Photo by Allan Rosen

The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton:

Assembly Member William Colton (47th Assembly District – Brooklyn) is announcing that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has agreed to add service to the B1 bus line in southern Brooklyn.

Beginning on August 31, 2014, the B1 bus line will run on a “School-Open Schedule” only. This translates into additional buses on the line, which will help improve service by decreasing the delays, irregular service, and overcrowding.

Previously, the B1 bus service operated on two different schedules: a “School-Open Schedule” when public school was in session, and a “School-Closed Schedule” when public school was not in session. This created a problem when public school was not in session, because there would be less buses running on the B1 line. Although public school was not in session, Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach was often still open. With the large number of students at Kingsborough, when there were less buses running on the B1 line, the buses often would get full with passengers at the Kingsborough bus stop in Manhattan Beach, creating overcrowding, irregular service, and delays on the entire bus line.

With the B1 bus now only operating on a “School-Open Schedule” only, there will be more buses on the line, which will lead to more and improved service for straphangers.

In June, Assemblyman Colton sent a letter to the MTA, asking them to take action to address the problems plaguing the B1 bus line, especially the chronic bus lateness, passenger overcrowding, and irregular service.

Assemblyman Colton worked with Transport Workers Union (TWU) – Local 100 in order to increase and improve the service on the B1 bus line. The Transport Workers Union played a vital role in securing the service change which will ultimately lead to better commutes and easier, faster travels for southern Brooklyn straphangers.

While this is a major community victory for southwest Brooklyn, Colton is aiming to further improve the B1 bus line, an important public transit service in our neighborhoods.

In July, Colton sent a letter to the MTA asking them to purchase new buses for the Ulmer Park Bus Depot, which services most of southwest Brooklyn. Currently, the Ulmer Park Bus Depot has the oldest fleet of buses in the City. A newer fleet of buses for the Depot would mean less mechanical malfunctions and breakdowns, which causes delays, overcrowding, and disruptions in service for passengers. Constituents have complained that often the hydraulic lifts of these older buses malfunction or don’t operate properly. This mechanical malfunction causes a serious problem for riders, especially the elderly, young children, and those carrying heavy bags or packages, making it ever more difficult to board and exit these older buses.

Additionally, Colton also sent a letter to the NYC Department of Transportation asking for the installation of additional pedestrian islands along the B1 bus line, specifically at the bus-stops at 86th Street & 25th Avenue, 86th Street & 24th Avenue, 86th Street & 23rd Avenue, 86th Street & 21st Avenue. These pedestrian plazas will help riders of the B1 bus line board and exit the buses easier and quicker, since they lift passengers six inches off the ground and higher to the door of the bus. In addition, for riders who are senior citizens, children, disabled, or those with limited mobility, the pedestrian plazas will also make boarding and exiting the buses easier as well. In addition, the pedestrian plazas will create a safe space for riders to wait for the bus, so they don’t have to wait in the middle of the street near moving vehicles. Adding pedestrian plazas to these bus stops will create a protective barrier for riders to keep them safe from oncoming traffic.

“I will continue working to improve public transit for the neighborhoods of southwest Brooklyn. This increase in service to the B1 bus line will greatly enhance the quality of life for local residents by reducing wait and travel times, creating easier, faster commutes for straphangers,” asserted Assemblyman Bill Colton. He added, “The B1 services many important areas of our community, including the busy, comercial shopping area of 86th Street. The additional service on the B1 bus line is a win-win situation for the entire community.”

Councilman Mark Treyger, who has been working to improve public transit in southern Brooklyn, affirmed, “This is great news for the many southern Brooklyn residents who rely on the B1 bus and have been frustrated by overcrowding and constant delays. At a time when our neighborhoods are growing and the need for reliable public transportation is more apparent than ever, I will continue to work with Assemblyman Colton, our community and the MTA to increase service elsewhere as needed. Running the B1 bus permanently on a ‘School-Open Schedule’ is a great first step in our ongoing efforts to provide our neighborhoods with the public service options needed to adequately serve our residents. This is only the beginning as we push for further transit improvements across Southern Brooklyn.”

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  • Jonathan

    August 31 is one week before public schools open. This was done to make the council member look good, it will do nothing for riders.

    • Nick the Rat

      This is why I do not vote. None of these assholes deserve any sort of power 😛

      • Nick the Rat

        Ug, i am so conflicted. Not voting will keep jerks in power. If no one voted, anarchy would break out and that wouldn’t work either. People lie for votes and you will never know what you are getting though.

        My solution : Everything done in society, in the public sector has to be 100% open, 0 privacy. Everything done in society has to be view-able to everyone’s eyes. Every paycheck you make has to be seen down to the penny, every purchase a company makes has to be 100% transparent. AT MINIMUM every single tax dollar i give to the government should be traceable. I should even be able to pick where I want my tax money to be spent. We should be able to pick 3 sectors where our money can be spent (sanitation, military, education, medical) and we should be able to track where it goes and what it has done.

        meeeeehhhhhhh slavery sucks. human existence is fucked up.

        • Guy

          You actually can see where our tax dollars go. You can even see what every city and state worker makes. Picking where your money goes, isn’t a solution. Do you mean picking which agency gets how much or going further and actually picking which projects your tax dollars go towards? Both are terrible ideas.

          • Nick the Rat

            You can see those numbers? I have a friend in sanitation, where can I go see exactly how much he makes? I thought everyone’s paycheck is a secret. It is a bad idea still 😛 I don’t have the answers!

          • Guy

            Yeah, I’m hesitant to give you the website now 🙂 but I’m sure with google you can find it. In NY government employees salaries are public, just base salary though. Nope with government agencies more transparency is always a good thing.

    • BrooklynBus

      Exactly. The riders are not as dumb as the politicians think they are.

      Instead of the day after Labor Day when the school open schedule would normally take affect, they will be starting it a few days earlier. Big deal!

      Not even sure how much it would help Colton’s district, because much of the school open service is shuttles between Ocean Parkway and the College. I am not even sure if this is really needed. It’s in the Fall when the ridership really picks up. Are more buses planned then?

  • Nick the Rat

    YO! THEY NEED TO PUT LIGHTS ON THE CORNER OF X AND OCEAN PARKWAY! B1 BUS WENT RIGHT PAST ME. That corner is so dark, i think someone touched me and I couldn’t see anyone around… i feel…icky…

    • BrooklynBus

      Street lamp out?

      • Nick the Rat

        i do think so, it looked like the bus driver saw me after completing the turn and was a foot from me…he still didnt stop though. it really hurt my feelings. made me wanna throw rocks… there were others on the bus as well :/ oh well!