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September 24, 2004
this bus, Gus: B63 derided as boro's slo-mo king
Carlos Hendricks is happy to finally get chance to board a B63, which he says is 'slow - really slow. ... It's always late.'
Antonia Ortiz of Carroll
Gardens had practically given up waiting for a B63 bus when one finally arrived
to pick her up.
The B63 earned the dubious distinction of being Brooklyn's slowest bus yesterday when the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives gave out their third annual Pokey Awards.
The bus averages 5.4 mph at 5 p.m., the transit watchdog groups said. A passenger boarding in Cobble Hill and traveling the full route to Fort Hamilton would spend about 90 minutes onboard.
Yesterday, disgruntled B63 riders had few unkind words for the line.
"At night, forget it!" said Carlos Hendricks, 34, of Canarsie. "If you see one, flag it down - but you're better off walking.
"It's slow - really slow. I use it to get from school to work, but it's never on schedule. It's always late."
Stefanie Koseff, 29, of Boerum Hill favors walking, too.
"It takes me forever to get home on the bus," she said. "But sometimes, I'm too tired to walk."
Waiting near Atlantic Ave. and Court St., Noelia Rodriguez, 44, of Red Hook said: "They've got to do something. People have to go to work or get home. There needs to be a meeting or something."
State Sen. Martin Golden (R-Bay Ridge) said riders frequently call his office on their cell phones after waiting a long time for the B63.
"It's a shame the bus has this problem," Golden said. "People deserve faster service."
He suggested that Transit Authority station employees along the route determine exactly where the problems are.
Riders had suggestions, too. Maria Colon, 60, of Park Slope said bus drivers should have shorter breaks.
"The drivers drink their coffee, read their newspapers and forget all about us," she said.
Transit Authority spokesman Paul Fleuranges said, "As far as the B63 goes, that route goes through several congested shopping districts and narrow roads frequently blocked by double-parked cars. We have to deal with every traffic impediment that other motorists do.
"If we could run our buses faster, we would. But given the constraints of street capacity to handle vehicles, we can only operate as fast as the traffic allows."
The watchdog groups' survey showed that the B63 was far from the only pokey bus line in Brooklyn. Other noticeably slow routes, and the speeds they averaged at 5 p.m., included:
B52, Ridgewood to downtown Brooklyn, 5.9 mph.
B35, Sunset Park to Brownsville, 5.9 mph.
B43, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens to Greenpoint, 6 mph.
B60, Canarsie to Williamsburg Bridge Plaza, 6.1 mph.
B46, Kings Plaza to
Williamsburg Bridge Plaza, 6.1 mph.
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