Southern Brooklynites are less than moved by the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) service in the area.
Ever since services like express trains on the F-line, Saturday service on the Coney Island-Bath Beach X28 bus, and the X29 express bus—a route that ran from Coney Island through Gravesend, Kensington and Midwood to Manhattan — were cut in 2010, residents and local elected officials have been lobbying for the return of those services along with a higher quantity of wheelchair accessible stations for the district’s Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) population.
“We are here demanding and insisting that Southern Brooklyn get its fair share of transportation services,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger on Monday, November 3 outside the Neptune Avenue F-train station. “The ridership on the F-train continues to grow, yet service has not improved. Our most vulnerable residents need an elevator at the Neptune Avenue station on the F-train in the event of another Hurricane Sandy. The X29 line served the many apartment complexes in Coney Island, West Brighton and Brighton Beach. Historically, the MTA and government leaders find this area when it came to cuts, but they seem to lose this area when it comes to restorations and transportation enhancements.”
Along with those enhancements, local leaders and residents are looking for improved service on the B1 bus route—heavily used by residents that need to access Kingsborough Community College—and the B82 route,to accommodate the volume of riders those routes see daily.
“There’s something wrong with the way the MTA operates, and we need to start correcting that,” said Assemblymember William Colton. “When you have a subway service and bus service that aren’t efficient and affective in terms of meeting people’s needs, that is not just numbers, that is not just time wasted, it is an impact on the people and families that live all over our city.”
The urgency for these restored and added services comes out of the MTA’s announcement of an approved capital program—a plan that comes with a $29 billion price tag for the purchase of new train cars, buses and improvements and renovations to subway stations across the city.
Funded with $11.8 billion in MTA funds, an $8.3 billion commitment from Governor Andrew Cuomo, $6.4 billion in federal funds and $2.5 billion committed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the MTA, the revised program was cut down from $32 billion first proposed last year. The plan includes $21.6 billion in core investments in the MTA’s subways, buses and railroads; $4.5 billion for East Side Access, Penn Access and Second Avenue Subway projects; and $2.9 billion for MTA Bridges and Tunnels.
“We’re not asking for a new subway,” said State Senator Diane Savino. “We simply want the F-train express service restored, we would like the buses that were cut restored, and we would like an elevator so that the people who live here can utilize the system. We want restoration; we’re not looking for a whole new subway system.”