Call them bus despots.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees at the Flatbush Bus Depot in Marine Park routinely park illegally on surrounding streets but evade parking tickets by placing authority paraphernalia in the dashboards of their personal cars, according to a local pol.
“The workers who work in the depot will park illegally,” said Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park). “They might not have placards but they’ll put something that says ‘Transist Authority’ and the cops are reluctant to give them tickets.”
The workers’ cars take up public spaces all along the streets surrounding the depot, including on Utica, Fillmore and Flatbush avenues as well as E. 49th Street, even though a designated employee parking lot is available just one block away at Utica Avenue and Avenue N.
Many neighboring businesses have complained to the police and to the authority, saying that the cars are taking spaces away from their customers, but the problem persists, according to Maisel.
“Every once in a while, the local storekeepers come into the office and they complain to get the cops to crack down,” he said. “And if you don’t do this on a daily basis, it becomes put to the side until someone else complains.”
Transist Authority workers regularly park their cars illegally all day outside one local business owner’s property on the corner of E. 49th Street and Fillmore Avenue.
“They park their cars on the side of the diner where there’s a meter,” said Steve Zaharakis, owner of the Floridian Diner directly across from the depot. “They put their vehicles there with an MTA shirt in front of the dash and nobody ever puts any money in the meter. They just leave their vehicles there and go to work — and if they didn’t do that, people could use those parking spaces.”
A store supervisor at the Petco store on Utica Avenue echoed the complaints, saying that he sees transit employees leaving their cars parked all over the area without feeding the meters.
“They leave their cars there all day, every day, with their vests in their car, showing the MTA logo,” said the supervisor, who declined to give his name because he wasn’t authorized to speak for the pet-supply chain. “I see that on Flatbush, Fillmore, Avenue S, parking all through the blocks.”
The illegal practice causes a lot of hassles for local business and the surrounding residential community because the cars take up spaces for customers and locals, according to the Petco supervisor.
“A lot of businesses are very upset about it,” he said. “It prevents people from actually being able to park, including neighbors that want to park after-hours because they don’t have a driveway.”
Authority spokesman Andrei Berman said that the issue has been raised in the past and the authority has repeatedly reminded employees to “adhere to all parking rules and regulations which are enforced by the NYPD.”