Monday, October 12, 2015

Local Community Groups Mobilizing To Re-Establish B71 Bus Route Between Carroll Gardens And Park Slope

The B71 back in 2010, before it was eliminated
Back in 2010: Protests to save the B71 bus route

In 2010, the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced the elimination of the B71 bus, which had connected Carroll Gardens and Park Slope via Union Street for years. The route was used  by many school-aged kids, the handicapped and the elderly.  It also provided easy public transportation to Prospect Park, the central Brooklyn Library, as well as the Brooklyn Museum for Carroll Gardeners.
Despite several protests and petitions by local residents and elected officials, the route was suspended in June 2010.  
Efforts are now on the way to bring the B71 route back.  An online petition addressed has been circulation this past week and a demonstration is scheduled for tomorrow, October 13th at 10:30 PM at the corner of Union and Smith Streets.
Below is an email on the subject by Councilman Brad Lander.

When the MTA eliminated the B71 bus route that ran along Union Street in June 2010, they cut a vital transportation link for our neighborhoods. Students lost their route to school. Seniors lost the bus that took them to the grocery store and shopping on Fifth Avenue. The link up to Prospect Park, the Library, and the Brooklyn Museum, or down to Columbia Street and Brooklyn Bridge Park was severed.

We fought hard at the time. Now -- with a growing number of families and businesses all along the route -- it's time to renew that fight.

If you agree that we need the B71 back, sign this petition and join the campaign.

Thanks to the work of advocates in our community, momentum is growing to bring back the route. Building upon the work of longtime advocates for the route, like former Assemblywoman Joan Millman, advocates in the Park Slope Civic Council led by Michael Cairl, with help from Community Board 6’s Eric McClure, and Community Board 8’s Rob Witherwax, are mobilizing to bring back the bus. Residents of the Columbia Waterfront, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights are organizing together (you can read about it in an article in this week's Brooklyn Paper).

Their new proposal for the route (see maps of Eastbound andWestbound service here) improves upon the old route by extending it all the way to Pier 6 on one end and to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on the other. The proposed route also avoids congestion along both Union and Eastern Parkway that led to the unreliability of the old B71, and would extend service later into the night. It’s a smart proposal. I support it, and I hope you do too.
Sign the "Bring Back the B71" petition to show your support!

This Tuesday morning, NY State Assemblymember Joanne Simon, along with State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Member Steve Levin, other elected officials, local community groups, and the TWU, is organizing a press conference for residents:
Bring Back the B71
Tuesday, October 13 at 10:30 AM
Corner of Smith and Union Streets

Please join the press conference if you can. Please sign the petition, and forward this e-mail to other interested neighbors. (In addition to showing growing support, we'll also make sure to keep you updated on other actions in the campaign).

Thanks for your help. Together, we can bring back this vital transit artery.

It will be interesting to see if the MTA is more receptive to the community's wishes, five years after the B71 was eliminated.


Michael Ring said...

Why are we bothering with the MTA? Maybe the TLC can take care of this problem. Small bus stops? Fuel-efficient vans?

Katia said...

Good advice. Is that van still running? Just googled the company and couldn't find out anything.

Michael Ring said...

I honestly don't think the van ever ran for more than a week or two, if at all. But for a short time there were teeny bus stops for the vans.

bored at work said...

Please. The van never really ran at all and was just a sop to the community.

The reason you need to "bother" with the MTA is that the B71 was one of the most heavily subsidized routes in the city. In other words, for each fare collected, the MTA (meaning riders of other less subsidized lines, the subway plus taxes) provided additional funds to cover the cost of providing the service. The route is simply not profitable for a private operator to provide regular service.

I am all in favor of bringing the B71 back as it would provide me with service. But this is a zero sum game. If you bring back the B71, you are taking money away from another service with greater demand.

Anonymous said...

It makes no sense that there is no bus transportation between Park Slope and our neighborhood. To the park, library, etc. Especially for seniors. My husband works near the park and took that bus every day. It has caused a huge problem since stopping that bus as we are in the back of Carroll Gardens and it is hard to get there by any realistic method.