Friday, November 10, 2017

Public Transportation Connects Communities: Bring Back the B71 Bus!

Led by Council Member Brad Lander, Brooklyn residents are coming together to say "Bring Back the B71 Bus!"  I signed the petition, which states what many of my Brooklyn neighbors already know, which is that reinstating the route would connect students, seniors, families, NYCHA residents, and people with disabilities to schools, businesses and cultural institutions: nine schools, three senior centers, multiple public housing developments, and some of Brooklyn’s best cultural centers.  The bus will bring better access and increased mobility to the students, aging communities and families of booming neighborhoods Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights.

As Council Member Lander stated, "When the MTA made system-wide budget cuts in 2010, Brooklynites were hit hard. Ten Brooklyn bus lines were eliminated (more than any other borough), including the B71, which was a lifeline for seniors, students, and families along the Union Street corridor. Despite the economic recovery, the line was never restored, leaving riders stranded despite significant population growth along the route."

To illustrate one family's B71 story, I want to share one reason I would like the B71 bus back.  No, neither my livelihood nor my health will be improved if this bus route comes back, but the bus would help my Park Slope family take advantage of some of the wonderful cultural institutions that Brooklyn has to offer and help expand our community to neighborhoods that aren't as accessible without the B71 bus.