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Residents Hope B37 Bus Line Is Among Those Restored By MTA

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TWC News: Residents Hope B37 Bus Line Is Among Those Restored By MTA
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It's a wait-and-see game for thousands of people who used to depend on a bus line to take them out of their Brooklyn neighborhood. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority cut it a few years back to save money, but the line may soon be making a comeback. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

When its board meets next week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it will consider whether to restore some bus routes that fell victim to budget cuts in 2010.

In Bay Ridge, riders hope that could mean the return of a sorely missed line.

The B37 used to run up and down Third Avenue every weekday, from Fort Hamilton to Downtown Brooklyn, carrying an average of 3,200 passengers every weekday.

"It would mean a world of good," said one person. "It would mean so much to the people on Third Avenue."

Members of the "Restore the B37 Coalition" have been pushing the MTA to bring back the line, whose weekday ridership fell far short of the average 12,540 riders who rely on other bus lines daily.

Its loss, they say, has been especially tough on older riders.

"We have a high senior content in this community that can't use the trains, so getting this bus back is something that we've been fighting for," said state Senator Martin Golden.

It's also been tough on people who take the bus to work.

"A lot of people in this neighborhood work at Lutheran Medical Center," said City Councilman Vincent Gentile of Brooklyn. "They took the bus to get down there, and the bus would leave them a block away."

With the MTA set to unveil its preliminary 2014 budget next week, the expectation is that there will be room for the B37.

"If the political and the people's support is there, it just makes it that much easier to get the route returned to service," said J.P. Patafio of the Transport Workers Union Local 100.

The B70 currently runs along a stretch of Third Avenue, but doesn't extend nearly as long as the line cut in 2010.

Some older riders who formerly relied on the B37 said the line's return would reconnect them to downtown Brooklyn, since the B70 only goes as far as Sunset Park.

"Bringing back the bus will mean a lot more seniors will be getting out and doing a lot more things in the neighborhood, too," said one resident.

The MTA said it's considering all options. People in the neighborhood hope the B37 will be one that gets a green light.

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