Months after the MTA cut transit service all across the city, NY1 has learned the agency plans to restore some weekday express buses to Brooklyn. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
State Senator Martin Golden hit bus stops and boarded buses Thursday morning to tell commuters the good news: starting July 1st, express bus service that was cut by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be restored.
Bus riders who take the X27, X28, X37 and X38 say they are thrilled.
"That's awesome, I think everybody here in Bay Ridge really wanted to have the 37 come back especially people who worked in Midtown," said one rider.
"I work in Midtown and my commute is now 20 minutes longer because of the re-route so I'm very happy," said another.
It was back in June the MTA eliminated some express routes and consolidated others, re-routing them through more neighborhoods as a cost cutting measure. The agency said it was necessary to close an $800 million budget gap.
"We're not getting back anything extra. We're getting back what we believe we were wrongfully denied," Golden said.
One reason for the MTA's change of heart is a lawsuit filed by Golden, City Councilman Vincent Gentile and some of the elderly and disabled residents in the affected Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bath Beach communities. The suit charges the cuts violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The allegations in the lawsuit are that there's a disparate impact in this community compared to others. There's a higher number of disabled and seniors in this naturally occurring retirement community, quite frankly, than in other parts of the city," said Attorney Matthew Daus.
Those not elderly or disabled say the MTA's restructuring created hardships for them as well.
"It means 25 minutes off my commute. It's wonderful. You see now I get off this and get on the E train," said one express bus rider.
But the battle with the MTA is not over. Commuters say they want weekend express bus service to be brought back as well.
Golden says he will tackle that fight next.