Testimony of the New York City Transit Riders Council
to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
on the Proposed B32 Route and the Extension of the B67 Route
Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom, Brooklyn, NY
April 29, 2013
Good Evening. My name is Christopher D. Greif. I am a member of the New York City Transit Riders Council (NYCTRC), the legislatively mandated representatives of the New York City Transit riders. I am a Brooklyn resident and daily subway commuter, appointed to the Council by the Governor on the recommendation of the Brooklyn Borough President.
I’m here this evening to support this proposal to establish a new B32 bus service between Williamsburg and Long Island City and to extend the B67 route to serve the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The New York City Transit riders Council is pleased that New York City Transit is responding to the growth in Brooklyn’s communities and the increasing economic activity at the Navy Yard by creating and extending these routes.
We all know that many areas proposed to be served by the B32 route have been growing rapidly for a number of years and are now among the City’s more desirable neighborhoods. While there are existing bus services in these neighborhoods, the B32 fills a gap in service for Williamsburg’s waterfront areas and creates another option for riders. We believe that this service is needed to serve the area’s residents, workers, and visitors.
Likewise, the NYCTRC sees a need for transit that directly serves the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After the Navy Yard was closed by the federal government and sold to the City in the 1960’s, the number of workers there dropped to only about 1,000, but the Navy Yard is on its way back. As a model for new high-tech manufacturing in urban areas, the facility now has employment of over 6,000, and this number is growing. The B67 promises to be a valuable link between this expanding job center and workers.
Our Council wants to emphasize that because of the limited subway options in these growing areas, coordination between bus and subway services is particularly critical. This portion of Brooklyn needs a connected system of buses and subways with frequent services and convenient transfers between them. The NYCTRC has heard some concern that additional bus service could negatively affect efforts to increase G line subway service, but we believe that added bus service will make transit a more attractive travel option and increase the use of transit in the area.