Summer 2003, p.19

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.

Brooklyn's Schaller Consulting recently released a report on improving service on the B41 bus, which currently travels slower than a chicken and domestic pig.
Brooklyn's Schaller Consulting recently released a report on improving service on the B41 bus, which currently travels slower than a chicken and domestic pig.
Schaller Consulting: Improving Service on the B41

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:

  • Add a bus lane on Flatbush Avenue between Livingston Street and 5th Avenue, in effect inbound between 7 am and noon and outbound between noon and 7 pm.
  • Add a bus lane on Flatbush Avenue
    in the vicinity of the Junction, between Farragut Road and Avenue I, in effect throughout the day on both sides of
    the street.
  • Increase bus lane enforcement throughout the route.
  • Institute pre-boarding fare payment at the Atlantic Avenue and Nostrand Avenue bus stops.
  • Reconfigure the bus parking area at Kings Plaza to allow buses to pull in more quickly.
  • Replace the bus stops at Hoyt Street and Bond Street with a single intermediate stop at Elm Street.
  • Extend limited-stop service from Kings Highway to Kings Plaza.
  • Extend the length of certain bus stops so that buses do not need to wait to enter the stop.
  • Improve the marking of bus lanes, bus stops and the Cadman Plaza terminus.
    Read the full report at www.transalt.org/info/pub.html#re.

Brooklyn's Community Consulting Services has developed a cheap, fast and comprehensive plan for improving mass transit throughout Brooklyn, including the much-beleaguered G train.
Brooklyn's Community Consulting Services has developed a cheap, fast and comprehensive plan for improving mass transit throughout Brooklyn, including the much-beleaguered G train.
CCS: Better Transit for Brooklyn

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:

  • Establish longer routes on the F, G, L, R, V, 4 and 5 lines.
  • Extend the life of retired subway cars by refurbishing them.
  • Allow for street-level transfers at intersecting train lines, such as the G and M in Williamsburg.
  • Connect downtown Brooklyn to lower Manhattan and Kennedy Airport through an East River tunnel.
  • Equip city bus drivers with satellite global positioning system receivers so that they do not bunch up and cause delays.
  • Add express bus service in areas where trains do not go. Read the full report at community www.consulting.org/BklynTransit/BklynTrans.html.

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