Lucky B13! MTA takes part of lightly used bus off scrap heap

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The B13 bus has been saved — somewhat.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had originally hoped to eliminate the entire portion of the route north of the Mrytle Avenue-Wyckoff Street L and M subway station. But after lobbying from Wyckoff Hospital and advocates for the disabled, the transit agency agreed to restore a small portion of the route that serves the hospital.

But Williamsburgers who need to get to Wyckoff Hospital via the B13 — the only handicapped accessible link to the medical center — will still be left in the cold. And that has business leaders steamed.

“It’s so stupid,” said Graham Avenue BID Executive Director Elizabeth Cooney. “If you live north of the hospital, you can’t even access the hospital when you get sick. If you’re handicapped or a senior, you can’t manage the steps to get on the L train.”

Despite serving the hospital, the northern portion of the route was targeted by the MTA because it was categorized “underutili­zed and duplicative.” The proposed bus cut will save $1 million and divert 1,000 riders each day to the L train, increasing the typical customer’s trip by five minutes, the agency said.

Statistics show that the B13 is the 118th busiest bus line of the city’s 194 routes, a likely reason why it has been targeted for elimination.

Updated 2:20 pm, October 19, 2011
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