By Andrea Karshan
Co ming just three days after a long awaited report on the impact of the B44 Select Bus Service that runs the length of Nostrand Avenue from Sheepshead Bay to Williamsburg, the MTA Sunday rolled out the B46 SBS that runs from Kings Plaza down Utica Avenue and Malcolm X Blvd to DeKalb Avenue.
The B46 SBS operates from 6:08 a.m. – 10:42 p.m. on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on weekends. It travels through the neighborhoods of East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the Bushwick/Williamsburg border.
As in all SBS vehicles, the bus makes extremely limited stops, has a dedicated bus lane and customers pay their fare before boarding the bus at a fare machine, thus saving on time.
“The B46 is the busiest bus route in Brooklyn and provides crucial connections to the 3, 4, A, and C trains. Thus, SBS is expected to bring significant improvements to the 46,000 passengers who rely on it daily. SBS will help address some overcrowding issues by improving the reliability of the bus,” said MTA Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.
“Through off-board fare collection and dedicated bus lanes, buses are less likely to bunch. When buses are spaced out more evenly, some crowding issues will be alleviated. SBS has decreased travel times 15-30% on other implemented SBS routes,” Ortiz added.
The Department of Transportation issued their report last Thursday June 30 at the start of the long July 4th holiday weekend. Both the MTA and DOT had stated they would not institute any more SBS services until a report was issued.
The DOT/MTA report found a 15-31% improvement in travel times for the B44 SBS compared with the B44 Limited route along Brooklyn’s Nostrand Avenue. It did not address several constituent concerns including the taking away of parking spaces, allowing for more stops and merchant complaints about the lane blocking service entries.
Senator Jesse Hamilton (Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) said it’s exciting to see new solutions to the existing transportation problems.
“I am hopeful that the new Select Bus Service on the B46 will bring improvements to a vibrant part of Brooklyn. This is the beginning of the story, not the end. I will work to insure that SBS works to provide real benefits to the community. Many of the merchants on Nostrand Avenue have complained about SBS causing parking problems that hurt their businesses,” said Hamilton.
“The MTA promised to reassess that bus line, and I am hoping they live up to their promises. The changes on the B46 provide a promise of a better commute, and I will work to insure that we follow up with all the stakeholders to make sure the implementation is successful,” added Hamilton.
B46 will continue local service at all times. For more information visit http://www.mta.info/.
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