Brooklyn Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D – BROOKLYN)has announced that, in a major victory for Sheepshead Bay residents, a new B44 SBS bus stop will be coming to Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue.
Since taking office, Deutsch, along with Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, has been at the forefront of advocacy for an additional bus stop along the express SBS route that begins on Shore Parkway in Sheepshead Bay and ends in Williamsburg. Deutsch led the charge to petition the MTA and the Department of Transportation to implement the change. The distance between the two stops nearest to Avenue R is more than a mile, the largest gap between any two SBS stops in Southern Brooklyn. Additionally, Avenue R, which is a transfer point to two bus routes, the B2 and the B31, that connect Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, and Gerritsen Beach residents to the only local train – the Q line –, has been in grave need of better transit service.
In addition to the bus connections, Nostrand Avenue at Avenue R is home to several medical facilities and a plethora of small businesses, both of which are oft utilized by the large, local senior population. The lack of expedient B44 service has had a significant impact on seniors and people with disabilities in particular, who often find themselves waiting in inclement weather for the slow local buses for 20 to 30 minutes, even as near-empty SBS buses sail by every few minutes. When the SBS B44 route was originally implemented in 2013, several concerns were raised about bus stops that had been included in as a Limited (express) stop, but were removed from the SBS route. Deutsch successfully advocated at the time, along with Councilman Jumaane Williams, to include Avenue L back into the express route. In March of 2015, Deutsch hosted a press conference attended by dozens of community residents, calling on the MTA and DOT to install a bus stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R, where he was joined by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and Councilman Alan Maisel.
“I am thrilled to have been able to successfully advocate for the installation of an SBS B44 stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R, the culmination of years of effort. I must commend newly appointed MTA President Andy Byford, who has put his money where his mouth is in truly listening to feedback from the community,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch. “Commuters, particularly our senior and disabled neighbors, deserve reliable, accessible transit. This new bus stop will ensure that they are offered timely transportation along Nostrand Avenue. Congratulations to the many community and transit advocates who have joined me in fighting for this, and thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as my colleagues, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, State Senator Roxanne Persuad, and Councilman Alan Maisel for being unwavering partners in this effort.”
The new SBS bus stop is slated to be installed during the first two weeks of September.
“I am overjoyed that the MTA has heard our pleas and will be placing a Select Bus Service Stop at Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue. I thank MTA President, Andy Byford, for responding to the needs of our Madison neighborhood commuters and elderly constituents,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein.
“All of our constituents deserve hassle free, reliable, affordable, safe, and dependable ways to get to around. That is why I am so pleased with the installation of an SBS B44 stop at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue R. This is excellent news and I will keep working with my colleagues to improve the quality and accessibility of our mass transit options. ” State Senator Roxanne Persaud said.
“It is a delight to hear that this new bus stop at Avenue R and Nostrand Avenue will be installed in early September. The new stop will provide better accessibility for all of our constituents. Thanks to the continuous advocacy from fellow colleagues Council Member Chaim Deutsch, Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and special thanks to MTA President Andy Byford for making this possible. “ said Council Member Alan Maisel.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch serves as Chair of the Veterans Committee and the NYC Council Jewish Caucus. He represents the 48th Council District in Southern Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, and parts of Coney Island.