24 January 2010

B61: A Shorter Route, But Service Just as Sucky

The day has come. As the MTA promises, the ridiculously long route of the eternally late and poorly run Brooklyn bus line, B61, was split in two at the beginning of 2010. The B61 now runs from IKEA on Beard Street in Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn, near Fulton Mall. The newly christened B62 now takes up the slack from Fulton Mall all the way up to Long Island City.

Hurrah! Hosannah! Certainly residents of Red Hook and Columbia Street who desperately depend on B61 as their only mass transportation artery will now get much better service, right?

No. Amazingly, the B61 still sucks, even though drives are now only charged with traversing an absolutely Mickey Mouse route that is just a little over a mile, involved only six 90-degree turns going either way, and stands almost no chance of hitting any traffic until it reaches Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street. It's really impossible to get lost or waylaid on this route, unless that is your intention. (Hello, IKEA coffee klatch!)  Yet, yesterday, a great crowd on Columbia Street waited 40 minutes for a bus to arrive, with three scheduled buses being no-shows.

This level of service has been the case pretty much throughout January. So what we have here is what we've always suspect of the B61 drivers—not beleaguered victims of a twisty, tough route, but willful, arrogant incompetents.

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