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Via Garibaldi 8

Efforts begin to restore B37 service

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Gentile starts petition drive to bring back B37 bus
Gentile%20petition-1.jpg?c=323956a9d7c3b

Councilman Vincent Gentile signs his petition calling on the MTA to restore the B37 bus. Photo courtesy Councilman Gentile’s office

 
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Brooklyn residents lost the B37 bus three years ago, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority eliminated the Bay Ridge to downtown Brooklyn bus line.

At the time, Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights) vowed to fight to get the MTA to restore the B37. Gentile said he is continuing his fight.

In his latest effort, Gentile is teaming up with a coalition of local community organizations, his colleague, Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez 9D-Sunset Park-Red Hook) and Transport Workers Union Local 100 to organize a petition drive to bring the bus line back.

The petition also calls for the restoration of station booths along the N/R and the installation of elevators in the subways.

The B37 ran along Third Avenue in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. In downtown Brooklyn, the bus stopped in front of the Adams Street entrance of the New York State Supreme Court building.

“The MTA has received $40 million more than it requested from Albany this year so now is the prime time to call on the governor and the MTA Board to use some of this money to restore services that were cut in 2010,” Gentile said. “The B37 was absolutely vital to this community. It was our neighborhood’s connection to Sunset Park, Park Slope, Lutheran Hospital and downtown Brooklyn,” he said.

“The MTA Board will be presenting a budget proposal in July, and it is up to us to ensure that the community’s voice is included in that plan,” Gentile added.

Gentile urged residents to stop by his district office at 8705 Third Ave. to sign the petition. An online petition is also in the works, he said.

The participation of TWU Local 100 in the petition drive is significant, Gentile said. He pointed out that TWU Local 100 represents most of the men and women who drive and maintain public buses in New York City.

MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said the agency eliminated the B37 because the bus line had few riders. “The B37 was discontinued in 2010 due to low average ridership and its proximity to the R train,” she told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Riders were not left stranded, Parker said.  The B70 was rerouted to replace the segment of the B37 south of Bay Ridge Avenue,” she said.

Still, Parker said the MTA wouldn’t dismiss Gentile’s petition. “We have not yet received Councilman Gentile’s petition.  When we do, we will review it and give it careful consideration,” she said.

 

 

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/gentile-starts-petition-drive-bring-back-b37-bus-2013-04-22-091500

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My only problem with this is : what will be of the B70...

They can re-route it... I've already given Councilmen Gentile my full support in fighting to restore the B37... I was down in Bay Ridge over the weekend and used a few of the restorations... The B4, X27 and X17.  The B4 had a decent load in Sheepshead Bay and a decent load all the way to Narrows Avenue (almost SRO at a few points).  The X17 was also pretty crowded with very few open seats and the X27 had around 15 people or so (one of the last runs back to Manhattan).

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They can re-route it... I've already given Councilmen Gentile my full support in fighting to restore the B37... I was down in Bay Ridge over the weekend and used a few of the restorations... The B4, X27 and X17.  The B4 had a decent load in Sheepshead Bay and a decent load all the way to Narrows Avenue (almost SRO at a few points).  The X17 was also pretty crowded with very few open seats and the X27 had around 15 people or so (one of the last runs back to Manhattan).

Unless they reroute it on Fort Hamilton Parkway to Supplement the B16, or on 5th Avenue to Supplement the B63, it will be useless

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Unless they reroute it on Fort Hamilton Parkway to Supplement the B16, or on 5th Avenue to Supplement the B63, it will be useless

The B37 is going to be difficult to restore because they're going to try to argue that they re-routed the B70 onto 3rd Avenue, so the B37 isn't needed.  However Sunset Park is rapidly growing as folks are priced out of Park Slope and with the Barclays Center and the revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn, the B37 is much more useful.  This will take multiple neighborhoods making noise to get this pushed through but I'm confident that it can be done.

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As a member of the Bay Ridge community I am glad that this petition has started.Ill have to see when I can sign it...

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As a member of the Bay Ridge community I am glad that this petition has started.Ill have to see when I can sign it...

An online petition is being worked on.  If you would like you can also stop by the Councilman's office to sign one in the meantime.

