MTA to slash service along three Brooklyn bus lines

Less is more: The Metropolitan Transportation Agency plans to cut the B38 schedule but will introduce longer articulated buses that hold more straphangers this fall.
Brooklyn Paper
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to cut service to three Brooklyn bus routes starting this fall.

The scheme to take busses off the road and lengthen waits along a whopping 23 bus lines citywide will allow the MTA to shave $7 million off its operating costs, according to internal documents first reported on by the New York Daily News.

Following the service cuts, commuters relying on the B38 — which runs through Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Downtown — will wait up to three minutes longer for busses on weekdays during the morning and evening rush, as well as during most times Saturdays, and from noon to evening on Sundays.

The nearby B54, which runs a similar route along Myrtle Avenue, will have less buses weekdays during all hours except peak hours in the evening, while the B15, which goes from Bedford-Stuyvesant to John F. Kennedy Airport, will suffer longer waits at midday on weekdays.

The Authority chose to strip busses off the Bed-Stuy lines due to relatively low ridership figures, according to agency documents, which claimed that the effect on riders would be minimal during morning and evening rush hours.

And transit honchos will monitor those routes to ensure riders aren’t completely screwed, according to the memo.

“We will closely monitor the service to ensure that the new schedules provide sufficient service to meet customer demand,” the MTA document reads.

But one straphanger said the route is already poorly managed, and complained of busses that arrive in groups of two or three, only to be followed by long waits afterwards.

“They have enough at rush hour but they all pull out at the same time — it makes no sense,” said Dyckman Welcome, who boarded his homeward bound bus from America’s Downtown Monday evening. “More space will be helpful but they need to be more spaced out.”

To mitigate the affect of a smaller service fleet, the Transit Authority is adding longer, articulated buses — capable of holding an additional 20 passengers over standard busses — to the B38 route, according to agency spokeswoman Amanda Kwan. The B54 and B15 routes, however, will not benefit from the bigger busses, documents show.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 1:35 pm, July 30, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

EelFortGreenero from Fort Greene says:
Contact our state senator Montgomery and demand that service be expanded NOT cut back.
July 23, 2019, 5:40 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
THey should just introduce trolley cars again to replace the expensive buses
July 23, 2019, 6:08 am
JaBooty Jackson from A place of enlightenment says:
Montgomery will only care if you say the changes are ‘racist’ in nature otherwise it won’t be important to any of our useless elected ‘officials’
July 23, 2019, 7:03 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
The slow decline of the bus service in Brooklyn. It only gets worse, and fares only rise.
July 23, 2019, 8:29 am
Janet from Park Slope says:
When buses and trains can't be counted on to run on or close to schedule, ridership goes down, and then they cut service. Usually in the summertime, when use is lightest anyway. Some lines have been eliminated outright, with this excuse. They've been playing this trick for decades and we're onto them.
July 23, 2019, 9:51 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
I'm living in the NYCHA building since January 2016 with my family. Occasionally, I took this bus from my residence to downtown Brooklyn for my medical appointments and back. In the majority of the time, I had to wait for at least fifteen minutes with several other people in the bus stop that it's front of my residence. This was occuring during bad weather. When these buses do arrive, they are arriving in bunches, 3 at a time. There is overcrowding in the majority of the 40 foot standard buses. There is slower speeds along DeKalb because of double parking and heavy construction. Therefore, although I welcomed the 62 foot articulated buses on the B38 bus route to decrease overcrowding, I'm not supporting the overall weekend service cuts because of the rapidly decreasing bus ridership. Then again, until both the implementation of the new fare payment system and all door boarding for the B38 bus route in a couple of years, as well as all other bus routes, some people are going to the back of the bus, not paying their own fare, because they are either fed up with the MTA service, are crying poverty, it's overcrowded, or realized they are not to get caught. Then again, that's money down the drain for the cash-strapped MTA everyday. Therefore, the bus service cuts was one of the main results of this so called fare evasion. Increasing fares is another effect for this. Disclaimer: I expressed my opinion based upon my years of experience as a B38 bus rider.
July 23, 2019, 10:43 am
TOM from Brooklyn says:
I thought the bus was the choice of the poor and the elderly. Stripping bus service from Bed/Stuy says to me that its being "gentrified" and with YUPPIES!
July 23, 2019, 12:07 pm
Martin Molintov from Manhattan Beach says:
A great way to run on time is to cut service. This is the MTA way.
July 23, 2019, 12:57 pm
meme from Bed Stuy says:
I have changed my work schedule 3x due to the horrible service on the B38. For a 20 to 30 minute ride to work, I leave home at 6:45 to get to work by 8:30 a.m. downtown brooklyn at post office. The bus drivers are the worst. But who cuts service to improve "on-time" service? Its totally absurd. They need to eliminate cars parked on DeKalb Ave. going westbound. Construction, way too many School buses at the projects on Classon Ave., and delivery trucks at supermarkets and bodegas clog up the westbound artery EVERY MORNING Why can't they do something about that.
July 24, 2019, 12:06 pm
Franzenstein from Kings Bay says:
Cutting services is the absolute worst way to keep on scedule while hurting the most commuters.
July 25, 2019, 11:07 am
Deb from Ridgewood says:
During rush hour; 7:29 - 8:11 no bus came. 45 minute wait for a B38 today 9/23/19. No redress, no control. It's necessary to leave my home 2 hours before, to be sure to get to work by 9:00 am. A car service is a 20-25 minute ride. For a city that wants to reduce car usage, they are going about it bass-ackward.
Sept. 23, 2019, 10:07 am

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