The B44-SBS bus. (Image: Liena Zagare/Bklyner)
One night this spring, Flatbush resident Mitch White emerged from the Nostrand Avenue A train station on his way home from JFK airport. He planned to make what should have been a quick transfer to the B44-SBS bus that runs along Nostrand Avenue, but when he arrived at the bus stop, he found the countdown clocks weren’t operating.
So he sat and waited—for 45 minutes, so long that the free transfer on his Metrocard expired, and he was forced to pay an additional $2.75 fare.
“That is unfortunately not an uncommon experience for a lot of bus riders,” said White, who works for the healthcare union 1199 SEIU.
As the city reopens and the pandemic seems to recede (at least for now), the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) bus network seems to be reverting to its notoriously unreliable, pre-COVID self. But the MTA still has no specific timeline for when it will restart its ambitious plan to redesign routes and offer faster, more reliable service, despite months of pleas from riders and advocates to get things moving again after pausing the revamp during the height of the pandemic.