The MTA is spending $40 million to bring back some of the service that got cut in 2010, including a Brooklyn bus line that got the ax, but riders and elected officials are not completely satisfied with what they're getting. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
It's been four years since the B37 fell victim to massive Metropolitan Transportation Authority service cuts, and they're still rallying for its return.
Sometimes, even singing for it.
"Many blocks to go, making people frown, our B37 bus must go all the way downtown. Oh MTA, MTA, restore our bus all the way!" one woman sang at a hearing in December 2013.
Well, it is set to come back as part of a service restoration, just not until June and just not all the way.
The MTA plans to have the B37 run along Third Avenue between Fort Hamilton and the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center station, more than a few stops short of its old route, which used to take it as far as Borough Hall.
"The plan to end the route at Barclays Center/Atlantic Avenue is miscalculated and will fail the needs of those here in Brooklyn and the Brooklyn commuter," said state Senator Martin Golden of Brooklyn. "Another 10 blocks is all that it has to do."
Not likely, according to the MTA, whose board is set to vote on the partial restoration later this month.
To run the B37 from Bay Ridge to downtown Brooklyn would cost the MTA $500,000 a year.
Instead, the agency plans to add stops on another line that passengers can switch to in Gowanus for the ride to Downtown Brooklyn.
Elected officials say that's not good enough.
"We need to make sure that we get this bus restored to the original route," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, whose district covers parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
As for riders, they're glad that the B37 is returning, even if it's likely to be in abbreviated form.
"Thank God it's coming back," said one person.
"It's closer to me than the subway is, so it's been convenient at many times," said another. "But other people, it's more than the convenience. It's a necessity."
Older riders say it beats riding the B70, which runs along a small stretch of Third Avenue.
"When it comes back, I'm sure there will be a lot of senior citizens that are happy it's back," said one rider.
Until summer, though, close enough will likely have to do.