Bus line to end at Barclays Center
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority didn’t go far enough when it decided to re-instate the B37 bus. That’s what three lawmakers who represent constituents along the bus route are saying.
State Sen. Marty Golden, Assemblywoman Joan Millman and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to restore the Bay Ridge-to-downtown Brooklyn bus (the line was eliminated in 2010), are now teaming up to fight for the bus route to be extended.
Under the MTA’s current plan, the B37 will return in June 2014 and will operate between Shore Road in Bay Ridge, along Third Avenue, to the Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn.
Prior to its elimination three years ago, the B37 terminated at Court Street/Livingston Street and made stops at the New York State Supreme Court building and Borough Hall on its route.
Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) and his two colleagues wrote a joint letter to MTA President Thomas Prendergast requesting that the B37 run all the way to Court Street/Livingston Street.
The planned terminus is approximately 12 blocks short of where the old route ended, according to Anna Strahle, a spokeswoman for Millman. “It’s a long walk, especially in the cold weather,” she told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Millman (D-Brooklyn Heights-Carroll Gardens) believes it’s important to restore the entire route of the B37, Strahle said. The current plan will hurt commuters, she predicted. “There are so many people from the southern end of Brooklyn who work in the courts and in the downtown area. Not having the bus is a hardship. But not having the full route is also a hardship,” she said.
“It’s a problem,” Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) told the Eagle. “Our elderly population isn’t going to walk 12 blocks from the Barclays Center to Court Street/Livingston Street. A lot of people travel from Bay Ridge to go to the doctor in downtown Brooklyn. We really need the original rout restored,” she said.
It’s not clear why the MTA decided to cut the route short. But a source close to one of the lawmakers said it was likely done to cut down on the costs of operating the bus line. MTA officials also told the elected officials that the bus did not have a large ridership at the end of the route in downtown Brooklyn, the source said. When the B37 was eliminated by the MTA as a cost-cutting measure in 2010, elected officials held protest rallies, started petition drives, and pressured the agency to restore the bus line.
Earlier this year, the MTA voted to bring the B37 back.
MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said officials at the agency are reviewing the bus route extension request from the lawmakers.