Advocates celebrate the return of the B64

The B64 rides once more to Coney Island, and residents couldn’t be happier.

Members of the community and leaders of community groups gathered on Sunday – the day the bus returned to its old route — with Assemblymember William Colton and his Transportation Improvement Coalition Co-Chairs Mark Treyger and Priscilla Consolo to celebrate the restoration of the B64 line, which was shortened in 2010 due to budget cuts.

Many of those present put much effort into getting the voices of Brooklyn heard, like Anne Marie Walsh, president of the Italian Ministry at Most Precious Blood Church and a disability advocate; Carmine Santa Maria, president of the Bensonhurst Committee; and others.

With Colton and his team leading the way, hundreds of people had signed petitions attesting to the importance of restoring the B64 to Coney Island, and dozens had attended rallies to make their point.

“We are trying to get what was stolen from us,” said Santa Maria. “It will always be here if we stick together.”

“This is a victory for the community and a victory for the disabled. This bus means a lot for a lot of the community,” said Walsh. “Bill Colton promised from our first meeting in June 2010 that we would get the B64 back and we did exactly that.”

Harway Terrace resident Mario D’Elia read his original poem “The Final Chapter: Miracles Do Happen” at the event to show his gratitude for everyone’s dedication.

Although they were celebrating their great success, Colton and Treyger were already looking forward to future developments to better the community.

“This is a victory that proves there is strength in numbers,” said Treyger. “Thanks to the help of Assemblyman Colton and community groups, there will be possible further improvements.”

“This is a great celebration, not only for the return of the B64 but as a model to improve transit on other sites,” said Colton. “Buses and subways all over need improvements. This model will be used all over the city and we have the support it needs.”

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