Some changes are in store for riders along one of Brooklyn's busiest bus routes which is also the only one in the borough that offers Select Bus Service. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
Riders and elected officials could be heard chanting "Thank you MTA" Monday at Avenue L and Nostrand Avenue, where a Select Bus Service stop on the B44 will be added come spring.
"We're going to ask everyone to just be a little patient. I know it's going to be frustrating from now until April, but hopefully, you remember that the sunny day is coming," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams.
SBS was introduced to Brooklyn in November along a route that serves more than 40,000 riders a day or more than three times the average line. But the MTA quickly heard complaints after SBS service began and bypassed the popular stop at Avenue L.
"Because of the usage, because of all the institutions that were here, we felt this one was very critical to make sure it was restored immediately," Williams said.
Avenue L used to be served by limited buses service. Those buses made more stops than SBS along the 10-mile route but fewer than the local and riders say they missed having that transit option.
"It was great, people got on, and we got straight to the bus stops, straight to the junction - one stop. And when they installed the new service, they just completely forgot about our stop here," said one rider.
Riders say that has led to longer waits for a crowded local and too many sightings of passing SBS buses.
"The Select Bus, you get about seven, eight of them just going through and one local bus," said one rider.
"Standing here for maybe 20 to 25 minutes for the next local to come and then when it comes, you can't get on," said another rider.
The MTA says it's already boosted Local service on the B44, and will now add the equipment that allows riders to pay fares before boarding the speedier buses from any entrance.
While riders say they're looking forward to being able to catch Select Bus Service come spring, they wish it could have arrived before this long and nasty winter.
"We really need it now in the winter, when it's freezing out here. The spring is cool, I can walk if I had to," said one rider.
Until then, just sit tight. The next bus is on the way, eventually.