Courtesy of Congressman Max Rose
Courtesy of Congressman Max Rose

Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) announced this week that he and the rest of Brooklyn’s congressional delegation have secured $9 million in federal funding to improve bus safety and accessibility in South Brooklyn. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $9 million funding to support a New York City Department of Transportation project that will create 15 bus bulbs and 15 bus pads at priority bus stops in South Brooklyn along 86th Street and the Bay Parkway. 

Bus bulbs are curb extensions that allow buses to stop and board passengers without leaving the travel lane, allowing buses to move faster while also making the boarding process easier for passengers. Bus pads are highly durable areas of roadway at bus stops, usually made of concrete, that help protect bus stop lanes from wear and tear.

The funding will also provide for a trench restoration with full street reconstruction on 20th Avenue, from 86th Street to Benson Avenue, and safety improvements at the intersection of Benson Avenue and 20th Avenue.

Commuters who transfer from elevated trains to public buses have often found themselves stuck waiting in the roadway, due to subway columns that prevent buses from accessing the curb.

“This leaves bus riders vulnerable to collisions with vehicles and also results in bus stops which are inaccessible for the elderly and disabled, who may require the aid of the bus ramp/lift,” Rose and his colleagues wrote in a July letter to the Federal Transit Administration in which they sought funding for the project.

 “Four months ago, we organized and called on the federal government to listen to the needs of local residents, and disburse grant funding to help us upgrade the South Brooklyn bus network — because the sad fact is that for too long we’ve been ripped off, forgotten and ignored,” Rose said in a statement. “I’m proud to announce that after our calls for action, the federal government stepped up and is providing $9 million to improve our bus system, increase accessibility, and ensure the safety of riders. We have so much more work to do, but this is a good start.”

News of the funding was praised by Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.“The elevated trains of Southern Brooklyn are critical connectors, but especially at interchanges where riders move from MTA buses to the subway, we have long faced design challenges,” Trottenberg said. “The bus bulbs, bus pads, subsurface work and accessibility improvements will create a safer and improved experience for bus and subway riders.”