Brooklynites rallied to restore beloved B37 service

Citizens gathered on Saturday, June 15 to rally to bring back their beloved B37 bus.

The Restore the B37 Coalition, a grassroots alliance comprised of workers, elected officials, businesses, and community groups, along with Transit Workers Union Local 100 gathered at Martin Luther Playground in Sunset Park, demanding that the MTA re-instate the B37.

The B37 was eliminated in 2010 to cut costs for the MTA. However, while the MTA saved over $2.8 million from the cuts, passengers from Downtown Brooklyn to Park Slope, and Sunset Park to Bay Ridge, are stranded and suffering.

“I am 77-year-old activist who uses a walker. I have always used mass transit to live my life and that is what MTA has taken away,” said Violeta Maya, a Sunset Park community activist since 1949, and co-founder of the Restore the B37 Bus Coalition.

“The MTA must restore this bus line for me and the people in our community that use it to get to work, health services, school and places of worship,” Maya contended.

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen speaks at the rally. (Photo courtesy of Ted General)

The coalition was spurred by the MTA’s $40 million surplus from their state budget. The restoration of the B37 would cost only a small portion of the $2.8 million savings from 2010.

State Senator Marty Golden noted the fact that the MTA will be further inconveniencing residents of South and Southwest Brooklyn with their upcoming subway constriction.

“Since the B37 was discontinued, I have been fighting to bring this vital service back to our community,” Golden said. “With the need of residents to reach Lutheran Medical Center, coupled with the upcoming delays on the R train due to the Montague Street Tunnel closure, now more than ever, we need this service restored.  Residents of Brooklyn up and down Third Avenue are all in agreement:  Bring Back Our B37!”

Several petitions are circulating to support the restoration effort.

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