Be prepared to speed up your pace if you want to take advantage of a change made to speed up your morning commute.
Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) announced last week that passengers on the B-4 bus will now have an easier time making connections to the R train at 77th Street, thanks to a promise he secured from New York City Transit to have the bus begin its run seven minutes earlier.
But the change may ultimately be meaningless.
The plan calls for the bus, which used to stop at Bay Ridge Parkway and Fort Hamilton Parkway at 6:43 am, to now do so at 6:35 am. The goal is to have the bus arrive at the 77th Street R train at 6:40 am — two minutes before the scheduled arrival of the R train.
In other words, if both the train and bus were running exactly on time, passengers would have two minutes to get off the sometimes-crowded bus, walk down one flight of stairs, take out or purchase a Metrocard, go through the turnstile and go down another set of stairs in hopes of making that 6:42 train.
Is it possible? The Brooklyn Paper took a simulated walk from the bus to the train that was clocked at 2 minutes and 2 seconds.
When we purchased a Metrocard, it added another 18 seconds.
In other words, even with Fossella’s much-ballyhooed deal with NYC Transit, commuters will either have to run for the train or be prepared to wait for the train they would’ve gotten all along: the 6:50.
“We cannot wait for the people if they are not on time,” said a transit source. “We have a schedule to keep.”
A spokeswoman for the Straphangers Campaign, also questioned whether two minutes was enough to get from bus to platform.
“I don’t know the layout of that station,” said Charity Carbine, a field organizer for rider-advocacy group. “But two minutes certainly doesn’t seem like a lot of time to get off a bus and board a train.”
But Fossella stood by his action.
“When I commuted to Manhattan,” Fossella said, “nothing was more frustrating than missing my connection.”