Golden, Barkan, Gounardes Laud MTA’s Increase in Bus Service

The B1, a crucial bus that serves Southern Brooklyn, is often packed to the hilt with staphaners and slow, leaving commuters asking for some limited bus service making express stops on the line.

Candidates for the State Senate seat in the 22nd district covering Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and stretching all the way to Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach do not agree on many things, but one thing all of them rally around is improving transportation in South Brooklyn.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved additional bus service for four lines in South Brooklyn Monday. While the candidates believe this is a step in the right direction, they all think more needs to be done.

The X28 and X38 lines will be getting an increase in service non-peak hours on weekdays, while the B63 is getting increased service doing peak hours on weekdays. Finally, the B1 is getting an increase in service during non-peak hours on weekdays.

According to an MTA spokesperson, the decisions to increase the service are based on ridership demands and other factors such as elected officials and community response.

Transportation has been a heated issue in the race between the three candidates for the state seat.

State Sen. Marty Golden

Incumbent State Sen. Martin Golden (R) is on the senate’s MTA Capital Review Board and welcomed the changes, but acknowledged more needs to be done.

“I want to thank the MTA for approving measures at this morning’s MTA Board Meeting that will improve service on the X28, X38, B1 and B63 bus routes. The MTA has decided to add more bus trips on each of these heavily utilized buses to better serve Brooklyn commuters. I will continue to work with MTA officials to find ways to make our transit more efficient, safe and reliable,” Golden said in a statement.

Ross Barkan, who is running for the Democratic nomination, said that although the changes are an improvement, more needs to be done across the board to improve transportation in the area.

Barkan recently delivered a petition to Golden’s office asking for more accessibility to train stations in South Brooklyn.

State Senate candidate Ross Barkan.
State Senate Candidate Andrew Gounardes

“I welcome all increased bus service to our underserved and neglected neighborhoods. Getting around Southern Brooklyn is harder every day. We need faster trains and buses. We need options for people who don’t own cars or can’t drive. Improving transportation is at the top of my agenda, and I will fight to ensure the MTA modernizes its signaling network so trains run on time and install new technology to quicken the speed of our failing buses,” Barkan wrote in an email.

Andrew Gounardes, Barkan’s challenger for the Democratic nomination, took the opportunity to take a shot at his opponent in Golden.

“It’s about time Marty Golden used his position on the Capital Review Board to do something to improve access to transit for folks in our neighborhood. Southern Brooklyn is starved for reliable public transit, especially bus service,” said Gournardes.

“There are more than a dozen other bus lines serving our district, there’s so much more work to be done. The MTA needs to be held accountable to its riders, and that’s why I have long called for riders to have a voting member on the MTA board representing every borough. The reality is our state senator has done more advocacy to make it harder for riders with disabilities to get around the city than he has to make real capital improvements to our MTA,” he added.