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I disagree with this. Honestly, the B37 is useless at this point. The B70 is useful and more successful than it's former route, and the B63 is 2 blocks away. If there's an issue, improve reliability on the B63, but restoring the B37 is a waste.

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I disagree with this. Honestly, the B37 is useless at this point. The B70 is useful and more successful than it's former route, and the B63 is 2 blocks away. If there's an issue, improve reliability on the B63, but restoring the B37 is a waste.

 

If the B70 is more successful, why do the MTA's own numbers show it to be running more inefficiently than the old B70? The cost per rider on weekdays for the B70 is up 22% and on weekends up 17% comparing the second half of 2009 to the second half of 2010 after the changes took effect.  

 

http://mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/NYCT_2010_Service_Reduction_Evaluation.pdf

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I disagree with this. Honestly, the B37 is useless at this point. The B70 is useful and more successful than it's former route, and the B63 is 2 blocks away. If there's an issue, improve reliability on the B63, but restoring the B37 is a waste.

Well if you feel that way give your reasons as to why.  The residents however beg to differ and I can understand why.  Downtown Brooklyn has received a revitalization and the new Barclay's Center and the revitalization of Sunset Park, the B37 is much more useful.  The B63 is already problematic and serves a different corridor than the B37 would.  3rd Avenue is extremely vibrant in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park is destined to become another Park Slope, especially because Park Slope is becoming too expensive, so people are now moving in to Sunset Park, thus making it more desirable. In short transportation needs in the areas served by the B37 have changed and therefore it's needed because the areas that were once solely industrial and now becoming or will be residential.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I thought the B37 when I rode it although infrequent was faster than the current B63 route between Bay Ridge and Downtown Brooklyn. I'm in for a full restoration of that line! 

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If the B70 is more successful, why do the MTA's own numbers show it to be running more inefficiently than the old B70? The cost per rider on weekdays for the B70 is up 22% and on weekends up 17% comparing the second half of 2009 to the second half of 2010 after the changes took effect.  

 

http://mta.info/mta/news/books/docs/NYCT_2010_Service_Reduction_Evaluation.pdf

 

You have to consider that the cost per passenger on the B37 was roughly twice the cost per passenger of the B37. So the overall cost per passenger went down.

 

Think of it this way: Say you had an efficient route, and an inefficient route, and you decided to eliminate the inefficient route and have the efficient route cover a portion of it. The cost per passenger would go up on the efficient route, because it's covering an area with less ridership or less turnover or whatever, but the overall cost per passenger would go down.

 

Another way of thinking of it is that it's simply a matter of the number they chose. If they said they wanted to eliminate the B70, but then they decided to reroute the B37 away from Downtown Brooklyn to cover 8th Avenue, then the cost per passenger would decrease on the B37, because it's covering an area with more ridership.

 

Well if you feel that way give your reasons as to why.  The residents however beg to differ and I can understand why.  Downtown Brooklyn has received a revitalization and the new Barclay's Center and the revitalization of Sunset Park, the B37 is much more useful.  The B63 is already problematic and serves a different corridor than the B37 would.  3rd Avenue is extremely vibrant in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park is destined to become another Park Slope, especially because Park Slope is becoming too expensive, so people are now moving in to Sunset Park, thus making it more desirable. In short transportation needs in the areas served by the B37 have changed and therefore it's needed because the areas that were once solely industrial and now becoming or will be residential.

 

I doubt those new people moving into Sunset Park are going to want to wait under an expressway for a bus that's going to run at least every 15-20 minutes. It should be restored, but I can't picture ridership being that much higher than it was when it was cut, assuming you don't tweak it or anything (for instance, sending it directly past Lutheran Hospital like I suggested) I'm not saying it shouldn't be restored, but you shouldn't expect a big ridership boom just because those areas are growing. If the BQE was underground, like some people have planned, then it would be a different story.

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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I doubt those new people moving into Sunset Park are going to want to wait under an expressway for a bus that's going to run at least every 15-20 minutes. It should be restored, but I can't picture ridership being that much higher than it was when it was cut, assuming you don't tweak it or anything (for instance, sending it directly past Lutheran Hospital like I suggested) I'm not saying it shouldn't be restored, but you shouldn't expect a big ridership boom just because those areas are growing. If the BQE was underground, like some people have planned, then it would be a different story.

