Fugheddaboudit! You Can't Beat Brooklyn's Transportation Thinkers
New York City has some of the top transportation thinkers in the world. Among the most innovative are Brooklyn's Bruce Schaller, a consultant who has produced reports for T.A. and the Straphangers Campaign on the benefits of the car pool restrictions on East River bridges, bus rapid transit on First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, Metrocard fares and improving service on the M96 bus. Schaller Consulting's latest report details how to improve the slow and unreliable B41 bus. Similarly, Community Consulting Services (CCS) has produced numerous important studies that highlight inexpensive and practical ways to improve the transportation system and quality of life in Brooklyn. CCS founders, Brian Ketcham and Carolyn Konheim, have been the best hope for creating a practical borough-wide transit system that finally provides the level and full range of service that Brooklyn so badly needs. Indeed, Ketcham and Konheim were the lead writers for CCS's new report, "Better Transit for Brooklyn: A Proposal for a Brooklyn Transit Agenda," which outlines 26 plans for a comprehensive and cheap way to improve mass transit throughout Brooklyn.
In its latest report, Schaller Consulting outlines why the B41 Limited bus, which travels 7.4 miles on Flatbush Avenue between Downtown Brooklyn and the Kings Plaza mall and serves 44,000 riders on a typical weekday, is one of the slowest bus routes in Brooklyn. The bus currently averages speeds of less than 8 mph (slower than a chicken or domestic pig). Solutions include:
Community Consulting Services' report, "Better Transit for Brooklyn: A Proposal for a Brooklyn Transit Agenda" presents 26 plans for mass transit in Brooklyn, some of which would cost the Metropolitan Transportation Authority pennies per rider to implement and could be finished relatively quickly. Brooklyn's 2.3 million daily transit riders generate the most transit trips and fare revenue of any county in the MTA region and comprise one-third of the city's transit users. But the average work trip by transit by Brooklyn residents is 18 minutes longer than the regional average, with some subway segments operating with "crush loads." And, in spite of making the largest contribution to the fare revenues that back MTA bonds, Brooklyn fare payers get the least capital investment per rider ($1.04 vs. $1.12 average for NYC Transit and $5.76 average for commuter rail).
Among the main suggestions of
the report are: