SOUTHERN BROOKLYN – Southern Brooklyn bus commuters rejoice: the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $9 million in federal funding to improve bus safety and accessibility in the area, Congressman Max Rose, who represents Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, announced at a press conference yesterday.
“Four months ago, we organized and called on the federal government to listen to the needs of local residents, and disburse grant funding to help us upgrade the South Brooklyn bus network—because the sad fact is that for too long we’ve been ripped off, forgotten and ignored,” Rose said.
Rose led the effort with fellow Brooklyn Representatives Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Yvette Clarke, Nydia Velázquez, and Hakeem Jeffries in calling for the federal government to support a project to improve bus safety and accessibility in Southern Brooklyn.
“South Brooklyn is a particularly underserved area when it comes to public transportation,” wrote the Representatives to K. Jane Williams, Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration in July of this year. “Not only are subway stations sparse when compared with other neighborhoods of New York City, but also the service on these lines are some of the worst in the MTA system. As a result, bus service is often the only reliable way for Brooklynites to get about their daily lives.”
This money will be used to create 15 bus bulbs and 15 bus pads at priority bus stops along 86th Street and the Bay Parkway.
The project also includes a trench restoration with full street reconstruction on 20th Avenue from 86th Street to Benson Avenue and safety improvements at the intersection of Benson Avenue and 20th Avenue.
“The elevated trains of Southern Brooklyn are critical connectors, but especially at interchanges where riders move from MTA buses to the subway, we have long faced design challenges,” said Polly Trottenberg Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. “The bus bulbs, bus pads, subsurface work and accessibility improvements will create a safer and improved experience for bus and subway riders.”
If you have any other upgrades the MTA should consider, you can learn more about the ongoing Brooklyn bus redesign here.