State Senator Marty Golden and Republican City Council candidate John Quaglione are renewing their calls for a restoration of weekend bus service on the X28 line from Bath Beach to Manhattan.
The duo sent a letter, along with “hundreds of petitions,” to the MTA calling for a full restoration of weekend service on the line, according to a press release issued yesterday.
“I vowed to help fight for this service to return, and that is why I, along with Senator Golden, visited many of the bus stops along the route on weekday mornings, to garner support for our petition efforts. This would be a great victory for the community and a quality of life improvement for all,” Quaglione, who is also an aide to Golden, said in the press release.
“I am proud to be working with John and strongly support efforts to restore the X 28 weekend express bus service. So many people depended on this service at the time of its elimination and it is time to revive this service. There is a real need in the community to have this service restored, and I look forward to continued support from the community in the fight to bring this bus back,” said Golden.
Weekend service on the line was terminated as part of the June 2010 service cuts, with the MTA saying that the low ridership on the line did not justify the expense. When the MTA restored several bus lines in January of this year, the X28 was not on the list, despite outcry from the community.
Quaglione launched the petition drive in September, echoing a similar initiative by a coalition led by Assemblyman William Colton and Councilman Vincent Gentile. Although the elected officials are united in their request to restore service, they are working independently.
In June, the MTA told Bensonhurst Bean that there remains insufficient demand for the line, and they consider the Bensonhurst and Bath Beach portions redundant, given that commuters are also serviced by the D subway line. They said restoration is unlikely.
“The weekend X28 route had low ridership (760 customers) and duplicated D subway service,” MTA spokesperson Deirdre Parker wrote in an email to Bensonhurst Bean. “Many other former X28 customers have started using the DFNQ subways on weekends, in some cases transferring from local buses.”
Overall, though, the service is just too expensive to restore when riders have other options.
“On a cost per passenger basis, express bus service is far more costly to operate than either local bus service or subway service,” Parker noted.