Says MTA will use it as tradeoff
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Riders who have been lamenting the demise of the B37 bus ever since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) eliminated the Third Avenue line three years ago can take heart. The bus will be hitting the comeback trail, state Sen. Marty Golden predicted.
“We will get the B37 bus back,” Golden told members of the Riders Alliance at a meeting on June 27. Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) said the MTA will restore service on the B37 and will offer increased service on the X27 express bus “as a tradeoff” because of the closure of the Montague Street Tunnel.
The tunnel, which runs under the East River and accommodates the R train, will be closed for 14 months so that Sandy-related damage can be for repaired. The closure is expected to greatly inconveniencing riders, who will have to scramble to find alternate means of transportation to Manhattan.
The B37 bus was eliminated by the MTA in June of 2010 when the agency was making massive cuts in transit services due to budget problems. Since that time, the agency has restored service to several shuttered bus routes, but not the B37. The bus line ran along Third Avenue from Bay Ridge to downtown Brooklyn. Ever since the bus stopped running, advocates have lobbied the MTA to bring it back.
Golden made his prediction at an “informational happy hour” the Riders Alliance sponsored at the Greenhouse Café, a restaurant-bar on Third Avenue.
Robin Lynn, a Bay Ridge resident who is a member of the Riders Alliance, said she would be very happy if the MTA brought back the B37. “The Third Avenue bus was great. Not only did it go up and down Third Avenue here in Bay Ridge, but it used to go to Costco and Home Depot. They are located in areas that are difficult for me to get to. I don’t have a car,” she told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Besides, said Lynn, it's the least the MTA could do for Bay Ridge. "This community is so underserved by the MTA it's ridiculous," she said.
A return of the B37 bus would also help riders traveling to and from work at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Bush Terminal, and other places in Sunset Park's industrial zone located below Third Avenue between 29th and 59th Streets. Over 20,000 people work in that area, Golden said. “And that market is growing,” he said.
Deirdre Parker, a spokeswoman for the MTA, said a decision has not been made yet on the B37.
"Senator Golden and other elected officials have submitted several suggestions as mitigation for the closing of the Montague tube. We are reviewing these suggestion. No decisions have been made at this time," she said.