Hot Brooklyn Nabes Get New Bus Routes Amid MTA Service Restorations
NEW YORK CITY — The bustling Williamsburg waterfront and Downtown Brooklyn are set to get new bus routes as the MTA restores services around the city that were slashed in 2010, officials announced Thursday.
The $29.5 million restorations will add and extend service on dozens of bus lines across the city, filling in gaps and offering more late-night and weekend services to growing neighborhoods, just ahead of a planned fare hike.
Among the highlights are the permanent extension of the G train to Church Avenue and five new bus routes spanning Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx.
“As a result of new revenue from increased ridership as well as our continuing cost-saving measures, we are now able to respond to this growth in ridership by filling gaps in service coverage in certain areas as well as provide new service to developing neighborhoods throughout the city,” NYCT President Thomas Prendergast said.
MTA officials also announced Thursday that the fare hike set to kick in in 2013 has been delayed for two months.The increase, which will now hit straphangers in in March instead of January, is expect to generate $450 million for the agency — far eclipsing the cost of the restorations, officials tried to stress.
Here is a list of new and restored service, broken down by borough:
► The Bx13, which serves Concourse Village and Mott Haven, will extend from East 161st Street to the Gateway Center Mall at all times.
► The Bx34 will have weekend service restored from 242nd Street to Fordham Road via Bainbridge Avenue.
► New service in the South Bronx to western Hunts Point to start in September 2013.
► The G train service permanently extended to Church Avenue in Kensington.
► The B2 will see weekend service restored from Midwood to the Kings Plaza Mall along Avenue R in Gravesend and Marine Park.
► The B4 will be restored from Ocean Parkway to Knapp Street along Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.
► The B24 will have weekend service restored from Greenpoint to the Williamsburg Bridge Plaza through Sunnyside.
► The B39 will be restored from Delancey and Allen streets to Williamsburg.
► The B48 will be restored from Atlantic Avenue to Prospect Park along Franklin and Classon avenues in Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
► The B57 will be extended from Carroll Gardens to Red Hook via Court Street, Lorraine Street and Otsego Street.
► The B69 will have weekend service restored from Kensigngton to Downtown Brooklyn.
► A new bus route will connect Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The exact route has yet to be determined, the MTA said.
► A new bus route will serve the Williamsburg waterfront. The route has yet to be determined.
► A new bus route will connect East New York and Spring Creek. The route has yet to be determined.
► The X27 will see weekend service restored from Bay Ridge to Midtown.
► The X17 will get a new bus stop in Bay Ridge.
► The M1 will have weekend service restored from 106th Street to 8th Street along Madison and 5th avenues.
► The M9 will be extended from 23rd to 29th street along 1st and 2nd avenues.
► The M9 will also extend from Park Row to Battery Park City along Warren, Murray and West streets.
► The M21 will have weekend service restored from the FDR Drive to Washington Street along Houston Street.
► A new bus route will serve the far west side of Manhattan from the West Village to Hell's Kitchen.
► The Q24 will have the extension restored between Broadway Junction to Bushwick Avenue along Broadway.
► The Q27 will provide overnight service from the Horace Harding Expressway to Cambria Heights along Springfield Boulevard.
► The Q30 will now provide service to Queensborough Community College.
► The Q36 will see an extension of every other trip from Jamaica Avenue to Little Neck along the Little Neck Parkway. It will also see weekday service restored along the previous route of the Q79.
► The Q42 will see midday service restored from Jamaica Center to St Albans along Archer Avenue.
► The Q76 will see restored Saturday service and new Sunday service from Jamaica to College Point along Francis Lewis Boulevard.
► The S76 will see weekend service restored from Oakwood to the St. George Ferry Terminal along Richmond Road.
► The S93 will extend from the entrance of the College of Staten Island into the campus.
► The X1 will add late night express service from Eltingville to Manhattan along Hylan Boulevard.
► The X17 will provide Sunday service from Huguenot Avenue to Midtown. It will also see an extended route during off-peak weekday hours from Huguenot Avenue to Tottenville along Rossville Avenue.
Service was also changed on the commuter lines.
► New capacity will be added to the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines to reduce crowing.
► Hudon Line Upper Hudson trains operating express between Croton-Harmon and Grand Central Terminal will connect with local trains at Croton-Harmon
► Hudson Line trains will offer half-hourly semi-express service between Croton-Harmon & Grand Central Terminal
► The Hudson Line will add one additional morning reverse peak outbound and one additional inbound off-peak train between Grand Central Terminal and Poughkeepsie.
► Harlem Line weekday Upper Harlem service will be adjusted to relieve crowding
► Service on the Harlem line will be increased to every 30 minutes between Southeast and Grand Central Terminal at key off-peak and weekend times, and between North White Plains and Grand Central Terminal at at key times on Sundays.
► Service on the New Haven line will be increased to every 30 minutes between Stamford and Grand Central Terminal at key times on Sundays and between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal at key times on Saturdays and Sundays.
► One peak morning and one peak evening train will be added to the Pascak Valley line between Hoboken and Spring Valley
LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD
► Ronkonkoma Branch off-peak service will increase to every half hour. The added trains will operate between Farmingdale and Penn Station, making stops at Bethpage, Hicksville, Mineola and Jamaica.
► The Ronkonkoma Branch will see service increase to every half hour in two three-hour periods on weekends between Farmingdale and Penn Station Beginning in November. Service will increase westbound between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and eastbound between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
► The Ronkonkoma Branch will see service increase to every half hour on westbound routes between Farmingdale and Penn Station between of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., beginning in March 2013.
► The Montauk Branch will see the 4:30 p.m. train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Montauk restored to the schedule for daily service during the summer season, starting in May 2013.
► The Port Jefferson Branch will see the 5:11 p.m. train from Hunterspoint Avenue to Port Jefferson restored in March 2013.
► The Long Beach Branch will see the 6:09 a.m. train from Long Beach to Atlantic Terminal restored to the Long Beach Branch morning rush hour schedule in March 2013.
The five new bus routes will be targeted at some of the city's fastest-growing neighborhoods, including Brooklyn’s rapidly-growing Tech Triangle, in Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the Williamsburg waterfront, where new buildings have brought a population explosion.
"These restorations and new routes will connect more neighborhoods for more New Yorkers more often," said State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who had pushed for the new routes.
Another new route will be added to the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, and another will travel along the far west side of Manhattan, from the West Village through Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.
Officials said the routes, which will be the first added to the system since 1999, will likely start running mid-next year, and were designed to service growing populations in those neighborhoods, officials said.
Some, howevver, questioned the timing of the restorations, given the public outcry during the last fare hike about straphangers being forced to pay more for less.
MTA Chair Joe Lhota insisted his motivation was to provide better service.
“I don’t think it’s political PR,” he said. “Ask the poeple in Red Hook who now have a new service who have demanding service. Ask the people in Williamsburg who have no bus service whatsover along that new housing on the waterfront... We are supposed to provide transportation for the people who live in our service area and that's what we're doing."
He also defended pushing back the fare hike when the MTA remains in yth ehole.
"We owe it to our riders to collect when we absolutely need to collect,” he said.
"The MTA appears to be listening to its customers, who strongly object to being asked to pay more for less," Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, said after news of the restorations began leaking out.
"This is a great victory — one which was only made possible by the thousands of New Yorkers who stood together to demand change," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
"It’s hard to remember the last time we had good news about transit in the outer boroughs. Let's ensure it's not the last time."