Friday’s Headlines: Burning Down Bus Service To Save It Edition

The B46 isn't good. And it's getting worse. Photo: David Meyer
The B46 isn't good. And it's getting worse. Photo: David Meyer

This is what a death spiral looks like.

On Thursday, the MTA announced it was cutting service by 40 percent along Brooklyn’s busiest bus route — the B46 — dropping the number of buses from 20 per hour to 12 during the evening rush period, and dropping from 10 to six or seven (depending on the hour) the rest of the day.

The Daily News and Post were all over the changes, which go into effect in January and will harm tens of thousands of long-suffering riders per day. The MTA says the change will save $2.4 million and will be mitigated by deploying longer buses to alleviate crowding.

But cutting service tends to lead to fewer people using the service — which then encourages more cuts, etc. etc.

“They’re pushing this into a death spiral,” Transport Worker Union official J.P. Patafio told David Meyer at the Tabloid of Record. “You’re killing the service.”

So happy Friday, Brooklyn. Here’s the rest of the news:

  • The driver who killed a 1-year-old girl in the Bronx told reporters outside his arraignment, “Accidents happen.” Ugh. (Gothamist)
  • Gothamist also had the story of Wilfred Chan, a cyclist who was tackled for no reason in the First Avenue bike lane — then mistreated by responding officers.
  • The parents of a Queens woman killed by a taxi driver are not just suing the cabbie, but the city as well (NY Post). Streetsblog covered the initial phase of the legal battle.
  • Someone didn’t get the memo. Streetsblog reported yesterday that the FDNY is blaming car traffic for reduced emergency response times. But the Post found an FDNY union chief to blame Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero for allegedly narrowing roadways.
  • Mark Treyger defends city bike lanes really eloquently in The City.
  • The future of Uber may get decided next month. (Jalopnik)
  • Nicole Brown at amNY covered the viral guerrilla campaign to fight the MTA’s retrogressive crackdown on fare evasion.
  • Here’s what homelessness on the subway looks like — from the MTA workers’ perspective (Gothamist). The publication’s sister outlet, WNYC, did a deep dive on underground homelessness, and calls out Gov. Cuomo repeatedly throughout.

Have a great weekend.

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Select Bus Service begins on Hylan Boulevard this Sunday, aiming to speed bus rides by 15 minutes between Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and the Staten Island Mall, cutting trip times by 20 percent on Staten Island’s second-busiest bus corridor. Mayor Bloomberg, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and MTA Chairman and CEO Joe Lhota marked the occasion at a press […]