What does an expressway have to do with whether or not people will wait for a bus??

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What does an expressway have to do with whether or not people will wait for a bus??

 

I don't know about you, but I don't like waiting right next to a loud, busy highway (probably breathing in some of the exhaust as well). Especially if it's along an industrial corridor like 3rd Avenue.

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I don't know about you, but I don't like waiting right next to a loud, busy highway (probably breathing in some of the exhaust as well). Especially if it's along an industrial corridor like 3rd Avenue.

Well there are plenty of areas that were heavily industrial that are now residential communities.  I don't think anyone likes standing under elevated trains either because of the loud noise, etc. but if they need to get around they deal with it. There isn't enough money to put the Gowanus underground, so the city is stuck with that monstrosity.  

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If the B37 were to be restored, I wouldn't restore the B70 to it's original corridor; it would bastardize the current route. I'd start the B37 weekdays only, and if demand presented itself, then reintroduce weekend service.

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If the B37 were to be restored, I wouldn't restore the B70 to it's original corridor; it would bastardize the current route. I'd start the B37 weekdays only, and if demand presented itself, then reintroduce weekend service.

Still haven't given any reason why... People need to get to the hospital, to events Downtown and so on during weekends as well...

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What does an expressway have to do with whether or not people will wait for a bus??

 

Highways reduce property values due to all of their negative effects on the immediate area. No one wants to be next to, let alone under, a highway, so people who don't have to wait for that B37 won't bother.

 

With the other highways it's different due to the lack of parallel subway and bus services, but the (R) is so close that people are willing to make that additional walk. The area around and under the BQE is also comparatively poorly maintained, and dangerous (traffic-wise - lots of people speed around the BQE) compared to the other highways in the city, so that's also a deterrent to encouraging ridership.

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If the B37 were to be restored, I wouldn't restore the B70 to it's original corridor; it would bastardize the current route. I'd start the B37 weekdays only, and if demand presented itself, then reintroduce weekend service.

I would route the B70 over the B63 route, it would be the next best idea, or if not, the B16, whichever needs more help.

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Well there are plenty of areas that were heavily industrial that are now residential communities.  I don't think anyone likes standing under elevated trains either because of the loud noise, etc. but if they need to get around they deal with it. There isn't enough money to put the Gowanus underground, so the city is stuck with that monstrosity.  

 

Notice I said "corridor", not "area". I'm not implying that people don't live near 3rd Avenue. There's plenty of residential units near 3rd Avenue (to the east is almost entirely residential, to the west, some parts are more residential, some parts are more industrial). What I'm saying is that 3rd Avenue itself is desolate, and aside from being an unpleasant place to wait for a bus, there's also nothing in the way of shopping that people would be taking the bus to/from, so you're depending entirely on the people living in that area.

 

With most of the corridors where you have buses running under elevated lines, there's usually more commercial activity, and aside from that, the buses are usually more frequent than the B37 was (and would be if it returned).

 

Is it possible that there can end up being a bunch of stores along that strip one day? Well, anything's possible, but there's a difference between putting up a strip of stores near a train line, and putting it near a highway. If it's near a train line, people are stopping by on their way to/from work. If it's near a highway, there's far fewer people who would be passing by to patronize those businesses.

 

And yes, I know the city has no money. Thank you for stating the obvious. But let's not sit here and pretend that it's not a major impediment to that area (3rd Avenue and points west) seeing redevelopment. Not to mention that these developers (and the residents they're trying to attract) are generally looking for subway service, not bus service. For the vast majority of them, their transportation needs will be covered by the subway. Sure, there may be some who move there and find out that the bus is more convenient for some trips, but a lot of those people are die-hard subway riders. I mean, you saw huge increases in ridership in some subway stations due to redevelopment, while ridership on the bus lines (in those areas) remained the same or even decreased in a lot of cases.

 

Like I said, I'm not saying the B37 should return, but let's not think that just because those areas are being redeveloped, that ridership is going to be significantly higher than what it was before it was cut.

