Last month, shortly after a report published by city Councilman Brad Lander found that the B61 bus route, the only one serving transit-poor Brooklyn neighborhoods like Red Hook and the Columbia Waterfront District, was one of the most over-crowded and chronically late in the city, the MTA sought to fix the problem by adding more bus shelters to make those long waits less tiresome. Locals were not impressed (said one, “Shelters make it a little better—but it doesn’t address the real problem”), and now the MTA has decided to address that real problem by adding buses to the route.
At a board meeting on Monday the MTA approved a measure to add more buses to the B61 route during the evening rush hour when, according to Lander’s study, only 43 percent of buses run on schedule. The additional buses, according to an announcement on Lander’s website, will be implemented in April.
But Lander and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez of New York’s 12th District—which includes Red Hook and the Columbia Waterfront District—make clear that this is only a partial solution to the problems plaguing the B61. Velázquez says:
The action taken by MTA is an important first step toward improving service on the B61 bus route, and I look forward to additional efforts by MTA that reduce crowding and delays for those using this overburdened bus line
Among those additional efforts Lander would like to see: more buses during the morning rush hour and real-time bus location information. In the meantime, enjoy all those new shelters.
Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt