Volume 20, Number 44 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 16 - 22, 2011
Dear Transit Sam,
I realized you were never properly thanked for your role in getting Canal Street repaved in the late fall. It’s been a huge improvement on the western section of the arterial with many happy residents getting a better night’s sleep as well as not being asphyxiated with dust clouds when crossing. Thank you for your help once again.
Happy to help, and glad the issue was “smoothed” over.
Dear Transit Sam,
Up until the last few months, the B51 ran from downtown Manhattan to downtown Brooklyn. This bus was taken out of service because of budget cuts. This bus route was a blessing to the passengers who rode it daily. Most of the passengers on the B51 were older people who were happy they did not have to endure the steps of the subway.
We do not have a connection to downtown Brooklyn. This bus also connected its passengers to at least six major bus lines at the start of their route, guaranteeing these passengers a seat.
We were told to go to a meeting to inform the MTA if they should keep this bus in service, but to no avail. Is there any way we can restore this bus line?
Adrian, Manhattan to Brooklyn Commuter
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s very doubtful at this time unless the MTA can find a way to pay for it. The route had very low ridership (it was in the top ten least traveled routes) and was very expensive to run.
In addition, the MTA felt the route was well supplemented by a multitude of subway lines connecting downtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn. While the subway may be more crowded and not as user friendly for the elderly (although the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, Bowling Green, Brooklyn Borough Hall and Atlantic Ave-Pacific St. stations have elevator access), it’s significantly faster than the B51, which would travel up to the Manhattan Bridge to have to make its way back downtown.
I did raise the issue with NYC Transit given the lack of bus options connecting the two areas, but a spokeswoman told me “due to ongoing budget constraints, there are no plans to restore the B51.” I still encourage you to keep pushing the MTA and your elected officials with any concerns. And, you can always continue to write me.
Have any questions about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, street cleaning rules or more? Want to know how to get a copy of my 2011 Parking Calendar? If so, send me an e-mail at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, NY 10012.