Urges MTA to restore service
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Not everyone is celebrating the return of the B37 bus, it seems.
Brighton Beach residents who lost the X29 express bus when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) eliminated the bus line as a cost cutting measure three years ago, are happy for their Bay Ridge and Sunset Park neighbors getting the B37 bus back, but are also wondering when their turn will come, a City Council candidate said.
Ari Kagan, a Democrat running for the City Council in the 48th Council District (Brighton Beach-Sheepshead Bay-Manhattan Beach) called on the MTA to bring back the X29 bus. The agency’s board voted unanimously July 24 to restore service on the B37 bus line. The bus operated on Third Avenue from Bay Ridge to downtown Brooklyn.
Before it was discontinued in 2010, the X29 ran from Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island to 57th Street and Madison Avenue in midtown Manhattan, making stops in Trump Village and in Midwood along the way.
“The people of southern Brooklyn, many of whom commute over an hour to get to work in Manhattan, deserve better from the MTA,” Kagan said. “City Hall and the MTA, for years now, have made it regular practice to penalize those families who live and commit to the areas they can afford to live in. New York City is more than Manhattan and trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods close to Manhattan. We are taxpayers, and deserve services from the city too,” he said.
The lack of express bus service has a disproportionate impact on seniors and people with disabilities, according to Kagan. “Here in southern Brooklyn, our train stations are elevated. Not everyone is capable of walking up multiple flights of stairs to access the subway. These women and men relied on the X29 to get to work, or a doctor’s appointments, in Manhattan,” he said.
In other campaign news, Kagan announced that he filed over 3,200 petition signatures with the New York City Board of Elections to qualify for the Democratic Primary ballot. Kagan said his campaign has raised a total of $75,660, meaning that with matching funds he will be able to spend the maximum allowed by the city’s Campaign Finance Board under the matching funds program.
Kagan’s opponents in the Democratic Primary are Igor Oberman, Theresa Scavo, Natraj Bhushan, and Chaim Deutsch. The primary is Sept. 10. The winner will face Republican candidate David Storobin.
The council seat is currently held by Democrat Michael Nelson who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.