By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Republican mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis has joined the chorus of those happy to see the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) giving strong consideration to restoring service on the B37 bus.
"The restoration of the B37 will be great news for residents of Bay Ridge and Brooklyn. I am pleased that the MTA appears to have finally listened to the pleas of the local community since this line was cut in 2010,” Catsimatidis said in a statement. “Local residents, especially seniors, need to once again have this essential transportation option, including getting to downtown Brooklyn and Lutheran Hospital. As mayor, I will always fight to ensure that Brooklyn and New York City receive the services we need and deserve from the MTA,” he said.
Catsimatidis’s main opponent in the race for the Republican nomination for mayor is former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota. Lhota, who is also a former deputy mayor, has already won the endorsement of the Conservative Party, meaning that his name will appear on the ballot in the November election no matter what happens in the GOP primary in September.
The MTA is expected to vote on the restoration of bus and transit lines at their board meeting on July 24.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) scheduled a press conference in Bay Ridge on July 18 to call on the MTA to vote in favor of bringing the B37 bus back.
The MTA eliminated the B37 bus line three years ago during a budget crisis. The bus line, which ran from Bay Ridge to downtown Brooklyn along Third Avenue, was one of several bus lines the MTA eliminated as a cost cutting measure.
Golden and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) filed a lawsuit against the MTA in the wake of the termination of the B37 bus route. The lawsuit cited the community needs for such a service due to the lack of subway stations with elevators for the elderly and people with disabilities.