection that MTA officials say save time on the bus. Riders are expected to pay their fares at the machine before boarding, and are given a receipt. The system is largely an honor system, with occasional inspectors serving hefty fines to fare dodgers if caught.

The new service will replace the B44 Limited, offering service from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg via Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue. The buses are extra long, and will have separate bus stops from the existing B44 stops, as well as dedicated bus lanes for a portion of the route (in Sheepshead Bay, there will be a dedicated bus lane south of Avenue X). The stops will have sidewalk bulbs to allow for safer boarding.

Much like the B44, the new B44 SBS will make a loop from Nostrand to Shore Parkway to Knapp to Emmons and back as its southern terminus.

According to the MTA, as reported by Streetsblog, the service is set to begin on November 17. The MTA is eyeing a second route in the area, running from Bay Ridge to East New York, via an avenue in Homecrest.

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  • BayResident

    I’m not a regular B44 customer, but this stop is close to my home. From what I can tell from the picture, these look like regular Metrocard vending machines. Any idea if I will be able to use them to reload my metrocard for regular bus rides as well? Would be awesome to not have to troop out to the train station.

    • aemoreira81

      They can only be used to pay your fare. You would then take a receipt from the machine that you would need to retain for the duration of the trip. There will also be coin machines for those paying with coins.

    • Transit Matters

      You will only be able to deduct fare or validate your monthly pass to get a validation receipt at these machines. Traditional ticket vending machines that actually contained cash or actual MetroCards inside would be a prime target for vandals and would end up costing the MTA much more in the end.

      For maintaining your pay-per-ride fare, you’re probably better off getting an EasyPay MetroCard if you can and your normal trips don’t take you near a subway station:

      Don’t forget there are also convenience stores all around the city from whom you can purchase stored value MetroCards:

      • BayResident

        Thank you! Appreciate the response. I actually just got my EasyPay card last week and it has been great. Not sure why I didn’t bother to get it sooner. Probably because I rarely heard about it.

        I think the EasyPay program could benefit from some more MTA marketing. I for one, find this a whole lot more useful then the completed construction projects the MTA keeps advertising on the trains. Those are cool and certainly necessary, but this has a much greater impact on my life.

  • Guest

    The honor system? Here? You’re kidding. Once again, the honest people will end up paying for the dishonest. It’s become the mantra of America.

    • Mister Mojon’

      You mean the “dis-honor” system.

    • aemoreira81

      The MTA will have security agents roaming the line, as they do with the other SBS lines. The real shocker will be with people in Sheepshead Bay and Midwood who find that they only have local bus service or no B44 bus service except at nights.

      These stops are going to be eliminated south of Brooklyn College that are currently Limited stops (and alternatives):

      Avenue L (B44 local)
      Avenue R (B44 local)
      Avenue S (B44 local)
      Avenue V (B36)
      Avenue W (B36)
      Avenue Y (B36)
      Avenue Z (B36)
      All Shore Parkway and Emmons Avenue stops, except Knapp Street and Nostrand Avenue (B4).

      • guest

        The MTA doesn’t care about anybody that lives in any borough aside from manhattan and hasn’t for MANY MANY MANY years.

        • aemoreira81

          I take it you have not been on either the Bx12 or Bx41 SBS lines.

  • Snoreasaurusrex

    I’ve used them and no, you cannot refill your Metrocard. For that it’s still the subway or store.

  • guest

    The machines at Kings Highway are right in the middle of the sidewalk. How the hell are people supposed to move around? That area is already congested and this is going to just be a hell of a nightmare. But what does it matter. The money tree will be singing for the MTA when they ticket drivers and their own riders alike.

  • Pasha

    They now extended B44 local and brought it to Knapp St from Ave U in addition to SBS. Now we have additional traffic on Emmons in addition to pollution from empty buses that almost have no passengers until Ave. U