Assemblyman Lentol Urges MTA to Split B61 Bus Line

August 5, 2009

In letters sent to both the Chairman of the MTA Board H. Dale Hemmerdinger and Acting Executive Director Helena E. Williams, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) voiced his support to the potential plan circulating the MTA that would create two separate bus lines by splitting up the B61 at Downtown Brooklyn. It is hoped the new bus line, the proposed B62 running from Long Island City to Downtown Brooklyn, would relieve chronic delays along the route.

“Residents of Brooklyn have had to put up with persistently delayed buses along the B61 bus route for far too long. There is just no reason that riders in North Brooklyn should have to put up with longer commutes because of congestion in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Lentol.

The B61 bus route is, in fact, one of the longest in the city stretching from Red Hook to Long Island City in Queens. Due to the length and its route through the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, it is harder for buses to correct delays and so many are left with unreliable bus service.

In his letter to the MTA, Lentol voiced his constituents’ frustrations, “All too often waits will stretch up to an hour only for two buses to come at the same time due to back ups in Downtown Brooklyn.” Lentol went on to say that with a new B62 line, the spotty service, for which residents deal with on a daily basis, will be a thing of the past.

“It is my hope that the MTA demonstrate to riders their commitment and care by splitting up this line. At a time when fare prices have increased concurrently with service cuts in the middle of a recession, this initiative could show Brooklyn residents that the MTA actually does care about its riders’ well-being and satisfaction,” Lentol said.

The proposed plan is expected to come to a vote in the coming weeks by the MTA Board. Lentol hopes to influence the boards decision by pointing out the massive benefit this would have for the communities of North Brooklyn. “

“I have weighed this issue carefully and I am convinced the benefits outweigh the costs,” he told them in his letter.

“The MTA Board must not underestimate the difference this could make. The creation of the new B62 will provide much easier and reliable access to Manhattan for residents of North Brooklyn; allowing commuters to more easily plan their work schedules. On a more universal level, residents along the bus route will feel more independent and less stranded just because they don’t live right off the subway,” said Lentol.