Straphangers, unite! Here’s what your fellow riders are saying

for The Brooklyn Paper
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For commuters from Coney Island to Red Hook, Sunday was indeed bloody, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority enacted sweeping changes across the transit system, slashing service, reorganizing lines and eliminating some routes entirely in an effort to close a $800-million budget deficit. As the agency tries to get into the black, Brooklyn bus riders are expected to be red-faced: the borough is losing a whopping 298 bus stops out of 570 system-wide. Here’s how transit riders reacted:

Bay Ridge

Line: B37 will no longer travel to Lutheran Medical Center on Second Avenue in Sunset Park or head into Downtown.

“It’s just terrible. We think this is bad now, but it’s is just the beginning of the summer. In the winter, we are going to suffer from this elimination of bus routes big time. I am already relying on car services, but how long will it be before they raise prices because they know they can? I’ve had recent problems with my spine, and there are just too many steps to take the subway. And it’s not like we have the opportunity to move anywhere to be closer to a bus route.”

Sandra Maldonato


Line: The M train will be eliminated entirely in the borough, affecting 10,000 weekday riders.

“Between 25th and Union streets you used to be able to take the R and the M, but now you can just take the R. It will be much more crowded on these trains during rush hour.”

Jeff Royson


Line: B23, which serves Kensington, Flatbush and Borough Park. “I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting medical tests, and thank God these buses were there because they helped me a lot. For seniors who need to get to Maimonides [Medical Center], or to diagnostic centers, and also to places like Kings Plaza, this is the only life line that we have. It will also be a big hardship on the children, who depend on it to get from Kensington to Borough Park to go to school. You just can’t do that to people! It’s not the American way!”

Aaron Schenker


Line: The B51, which travels over the Manhattan Bridge from Downtown Brooklyn, is eliminated.

“It’s insane! This is an overall problem for working-class disabled people. Access-a-ride is going to be inundated — they can’t handle this! Even the subway stations that are ‘accessible’ have problems, like at Marcy Street. The people designing the subway system aren’t sitting in the chair. They don’t have the personal experience. I mean, what am I, a pariah just because I’m in a chair?”

Milagros Franco

Coney Island

Line: B64 will no longer rumble beyond 25th Avenue.

“If I need to buy fruits and vegetables in Bay Parkway, I always take the B64. All there is in my neighborhood is a bakery, and I can’t walk to Pathmark on Cropsey Avenue; I’m 83-years-old and use a cane [but] the Bay 50th street subway station has 50 steps down to the platform, and add that to the few blocks I have to walk to my destination. Now I have to take two buses to get to Bay Parkway — the B6 and the B82. The B64 is a main artery between Bensonhurst and Coney Island. Instead of a straight line, now they want us to go in a circle!”

Zelda Multz

Carroll Gardens

Line: B71 between Columbia Street and Crown Heights was eliminated entirely.

“I have never seen anything like this! I take the B71 every morning, and now they want to stop the direct line and make me go through Atlantic Avenue, in that mayhem, during rush hour? I just want them to explain why they are screwing around with all of these buses — I thought that they just got a stimulus package? Last week, I was helping a woman in a wheelchair get home from work, and I looked up to the sky and just thought ‘Who is going to help us now?’ ”

Donna Rosano

Red Hook

Line: B77 will be eliminated with an extended B61, whose route will follow a longer route from Downtown to Windsor Terrace to Red Hook.

“The B77 takes me from Smith and Ninth Street all the way to the Red Hook Senior Center on Wolcott, where I volunteer. I help them with their shopping, or anything else they need. Now, I might be late because the bus route [is extended]. And the new schedule looks kind of complicated, especially for seniors, who have to know to switch to the B61.”

Joseph Bunte

Marine Park

Line: Weekend service on the B2, which travels from Kings Highway to Kings Plaza is eliminated.

“My husband takes one car and my kids take the other car, so I have to take the bus if I want to go shopping on Kings Highway. It may not seem like a big deal to walk to the other buses, but in 95-degree heat, rain or snow, it will be awful. This neighborhood doesn’t exist without the bus. The MTA doesn’t care about the people who will be stranded here.”

Pearl Mortman


Line: B39, which goes over the Williamsburg Bridge, is eliminated.

“I know a woman that goes to rehab in Manhattan on the B39, and now she’s supposed to go up and down four flights of stairs [in the subway] at Delancey Street? This bus also allows residents to transfer to other buses that go uptown. We’re not saying that cutbacks don’t need to be made here, but to eliminate B39? That’s just backward.”

