Bx4A & Bx24 Debuts Today

This past October, a brief announcement of bus changes including new routes in Brooklyn & the Bronx by the MTA went highly uncovered. In the brief entry I posted, one of the key changes was the introduction of the Bx4A & Bx24.

Fast forward to today when in a few hours, the Bx4A & Bx24 will be making their debut. The Bx4A will replace the discontinued Bx14 in the Parkchester area by providing residents in the northern end of the community with one seat access to the 6 train. The Bx24 will replace the Bx14 in the Country Club area. After it was initially discontinued, the Bx8 served the neighborhood,

The debuts are actually receiving opposite sentiments. Let me first get into the frustration from some who feel the Bx4A is a half hearted attempt at pacifying those who prefer the restoration of the Bx14 as Patrick Rocchio of YourNabe.com has more:

After huge protests last summer at Metropolitan and Westchester avenues, the MTA finally responded to the needs of Parkchester bus riders.

In response to the removal of the Bx14 bus line along Metropolitan Avenue during a service reduction in June, Parkchester residents called on the MTA to bring back a vital bus route to the community. They protested that they need a bus linking the northern portion of the condominium community near Castle Hill and East Tremont avenues with the IRT train station at Hugh Grant Circle, Westchester Avenue and East 177th Street.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, said that he believed that the whole situation could have been resolved through a complete restoration of the Bx14 bus service, which the MTA did not do. Instead, Vacca said that the MTA gave the residents of Parkchester and other communities affected by the loss of the Bx14 “half a loaf.”

“Again, the Parkchester bus was a compromise,” Vacca said. “The issues with transportation in Parkchester could have been solved through a complete restoration of the Bx14, which the MTA has refused to do. The MTA has gone around the Mulberry bush and have made a lot of people unhappy, and I think history will bear that out.”

Click here for the complete report.

Now the opposite sort of reaction is happening on one specific block in the Country Club section, more specifically Stadium Ave. When the MTA decided to have the Bx8 replace the Bx14 in the neighborhood, part of their plan was sending buses down Stadium Ave. Patrick once again has more in this report:

Riders of the Bx8 in Country Club and Spencer Estate will have a new mass transit link to Pelham Bay station.

Starting on Sunday, January 2, the newly added Bx24 bus will provide direct service to the communities along the same route as the discontinued Bx14 route, which was taken out of service in June. A MTA spokeswoman confirmed that the line will follow the old route, creating a loop through the community and replacing Bx8 service in Country Club. That service created a great deal of controversy because of a large number of buses running through Country Club, especially on Stadium Avenue.

Victor DePierro, a resident of Stadium Avenue, said he was pleased that the MTA came to its senses and changed the route. DePierro and his neighbors said the Bx8 ran too frequently and saw no real cost savings for the MTA.

“What was the reasoning behind taking away a bus route with less frequent stops to save money and then have it replaced with a bus that came at least every 15 minutes, and was 90% empty?” DePierro said.

“We don’t want to make it sound like we are better than other blocks, but when we bought these houses, there was no bus stops in front. We are happy to see the bus being taken away from Stadium Avenue. Councilman Vacca and the MTA took a good look at it, and realized that something needed to be changed, and we are grateful to both.”

Click here for the complete report.

As I opined last year when the Bx14 was eliminated, it made sense for the route to be cut due to the overall lack of ridership. In a day & age where the agency has to properly cut costs, why run a service that most people don’t have a need for.

When the agency switched the Bx8 to serve the area, I thought it made sense as it took an active line & provided the area with the little service it seemed to needed. I personally found the typical NIMBY’s to be out of touch with reality & stuck in their own world as usual with their complaints.

The mistake I see the MTA made was having the Bx8 run that much in the area. Clearly the area has shown a lack of need for bus service so why replace a low service line with more service that served next to nobody? This brings me to these debuts which I find mostly pointless. If you cut the Bx14 due to low ridership, what is the point of creating 2 lines to completely cover what 1 line did?

I find this to be a complete waste of time & resources. The only benefit one could argue is for the seniors who live in the northern end of the Parkchester community. As someone who lived in Parkchester for 2.5 years, I can attest that the walk from passed Metropolitan Oval to the Parkchester station is not exactly short or a direct line.

However even with saying that, do we really need a new bus route just for the few who would benefit from not having to make the walk? Technically speaking, if walking the whole way was that big an issue, they could just walk to the oval & catch the Bx22 to the Castle Hill Ave 6 station. While it would add about 2-4 minutes, it at least runs more frequently & rightfully so.

Either the MTA should just restore the Bx14 & run it as frequently as it did prior & or eliminate service to the areas it served completely & call it a day. Stop wasting money on 2 new routes to replace 1 that did the same exact thing when you are crying poverty as enough is enough already.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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