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MTA Launches Select Bus Service For B44 In Brooklyn

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TWC News: MTA Launches Select Bus Service For B44 In Brooklyn
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority brought speedier bus service to a large stretch of Brooklyn Monday, but not everybody was happy about it. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

You slide in your Metrocard, hold on to your receipt and hop on the bus from any entrance. Easy, right? Well, maybe not.

"I don't know how to use it," said one rider. "It wasn't explained properly."

The B44 Select Bus Service line made its weekday debut on Monday, the sixth SBS line in the city but the first in Brooklyn. So a little confusion among riders was to be expected along the nearly 10-mile route that stretches from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay.

"I guess you just follow the instructions," said one rider. "I guess if it makes it easier to take the bus, it's a plus."

The Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolled out the first Select Bus Service line in the Bronx in 2008. Four more have followed, including the Bx41 in the Bronx in July.

"We've had tremendous success with the SBS routes citywide, averaging 20 percent improvement in travel times, getting people where they need to go faster," said city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

Even among the first-day confusion, riders said that they were looking forward to picking up the pace on a line that serves more than 40,000 commuters daily.

"It definitely works," said one person. "And it's simple. One, two three and it's on the bus."

There's still local service on the B44, which makes every stop on the route, but so-called limited service that was somewhere between local and select,is no more. That's bad news for those whose limited stops were eliminated. If they're too far from an SBS stop, it's local or nothing.

"What happens to places like this that had a limited stop, no longer have that stop?" said City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.

With Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio saying he'd like to boost the number of SBS lines, expect to start getting familiar with their quirks.

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