Thursday, June 24, 2010

"We Take The B 71": Local Residents Protest The MTA's Elimination Of Local Bus Route

Councilmembers Letitia James and Brad Lander

Yesterday afternoon, local residents took part in a rally to save the B71 bus, which will be eliminated by the Metropolitan Transit Authority on June 27th as part of the agency's cost saving measure. The B71 connects this community to Park Slope and is used by many school children, the elderly and handicapped.
Standing at one of its stops on Union Street at the corner of Smith Street, the protesters were joined by New York City Council Members Letitia James (35th District) and Brad Lander (39th District.) Representatives of Assemblywoman Joan Millman and of State Senator Daniel Squadron were also on hand, as was Doug Biviano, NYS Assembly Cadidate

Holding up signs which read "I take the B 71 to the Botanical Gardens/ the Brooklyn Museum/ the Park" politicians and residents pleaded with the MTA to reconsider the service cut.

The B71 will stop running on Monday. It is unlikely that the MTA will change its mind before then. However, it was impressive to see such a large group come out to protest the elimination of a bus route. And maybe, as Councilman Brad Lander told the protesters, it may not be a done deal yet.



Anonymous said...

With all due respect, why was this rally held on Union & Smith streets? What was the purpose if no one other than neighborhood residents saw it? If anything, it should have been held in front of MTA headquarters where it would have been noticed even if to no avail, no?

Anonymous said...

If you wanted (noticed i used the past tense) to save the B71 you should have taken a page out of the "Save the M8" playbook. The first sound of rumors of cutting it there were people at the bus stops and riding the buses asking people to sign a petition to save it. Well guess what, they did. Yes, I love the B71, but putting up signs 2 to 3 weeks ago asking for it to be saved and to be protesting 4 or 5 days until its cut is bit to late.

Anonymous said...

The protest is too late. You guys should have done it earlier during the MTA meetings on the service cut.

You better get King Bloomberg to get the MTA much needed help on MTA cash problems he needs to hear loud protest to get the attention.

Anonymous said...

They did protest when the meetings were held downtown. Did'nt you hear? It got so heated up inside during the meetings with the residents/protesters that the cops had to come in, take people out. Many were arrested for protesting.
So even with all of that, MTA could not care less unfortunately.
Protests and petitions mean nothing to MTA.
In addition, there is nothing Bloomberg can do, he runs the city, not the state. The MTA is state run/operated for the city.

Anonymous said...

Because he timing of the event was way off the mark, it seems the only reason that this was scheduled was for some elected officials to have some photo to use in their mailers to show that they were against cutting this bus.

Why weren't the city council members doing more to prevent this a year ago? Could it be that their real sentiments are with the auto drivers all looking for more parking spots that may replace the bus stops? (Who knows, but it's hard not to be cynical here.)

Anonymous said...

I agree that it must be too late but we should protest. That's the only thing we can do at the moment.

There will be another rally for the B71 on Sunday the 27th - 11AM at the same place - bus stop at Union and Smith Streets.

we should protest!

Anonymous said...

Sometime next year, if its not to late, lets all get together and protest the closing of th Union Street Trolley!

BevD said...

Last year-early Spring- we collected 800 signatures, from locals, churches,stores, other communities, we went to the senior centers where the seniors signed and protested. We went to meetings. I went to two meetings- Court Street in one of the offices- We were 30 people from different parts of the borough-pack of 10 were put in three different rooms- We were asked all questions pertaining to save B75/ B71 buses.
We all put our comments out to the MTA representatives. We than were placed as a group in the room. There they evaluated all our comments-very young who were driven out of their neighborhood catholic schools or private to go outside their neighborhood, to workers who must commute to downtown Brooklyn to transfer,etc. To the seniors, who cannot come out to these evening meetings to protest-who need to go to doctors, to shop, to go to recreational centers. Since, we do not have a supermarket- they need to walk to Smith st B75- to get to Met Food either on Smith St or Henry Street. to than walk home to their homes. We do not need our children to go on the train. So, by eliminating our only B75 or B71 line- has had a disastrous affect -mentally as well as physically on everyone. Well, at these meetings, the MTA-reps were convinced that it was necessary to keep these bus lines- They went as far as telling us, there were possibilities that -they would expand the lines of two buses to go further- so they could take public as far as York St.

Since there -downtown, Brooklyn Heights there are libraries, museums,exhibitions for everyone to enjoy.

This is where it took us-

I myself, have sent out last year, 800 copies of signatures, to Gov Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, Councilman DeBlasio,Assemblywoman Millman, Yvette Clark, several MTA head chiefs.
Where did it get all of us- amongst the recent meetings, this past winter- that went wild with rage. Recently -rally on Union Smith STreet after work- 6ishpm.
Than we had a recent rally-WHERE WAS EVERYONE- NATA -NO ONE- WHERE WERE ALL OF YOU- during the Smith St Fair- corner of Union Smith Street- we had signs, protesting-we need the B71- Every 20 minutes, there passed B57 along Court Street and Smith Street.

MTA- WHAT A FINE DEED YOU DID-NOW- we must stop at Smith 9Th Street- near a gas station- across from a diner- where one has to wait with a transfer from B57-to take a 2nd bus to go up the avenues?? MTA -MESSED US UP GOOD- SENIORS HAVE TO TRANSFER TO STAND AND WAIT- WHERE THEY COULD HAVE BEEN LEFT -3RD AVENUE OR 5TH AVENUE- WHERE- they could stop at McDonald, or a diner, or a newstand or shop at C Town, or go to window shop- THERE IS NOTHING/NOR A BENCH TO SIT ON- FOR ANYONE OLD OR YOUND AS THEY WAIT FOR B 63 TO COME ALONG. YOU SCREWED US GOOD THIS TIME- YET- MTA -GETS THEIR PAY HIKES PAID TO THEM- WE SWEAT WE FREEZE WE ACHE- WHERE WE STAND RIGHT NOW.