The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ratified its slash-and-burn service cut package on Wednesday morning, hoping that Draconian bus and subway alterations will close a $383-million shortfall in the agency’s 2010 budget.
A couple of bus line eradications — including the B51 that runs through Downtown and over the Manhattan Bridge, and the B39 from Williamsburg to the Lower East Side of the island — were a particular slap for Borough President Markowitz, who rallied on Tuesday to curtail the loss of those “lifelines.”
“These routes may not be the most heavily used, but they are absolutely needed for riders with disabilities or who are elderly,” Markowitz said. “There is simply no reasonable way for people with mobility and accessibility issues who cannot take the subway … to get to Manhattan without these vital bus routes.”
The cash-strapped agency reviewed public comments and made a few changes since its original cost-saving proposal made in December, but officials could only save so many lines — the proposal that was approved today made cuts based on “unused bus and train lines,” or those that have alternate transportation along their lines.
Here’s a roundup of important changes for Brooklynites — both the ones that are no longer being considered and the ones that still are — that will be implemented in June:
• Reduced Saturday service on the D, F, G, J, M, N, Q and R trains, and reductions on Sunday for the A, D, F, G, N, Q, and R trains.
• The G will rarely run deeper into Queens than Court Square. On the other hand, there will be increased service on all G trains during evening hours.
• No weekend service on the X27 express from Bay Ridge to Downtown and the B24 from Williamsburg to Greenpoint. The MTA suggests that X27 riders already use the R train on weekends (since the two lines run parallel), and that the B24 has seen a decline in ridership. The MTA notes that users of the weekend B24 — which runs to east Greenpoint, up into Queens and back — could “transfer” to another bus or train, possibly referring to the B43 (which runs north and south on Manhattan Avenue) or the B48 (which runs east and west on Nassau Avenue).
• No more service on the B51 and the B39 due to low ridership. The MTA suggests taking the J or Z trains over the Williamsburg Bridge.
• There will no longer be overnight service on the B67, which goes from Windsor Terrace, through Park Slope, to Downtown; the B64, which goes from Bay Ridge to Coney Island; and the B65, which cuts through Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights on its route between Crown Heights and Downtown.
• Service on all trains will not be reduced from 20 to 30 minutes from 2 am to 5 am.
• Service will not be reduced on the A line on Saturdays.
• The B25 — which runs from DUMBO to East New York along Fulton Street — bus was taken off the chopping block after politicians complained because that line will be the only one to service Brooklyn Bridge Park.
• There will be service on the B48 from Prospect Lefferts-Gardens to Greenpoint on nights and weekends.