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Bus lane is slow lane, say locals

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On several Southern Brooklyn bus routes, service is decreasing along with the temperature, according to riders.

Locals complain of long gaps between the buses serving the B1, B3, B6, B49, and B82 routes, leaving riders cooling their heels at bus stops in frigid weather.

One local who said service is the worst he has seen in decades.

“In the ’80s this was happening — it was a regular occurrence. You were waiting an hour for a bus,” said Ronald Cohen of Gravesend. “I have absolutely no idea of what is going on.”

The scheduled wait for a bus during morning, afternoon, and evening hours is between five and 12 minutes for many of the Southern Brooklyn routes. But Cohen said that several months ago, buses stopped arriving on schedule. He said buses rarely show up at their scheduled arrival time — and he said he has waited more than 30 minutes for a bus and then, several show up at once.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it is investigating problems along several Southern Brooklyn routes and a spokeswoman from the authority said that riders have to take traffic and other issues into consideration. She said “bus bunching” — the term the authority uses when two or more buses arrive at once — happens because of external conditions the authority can’t control.

“Although buses operate on a schedule, they are also subject to roadway conditions,” said Marisa Baldeo, an authority spokeswoman. “Bus bunching … can be caused by a variety of factors, including general road congestion, weather, traffic signal timing, double parking, bus stop obstructions, accidents, et cetera.”

But Cohen said the service is unacceptable and if buses can’t arrive on time, the authority needs to adjust the schedule. He said expected delays — like stoplights and traffic — should be figured into the timetable for each route.

“Something is wrong,” he said. “If there is a schedule, follow the schedule.”

Posted 12:00 am, November 25, 2014
Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
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