NEW: And you can help make it happen. This link (click on it!) will take you to Councilmember Brad Lander’s website, where the “sign the petition” feature is both visible and straightforward. Really, the MTA seems to have figured out that “they work for us,” and a largish number of signers COULD push this over the top!
For over a century, streetcars and the B71 bus traveled along Union Street, starting at the waterfront and continuing through Park Slope. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) eliminated the B71 bus in its June 2010 service changes, citing low ridership. Residents of the communities along the B71 route and elected officials have clamored for the restoration of the B71 ever since. The Park Slope Civic Council’s Livable Streets Committee undertook a study of the route and presented a proposal to restore the B71 along a modified route, so that it might better serve the needs of several contiguous neighborhoods.
On October 1, 2015 the Civic Council’s Board of Trustees unanimously endorsed this proposal (see attached presentation and a map showing the proposed route). The main changes from the previous B71 route are:
- The western (waterfront) terminus is moved from Van Brunt Street to Brooklyn Bridge Park;
- Between Grand Army Plaza and Seventh Avenue the B71 would follow the route of the B69; and
- The eastern terminus is moved from Rogers Avenue to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
The proposed new B71 would return service to many schools, houses of worship, social services, and dining and entertainment venues and provide a one-seat ride to others that were not previously served. The proposed new route would avoid the congestion on Union Street east of Seventh Avenue, and on Eastern Parkway, that led to the unreliability of the old B71 that was deemed to be significantly responsible for the previous low ridership. The Civic Council’s proposal calls for service every 20 minutes between 5:00 AM and 11:30 PM, with additional service during rush hours.
Brooklyn Community Board 8 has unanimously endorsed this proposal and other organizations and individuals have done so too. The Civic Council will be working closely with other civic organizations, social service providers, cultural and business organizations, our local Community Board 6, City agencies, the MTA and elected officials to make the new B71 a reality. Check back for further developments or to get involved with the Civic Council in this or other initiatives.
Here are a couple of links to publications providing additional details: