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New B44 Select Bus Fails To Meet Local Needs, Riders Say

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TWC News: New B44 Select Bus Fails To Meet Local Needs, Riders Say
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Riders are still figuring out just how the first Select Bus Service line in Brooklyn works, but those who still use local service on that line say the emphasis on the new, speedier route is coming at their expense. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Long lines to get on cramped buses that don't show up enough. That's what some riders on the B44 local say they're waiting on these days.

"It's 45 minutes now. 45 minutes! It was better the way it was," said one frustrated rider.

The B44 Select Bus Service, which began this week, promises speedier trips up and down Nostrand and Rogers avenues because it has its own lanes and riders pay before boarding.

But it also makes far fewer stops.

"It's not working for people who have to ride the local line at all. It's not," said one rider.

While the five Select Bus Service lines in the city have won praise for speeding commuting times, riders on the B44 local are saying, "What about us?"

That's because the so-called B44 Limited, which made more stops than the SBS but fewer than the local along the 10 mile route, is no more.

"The Limited was better. Much buses. I was able to get where I need to go much faster," said one rider.

Other riders say the local just isn't cutting it.

"If you're going to work, you can hang it up. You know, definitely," said one rider.

Riders at a stop outside Kings County Hospital say they now have to walk long blocks from New York Avenue to get to the speedier SBS buses.

"You see me with crutches, right? Way too far! Too far Too far," said one rider.

Then there are the waits. NY1 waited close to 40 minutes for a local with one frustrated woman.

"When I came here, people was already here. And we still waiting for a bus. We don't even know what happened for the bus," she noted.

The B44 is the first line in Brooklyn to get Select Bus Service. And the Transport Workers Union say it's quickly becoming clear that the MTA needs to increase service on the B44 local.

"They're so worried about the SBS that they forgot about the Local service. And what you don't want is, you don't want to sacrifice what's good for the SBS for what's really turning out to be bad for the Local," said JP Patafio of TWU Local 100.

The MTA says it's evaluating how things are going. But it remains convinced that the changes will ultimately be a boon for 40,000 B44 riders.

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