Brooklyn transit just got a bit easier for one route.
On Sunday, June 28, the MTA introduced articulated buses to the B1 line.
Articulated buses are 60 feet long as opposed to the regular buses, which are 40 feet. They can seat 115 passengers.
According to Community Board 10, the transition was supposed to begin in April as part of the spring bus schedule but it was pushed back due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“Articulated buses significantly increase passenger capacity and can reduce crowding in a cost effective manner, and on the B1 route in particular they will help with passenger loads at Kingsborough Community College,” said MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek.
The B1 runs between Bay Ridge and Kingsborough Community College in Manhattan Beach. The bus operates along 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst for much of its route.
In February, CB 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said the line at the Kingsborough-bound B1’s first stop, 86th Street and Fourth Avenue, often stretches around the corner.
“It’s a heavily utilized route,” she said.
Assemblymember William Colton (D-Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Dyker Heights) has been vocal about improving mass transportation in his district and was pleased with the new buses.
“In the past we have seen many complaints about overcrowding, long delays and bunching on the B1 route,” he said. “The MTA has heard these complaints and is trying this solution to address such concerns.
“While the real test will come when Kingsborough College is fully open, the early results are promising.”
So far, local residents are also happy with the change.
“Working in Bay Ridge, I have to take the B1 to and from home during rush hours,” said rider Elizabeth L. “The articulated buses are definitely a huge improvement … [On] regular buses, one feels packed in like sardines. Currently abiding by social distancing rules and wearing a mask, it’s reassuring that there is more space on the bus and a better chance of getting a seat.”
Additional reporting by Paula Katinas