Straphangers frustrated by chronic bus lateness

Straphangers across Southwest Brooklyn are tired of waiting and waiting and waiting for the bus.

“Every day, it’s packed. It’s a juggle and it’s very frustrating,” said Noemi Vazquez, who wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. in order to take the B1 bus to Fort Hamilton High School on time from her Bensonhurst home.

She said if she misses that first bus, she has to wait about 30 minutes for another one, which arrives packed to the gills.

“Sometimes one passes by because it’s too full,” Vazquez said, adding that she then has to wait another 20 minutes or so for another one.

She said that the passengers on the bus argue with one another since they are in such close quarters.

“Especially people who had a tough day, they don’t want to go through this especially when there are no seats whatsoever,” Vazquez explained. “There are also lots of problems with the drivers. It’s not their fault [that the bus is late], but they [passengers] bully them.”

This reporter waited for a B1 bus, at its first stop at the corner of Fourth Avenue and 86th Street, for over 40 minutes on Thursday, October 3. The line was so long that it wrapped around the corner and went down the subway steps into the 86th Street R train station.

After waiting from about 5 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., this reporter decided to walk to her destination, reaching the corner of 86th Street and 13th Avenue, just as three jam-packed buses pulled up there.

Deirdre Parker, a spokesperson for the MTA, told this paper that the agency is “monitoring the line in order to assess the problem,” and would provide further information when the investigation was complete.

Priscilla Consolo, co-chair of Assemblymember Bill Colton’s Public Transit Improvement Coalition, which successfully fought to restore B64 bus service to Coney Island in 2012, commutes each day from her home in Gravesend to Fordham University on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She said that southern Brooklyn deserves better transit.

“I receive the MTA service updates on my cell phone and every day I get the notifications of service changes, delays or disruptions. I usually get several of them each hour. It’s pretty ridiculous,” Consolo contended. “From my own experiences, and hearing about other people’s woes with public transit services, I definitely believe we need better bus and subway service in Southern Brooklyn.

“Improvements and restorations need to be made,” she went on. “Our end of the borough has been shortchanged compared to other parts of Brooklyn, and we deserve better.”

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