Victory! Protesters demand the restoration of the B64. (Photo: Allan Rosen)
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The MTA will announce today that the B64 and other area bus lines that saw service cut or eliminated in 2010 will be restored or see service improvements by January 2013, Sheepshead Bites has learned.
Flush with $90 million more in cash on hand this year over last year, the MTA is reinstating or improving service around the city, with details to be unveiled at a press conference later today. However, the agency has been contacting local elected officials to inform them of lines in their communities that will see improvements.
City Councilman Dominic Recchia jumped on the announcement, issuing the first press release in the area to claim full restoration of the B64 line serving Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, and Coney Island.
And just minutes ago, State Senator Marty Golden, who will also have a press conference at the Ulmer Park Bus Depot in Bath Beach this afternoon, sent out a release announcing the following improvements in his district:
- X 27 -Weekend Express Bus Service
- X 28 – Weekend Express Bus Service (negotiations in finalization stage)
- B2 -Weekend Service
- B64 – complete restoration
- B 4 – complete restoration
- S 93 – service direct from Brooklyn to the campus of the College of Staten Island
Some of these improvements will take place this fall.
Service was cut in 2010 amid severe budget deficits at the MTA, in which the agency axed all or portions of scores of bus lines across the city.
Residents were outraged, especially as the B64 cuts targeted areas with dense senior populations, and local leaders brought the fight to the MTA.
Assemblyman William Colton teamed up with the Bensonhurst – West End Community Council, collecting thousands of petitions and organizing a rally at the Ulmer Park Bus Depot last month.
Senator Golden engaged the agency in negotiations, and Councilman Recchia raised the issue when the MTA testified before the City Council Finance Committee, which Recchia chairs, earlier last month.
“I’m honored that we were able to come together with the MTA to secure funding for the restoration of the B64 bus route and other transportation routes. I want to congratulate and thank MTA’s executive director, Joe Lhota, for a job well done,” Recchia said.
“The petitions, the letters, and the rallies all worked. To the people who depend on these buses, I am proud to have been your leading
advocate so to bring your bus back,” said Golden.