We the undersigned urge the MTA to be accountable to riders of the B44 Bus by responding to our concerns and comprehensively reevaluating the impact of its new Select Bus Service on that line, a major bus route running from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our concerns are amplified by the fact that the B44 runs through many areas with limited access to a subway line, therefore making it even more important that it runs as efficiently as possible.
However, our voices are being ignored because the MTA believes that its obligation to consult with riders ended with the close of the public review process. We are tired of the MTA’s dismissive and ambiguous responses to our concerns and its excuse that community members have already had the opportunity to comment on its proposal during the planning phase.
We believe that the MTA has an enduring responsibility to those it serves and that continuous dialog with the community is vital to ensure that unforeseen issues that were not raised during the planning phase are addressed adequately, and that ALL bus riders have the opportunity to make their voices heard.
As such, we implore the MTA to initiate an ongoing, in-depth assessment of the B44 Bus Line, which would rely heavily on site visits to bus stops, input from bus riders and ridership data from both the select and local B44 Buses, and address our concerns by providing the following:
● The restoration of numerous limited bus stops, including but not limited to: The Avenue L and Nostrand Avenue stop adjacent to Andries Hudde Junior High School, Nostrand Avenue and Empire Boulevard, Nostrand Avenue and Beverly Road, Nostrand Avenue and Tilden Avenue, Stops between Kings Highway and the Flatbush/Nostrand Junction, Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R;
● Better bus scheduling to eliminate longer than usual wait times for local buses, overcrowding on local buses while select buses are nearly empty, and significant discrepancies between the posted schedule and when buses arrive, causing buses to travel in "bunches";
● The ability to use tickets for select buses on local buses, should a local bus arrive first.
While we appreciate the MTA's attempts to improve bus service in our community, faster and more efficient bus service for some riders should not be at the expense of so many others. We call on the MTA to listen to community members and B44 riders -- those who are truly best equipped to evaluate what is and is not working.
It is time for the MTA to take action.