No trains go to Red Hook. There’s only one way to get into the neighborhood by public transportation, and that’s the B61 bus, “one of the worst bus lines,” says Councilman Brad Lander; his new study, reported in the Daily News, shows the bus is routinely late and overcrowded to the point that it stops picking up passengers. The route, which connects Windsor Terrace to Downtown Brooklyn, is new, a merger of the old B61 route, which ran from Red Hook into Long Island City, and the B77, which shuttled passengers from Park Slope to Conover Street. Until recently, I often left Red Hook by bus late at night, and initially welcomed the merger: the new B61 ran more often in the wee hours of the morning than the old B77 ever did. But Lander’s study shows that during important peak hours the bus is unreliable, exacerbated by the recent closure of the Smith-Ninth Street stop on the F and G lines.
During peak times, 57 percent of buses are late by at least three minutes and as much as 20; often, buses arrive in clusters. At certain stops, almost half of buses were so overcrowded they passed without stopping; 12 percent of the time, two buses in a row didn’t stop.
Local politicians have asked the MTA to increase service; the MTA said it will consider it, which means transportation to and from Red Hook won’t likely get better any time soon.