Esteban Duran

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
I don't enjoy cutbacks in mass transit; on the other hand, something needs to wake up the mass of left-leaning drones in the City, and state.

Wouldn't it be great if all of New York State Government, the MTA included, ran out of money and went bankrupt so we could start over? We need less government, and government officials who actually give a rat's ass about tax rates, and government workers who get benefits they don't deserve.

Government workers need to be paid a la the private sector. If it takes a little pain in the turnstile to wake people up to the criminal syndicate that is governs in New York, from the MTA, to the teachers' unions, welcome silver lining!
June 30, 2010, 5:16 pm
Beverly D from Carroll gdns/Red Hook says:
Its a selfish disgrace, what the MTA is doing to all these communities by pulling off all these needed bus lines. B75 B71 is no longer. We are in a position here, where we have seniors who need to get to their doctors, who rely on B75 to get to recreational, shopping, touring, other centers, etc. Now with this new bus line, that stops at or ends at Smith St 9th Street-for these seniors, young workers or parents with children, who must stop and stand at the 9th St gas station-there are no benches, there are no shelters, there is nothing to keep them busy-till another line comes around. WHY stop and make this the last stop- when 5th Avenue- 3 rd Avenue- had shops, diners, shoe stores, newspaper stands, etc. to stop and browse,etc. Here, now, it is very very hot, sticky and they are tired by now- to continue to wait for another bus to continue on their travels. To wait for another bus to transfer once again.
Seniors cannot come out at these late hours- of our meetings. So, i am speaking out for them. Also, what has the MTA-done with the 800 Signatures taht were mailed out- Gov Paterson, Councilman DeBlasio,Assembywoman Millman,Mayor Bloomberg,Yvette Clark, Boro Pres. Marty Markowitz, also several MTA representatives. I attended several meetings, one of which was on Court Street- where we all sat and discussed with about 30 of us- 10 in 3 rooms- to see if our ideas of saving the B75 B 71 would be similar- they were. These representatives of MTA- said to us, that they were considering also possibly extend the two lines to go as far as York Street.
They reasoned with our complaints -that how much needed these bus lines were- B71 B75- This is making many people very upset. Also, they must need to relocate with their young children to go to school- nannies or parents have to reschedule their work hours in the morning to accompany their children .. This is INSANE

June 30, 2010, 8:57 pm
Jeff from Cobble Hill says:
It is unfortunate that such deep cuts are being made in mass transit. Mass transit is one of the most useful, economically and ecologically sensible ways to get around this city. It is used by everyone: students, seniors, shoppers, tourists, businesspeople.

(And, no, it wouldn't be great at all if the governments ran out of money. The word "government" is just a shorthand for "the things that all of us do together in our community". So, while I'm all for reducing wasteful programs I am not in favor of banishing governments altogether.)
June 30, 2010, 11 pm
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
"The word "government" is just a shorthand for "the things that all of us do together in our community". So, while I'm all for reducing wasteful programs I am not in favor of banishing governments altogether.)"

Neither of us are in favor of that. The problem is that New York is politically, systemically a financial failure. Taxes are too high; revenues are going to programs that are failures, and have been for decades. We have a one-party political system; gosh no place needs a Tea Party movement more than New York, yet there is only a very weak one.

At some point, complete collapse is the only way to replace and rebuild something good. We have reached that point.
June 30, 2010, 11:56 pm
dantoujours from Cobble Hill says:
The Tea Party would be a disaster for everyone if they got into power. They run against the status quo but offer no real solutions and show no capacity to govern (as oppose to rule.) It was Tea Party policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Every state is a financial failure nowadays whether they are controlled by Republicans and Democrats for the same reason. My former conservative, Republican controlled state of Texas is facing a $18 billion shortfall in 2011.

This has nothing to do with right-wing or left-wing politics. The MTA is funded mostly by property taxes and the decline in the real estate market caused by the GLOBAL recession caused a shortfall in revenue. The funding mechanism needs to change so that the MTA receives strong funding during recessions when people count on it more.
July 1, 2010, 2 pm
Jeff from Cobble Hill says:
Thank you, dantoujours, for being a voice of calm and reason. It is not an easy thing on the internet, or in the current times.
July 1, 2010, 9:59 pm
Joey Bots from Bot Land says:
Why does the B64 no longer go all the way to Coney Island. It stops and turns around before arriving at this major destination point. What is the reasoning for this?

Why is South Brooklyn hot so hard with these cuts!?!?
July 2, 2010, 1:55 pm

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