Testimony of the New York City Transit Riders Council
to the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
on Proposed Changes to Bus Service on the
Bx24, B37, B70, B8 and X17 Routes
2 Broadway, 20th Floor Conference Room, New York, NY
November 14, 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 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 generally support these proposals to restore and improve bus service in the Bronx and Brooklyn and between Staten Island and Manhattan. The service cuts that were imposed in 2010 were the wrong solution to the MTA’s financial problems, and we are pleased that these proposals reverse several of the 2010 reductions in Brooklyn service. In addition, changes to the Bx24 and X17 routes respond to current and emerging transportation needs and support increased demand for Sunday travel to and from Staten Island and growing employment opportunities at the Hutchinson Metro Center in the Bronx.
The proposed changes to the B8, B37, and B70 routes largely reverse the failed attempt to reduce costs through restructuring bus service in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn. The changes that were made in 2010 clearly did not work for the community that they served, and the NYCTRC is gratified that a service pattern that worked well in the past is being restored.
We are, however, concerned that the restored B37 will terminate at Atlantic Center, rather than at Court and Livingston Streets as it did in 2010. We understand New York City Transit’s desire to avoid operating the B37 in the congested Downtown area, but cutting this route short will be a real hardship for riders traveling to and from Downtown Brooklyn. A transfer at Atlantic Center to another bus or a subway to continue an accessible trip is not easy, and traveling the twelve block distance between the old and new terminals without using transit is difficult or impossible for many riders.
The NYCTRC believes that bus service must evolve to meet the changing needs of the riders that it serves. We believe that these proposed changes are a major step toward better serving the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island communities.