Shuttle scuttle: Riders demand extra buses during three subway stations’ closure

Clean break: The closures are so workers can gussy up station platforms and entrances.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must provide shuttle buses for weekday commuters while it closes three subway stations, including Bay Ridge Avenue, for six months of renovations, riders are demanding. Trains will skip the stations while the authority platforms spiffy upgrades, but providing no above-ground alternative will leave customers out in the cold for half a year, one critic said.

“It’s not fair to take something away and not replace it,” said Community Board 10 member Carmen Feliciano. “They’re going to shut down the stations, but not provide any buses. What’s the logic in that? How do they expect people to get to the station they need? You have got to do something.”

Bay Ridge Avenue, 53rd Street, and Prospect Avenue are the first of 31 subway stops getting new entrances, platforms, and countdown clocks under a Gov. Cuomo initiative to gussy up the city’s aging transit system. The 53rd Street station will close a March to November, and trains will skip Bay Ridge Avenue from April to December. The rep did not know the time lime for the Prospect Avenue station.

The authority’s bus division determined shuttles weren’t necessary on weekdays, but it is running extra buses on 10 to-be-determined weekends, a rep with NYC Transit announced during a Jan. 12 meeting of Community Board 10’s transportation committee.

But the station is the nabe’s second most-trafficked stop with more than 8,300 Metrocard users swiping in on a given weekday, according to transit authority data. The lack of interim options is unacceptable, according to the transit committee’s chairwoman.

“We have a large senior citizen population here in Bay Ridge, and the concern — for not just our seniors but for all residents — is making this major adjustment during the weekday when there is such heavy usage of that Bay Ridge Avenue station,” said Jaynemarie Capetanakis. “To leave our community without an alternative is just unacceptable. And so we have to come to not just a compromise but to a solution that will allow people to carry on with their daily lives.”

Transit officials even agreed with locals concerns, but couldn’t guarantee that the plan would change.

“I agree with you. And sometimes I’m sent to do a very difficult job. And I’m taking your concern back to my boss,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority rep William Montanile told community board members.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
At least add more buses to the B37 (along 3rd Avenue) and the B63 (along 5th Avenue) during the time that these R train stations are shutting down 24/7 from 6 months to a year MTA. Don't forget to put a lot of reliable free shuttle buses to boot. It sometimes happened during maintainence.
Jan. 16, 2017, 9:38 am
Mike Quill from Underground says:
77 street minus 59th street equal 18. Divide by 2 equals 9 blocks. Walkable by most heading to work in the morning and probably faster than waiting for a shuttle bus.
Jan. 16, 2017, 9:40 am
Mike Quill from Underground says:
Jan. 16, 2017, 9:41 am
Michael from Bay Ridge says:
They'll just have to walk. 77th street has an exit on 76th, and 59th lets out on to 60th - it's just a few blocks. There's already a bus on fifth avenue, and on third if they really can't.
Jan. 16, 2017, 3:20 pm
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
B9 buses already connects between the two stations, but have to use up a free transfer option. Walking is the best options if weather permitted.
Jan. 16, 2017, 8:04 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
If you live in Bay Ridge you should already be used to walking home from 59th Street. After 5 N trains pass by during the evening rush and there are hundreds of people crowding the platform, its time to walk the rest of the way home. Poor R train service is a scandal that our local elected officials have never effectively addressed.
Jan. 17, 2017, 11:25 am
Mike Quill from Underground says:
Are these complainers asking for 53rd Street to get a shuttle bus also? In addition to the B9, B37 and B63 as mentioned in the above comments Bay Ridge has express bus service; Sunset Park does not.
Jan. 19, 2017, 8:46 am
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
Or better yet Mike: Let's demand the MTA to add more bus service on the existing bus routes that we already have, in which these could particularly serve these R trains subway stations. Then again, there will be overcrowding on these routes once these three particular R train subway stations will be closed for repairs.
Jan. 20, 2017, 8:58 am
Em from Bay Ridge says:
"..time LIME". Really? Like, really?
Jan. 30, 2017, 2:37 pm
TOM from BAY RIDGE says:
To me this work is a waste of time. There will be no elevator or escalators at all at these stations. The Bay Ridge Ave station was fine the way it was. I don't spent much time at a train station. It was not falling apart. The station could have stayed the way it is for at least the next 20 years and everything would have been fine. Shutting down these stations to do repair work is a total waste of taxpayer money and commuters time.
Aug. 11, 2017, 12:42 pm

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