Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Crain's: Brooklyn braces for loss of bus lines

Great article on the possible elimination of the B71 and B75 buses from -- of all places -- Crain's New York Business:

Brooklyn Braces for Loss of Bus Lines
MTA cash crunch comes home to roost in Carroll Gardens
By Amanda Fung

For Phyllis Straka, there's just nothing like the bus for getting around in Brooklyn.

"I'm a senior citizen on a pension, so a car services is too expensive," says Ms. Straka. As for the F train stop on Smith and Ninth streets, it's too far for her to get to on foot.

Beginning this summer, she and her Carroll Gardenes neighbors may have no other choice. As part of a desperate attempt to save cash, the Metropolitan Transporation Authority has put two popular area bus lines, the B71 and the B75, on the chopping block.

"These buses are the lifeblood of the neighborhood," says City Councilman Brad Lander. "Carroll Gardens has a lot of seniors, and those seniors can't ride the subway. These buses are absolutely essential for families."

But here's a key part:

MTA officials point out that they have proposed an alternative service for each line, which involves extending the B61 and the B77 to replace the B75 on Ninth Street and Prospect Park West, and having riders use the B65 instead of the B71.

But the latter bus isn't really all that easy to replace. It is the only east-to-west connector from Carroll Gardens to Cobble Hill and Park Slope, according to Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, which represents the neighborhoods, who adds that there is no subway alternative.

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