STUYVESANT TOWN — A Stuyvesant Town bus stop is no longer on the chopping block after residents and pols protested, saying its removal would be a hardship for elderly neighbors, according to the MTA.
The bus stop, located on East 20th Street at the Stuy 20th Street Loop, will be preserved as part of the MTA’s proposal to install Select Bus Service along the crosstown M23 route between Avenue C and Chelsea Piers, according to an MTA spokesman.
The MTA announced last year its plan for Select Bus Service, which includes a designated lane and ticket machines at bus stops in order to cut down on rest time. But part of that proposal was a culling of bus stops at Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street, and the 20th Street Loop stop, that had been deemed superfluous because of their proximity to other stops.
While the Fifth Avenue stop is a stone’s throw from a stop at 23rd Street and Broadway, and the Lexington Avenue stop is about half the normal distance between stops on either side from Park Avenue South and Third Avenue, the removal of the 20th Street stop would leave a two-avenue gap between stops.
That would have made a long trek for any elderly or disabled residents of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village trying to catch the bus, according to Councilman Dan Garodnick, who wrote a letter in May asking the MTA to reconsider removing the stop.
“The surrounding community of 30,000 people is already significantly isolated from mass transit, and with the potential closure of the L train stop at First Avenue looming on the horizon, we should be extremely careful about limiting alternative connection points in the area,” Garodnick wrote.
The Community Board 6 Transportation Committee on Monday voted to recommend approving the MTA’s proposal as long as it saved the 20th Street stop.
Some members still expressed reservations about the proposal, which still includes the removal of bus stops at Lexington Avenue and Fifth Avenue, but the committee was limited by the fact that those stops are in Community Board 5.