The wheels on the B37 will once again go round and round.
Service to the B37 bus route is going to be fully restored, thanks in part to the MTA’s $40 million surplus and the community’s efforts to bring back the line. Members of the MTA board will vote on details of the restoration at their upcoming board meeting scheduled for July 24.
The route was eliminated in 2010 due to budget cuts. But, residents contend that the bus is needed now more than ever, especially since R train service will be reduced during rush hours and will not run in between Manhattan and Brooklyn starting on August 2 due to much needed construction in the Montague Tube.
“We are delighted! The shareholders of the [Bay Ridge] Towers are very, very pleased,” said Linda Orlando, who has lived in the towers for 38 years and has been fighting for better transit service.
Where will she go on her first trip?
“Downtown Brooklyn to go shopping,” Orlando said. “We are going to take the B37 all the way down, right away!”
“Tonight I am proud to say the B37 is back! I thank the MTA for doing the right thing with their $40 million surplus and I commend all my partners in the mighty Restore the B37 Bus Coalition for never giving up on this fight and working hard behind the scenes to make this a reality,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile late on the evening of Monday, July 15.
“This is a major win for Brooklyn – for seniors, students, the disabled and businesses along the corridor – from Bay Ridge to Prospect Heights – for people who need to get to work, doctor’s appointments, schools and houses of worship – this route is essential,” Gentile went on. “I can’t wait to take my first ride on the beloved B37!”
The Restore the B37 Bus Coalition was founded by United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), Lutheran Family Health Center, and Transit Forward as a way for Brooklyn residents to advocate for B37 restoration as well as other transit issues, such as restoring station booth agents to subway stations, and facilitating community engagement. The Coalition grew to include residents, elected officials, union workers, and businessowners from Atlantic Avenue all the way down to Bay Ridge.
Transit Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen also praised the news.
“I’m thrilled that three years of tireless organizing by local residents, community groups, elected officials, and TWU Local 100 members have finally paid off. This shows what labor and community coalition-building can achieve!” he said. “Together, we are working to make sure safe, accessible and affordable public transportation truly serves the communities that need it the most. Congratulations to the Restore the B37 Bus Coalition!”