16 May 2010 8:00 am   //   Filed under: Brooklyn, Hard times, Transit

You’ll be waiting a long time for that bus

There are a few constant beats in the rhythm of the streetscape of my neighborhood. Food delivery guys ride their Huffys in any weather. Trash pickup is twice a week. Recycling and street sweeping are once a week. In the summer, Mister Softee comes around every evening. And the B67 runs all night.

So much for the B67. This sign says it all:

Sign: Attention! The following changes to bus service will take effect due to budget reductions.

Among the lines being cut are my B67, which will still run, just on a reduced schedule. The MTA is also merging several subway lines (goodbye to the W and V designations) and increasing overnight spacing of trains.

Honestly, I will be fine. I can bike, walk, plan, improvise, flag down a gypsy cab, or do whatever I must do to get around. But not everyone can. Transit cuts disproportionally hurt the poor, as well as the elderly and other people who might have trouble walking long distances. In Brooklyn, bus routes form a fine mesh that fills in the gaps between subway stations. (If you don’t live here and you’ve never seen it before, you might enjoy viewing the shocklingly complex Brooklyn bus map.) Buses enable the people who can’t afford cars, who work in outer-borough neighborhoods, to get to and from their jobs and appointments. It’s not their fault tax revenue is down and the state is cutting the MTA’s funding. Budget cuts hurt the wrong people.