Neighborhood Rallies to Save B71 Bus

June 25, 2010
Brooklyn – Representatives of Assemblywoman Joan Millman joined a spirited crowd Wednesday at the B71 bus stop on the corner of Union and Smith Streets to urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to continue service on the B71 bus and all other bus lines slated to be restructured or totally eliminated this week. The B71 is a cross town bus whose route is not duplicated by any Brooklyn train line and connects neighborhoods which have been particularly hard hit by budget cuts this year.

Assemblywoman Millman, a member of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, urged the MTA to avert proposed cuts, “The B71 runs from the Columbia Waterfront District, through Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, all the way to Crown Heights, providing a link between communities and access to school, work, medical facilities and cultural institutions. Contrary to the MTA’s assertion, subway service does not replicate bus service because so many of our city’s subway stations are inaccessible to the elderly, people with disabilities and others. I thank all those that rallied together to preserve this service.”

“I have proposed several solutions that would fund the MTA and stave off these budget cuts,” Millman continued. “I have introduced legislation that would channel federal stimulus funding to the MTA’s operating budget, which could then be used to keep our buses running. I also have introduced legislation to create a residential permit parking system in New York City that would fund mass transit and am a supporter of reinstating the commuter tax. I have testified before the MTA and have delivered petitions signed by over 1,000 local residents opposed to cutting service. Finally, I have called on the MTA to fully utilize its real estate assets before making disastrous service cuts.”

At the rally were children who take the B71 bus to school, disabled and elderly residents who came to remind the MTA how essential buses are for mobility, workers who take the bus to their jobs, and community members who take the B71 to Brooklyn cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanic Gardens and the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The rally was attended by City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Letitia James and representatives of State Senator Daniel Squadron, residents and organizations from the Columbia Waterfront District, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, all of whom represent areas served by the B71.