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Notice I said "corridor", not "area". I'm not implying that people don't live near 3rd Avenue. There's plenty of residential units near 3rd Avenue (to the east is almost entirely residential, to the west, some parts are more residential, some parts are more industrial). What I'm saying is that 3rd Avenue itself is desolate, and aside from being an unpleasant place to wait for a bus, there's also nothing in the way of shopping that people would be taking the bus to/from, so you're depending entirely on the people living in that area.

 

With most of the corridors where you have buses running under elevated lines, there's usually more commercial activity, and aside from that, the buses are usually more frequent than the B37 was (and would be if it returned).

 

Is it possible that there can end up being a bunch of stores along that strip one day? Well, anything's possible, but there's a difference between putting up a strip of stores near a train line, and putting it near a highway. If it's near a train line, people are stopping by on their way to/from work. If it's near a highway, there's far fewer people who would be passing by to patronize those businesses.

 

And yes, I know the city has no money. Thank you for stating the obvious. But let's not sit here and pretend that it's not a major impediment to that area (3rd Avenue and points west) seeing redevelopment. Not to mention that these developers (and the residents they're trying to attract) are generally looking for subway service, not bus service. For the vast majority of them, their transportation needs will be covered by the subway. Sure, there may be some who move there and find out that the bus is more convenient for some trips, but a lot of those people are die-hard subway riders. I mean, you saw huge increases in ridership in some subway stations due to redevelopment, while ridership on the bus lines (in those areas) remained the same or even decreased in a lot of cases.

 

Like I said, I'm not saying the B37 should return, but let's not think that just because those areas are being redeveloped, that ridership is going to be significantly higher than what it was before it was cut.

Well that's exactly the argument that the Councilman is using and I agree... He argues that redevelopment of areas like Sunset Park and other new attractions such as Barclay's Center justifies bringing the B37 back.  If Sunset Park is going to become another Park Slope it will need banks, shops, restaurants and more shops.  The banks are one thing I look for when seeing if a neighborhood is on the up and up because if the banks are there then that means they expect the area to be on its way up.  And then there's the shops and restaurants.  Despite the expressway being there they are still building things there and in some cases practically next to the expressway.  When space becomes a premium, all of the usual issues are overlooked.  People going to work or to the city obviously will want the subway but those staying or coming to the neighborhood from other neighborhoods will want the bus and the argument made is that surrounding neighborhoods from which people are coming from will mean more ridership.

 

I'd say Red Hook is a good example. Sure it isn't near a subway line but that's not the only thing people are using those buses there for.

 

Highways reduce property values due to all of their negative effects on the immediate area. No one wants to be next to, let alone under, a highway, so people who don't have to wait for that B37 won't bother.

 

With the other highways it's different due to the lack of parallel subway and bus services, but the (R) is so close that people are willing to make that additional walk. The area around and under the BQE is also comparatively poorly maintained, and dangerous (traffic-wise - lots of people speed around the BQE) compared to the other highways in the city, so that's also a deterrent to encouraging ridership.

See my comments above... I'm well aware of all of this as I've used the B37 on a number of occasions...

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Bay Ridge really hasn't been the same without it. Although the B70 is a "half-fix" if you will, 68th all the way back to Downtown Brooklyn remains unaccounted for. I petitioned to save this service when the cuts first came out. It's a good thing Mr.Gentile wants this one put at the top of the list!

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I disagree with this. Honestly, the B37 is useless at this point. The B70 is useful and more successful than it's former route, and the B63 is 2 blocks away. If there's an issue, improve reliability on the B63, but restoring the B37 is a waste.

 

The hell it isn't. This is coming from someone who has to ride the B70 every now and then. The line sucks so much now. It's pre-2010 routing was 8 million times better...

 

And the B63 sucks so much ass to the point where I've seen people literally get off at 36th Street and just transfer to the Subway going UPTOWN!

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The hell it isn't. This is coming from someone who has to ride the B70 every now and then. The line sucks so much now. It's pre-2010 routing was 8 million times better...

 

And the B63 sucks so much ass to the point where I've seen people literally get off at 36th Street and just transfer to the Subway going UPTOWN!

The B63 seems like such an obscure route compared to the B37. Nobody wants to walk up the two avenues just to go back down when it's time to get off either. Implying that the bus got to where they need to in the first place...

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