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MTA Receives Backlash for Proposed Bus Changes to Routes Along Lewis and Tompkins Avenues

Bed-Stuy residents are furious about the MTA's proposal to remove bus routes from both Tompkins and Lewis avenues.
The Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign is MTA’s plan to improve bus travel for Brooklyn riders. Photo: MTA/

 Bus riders in Bed-Stuy are clapping back at the Metropolitan Transit Authority for its proposed changes to the Brooklyn bus route network, reports Patch. The plans were unveiled by the MTA in early December and will work to replace buses from Tompkins and Lewis Avenues with a shared stretch of Throop Avenue and Marcus Garvey Boulevard.

The consolidation of the two routes would leave a nearly half-mile-wide area without bus service, creating a new transit desert in the neighborhood. Despite this reality, officials are still claiming the change will help to create faster, more reliable service for bus riders in Brooklyn.

"We're rat infested. We're crime infested. And now we don't have the proper transportation," said resident Audrey Vaughn at the meeting on Jan. 17.

"It's just not fair."

Vaughn, along with many other community members, voiced concern that the needs of local residents were being left out of the MTA's draft plans.

Some attendees noted that seniors live near Lewis Avenue and under the proposed changes the elderly would face a nearly half-mile walk to ride the same bus route. Others noted that many NYCHA residents in Bed-Stuy would have to walk to Marcus Garvey for the same Prospect Park-bound bus under the draft proposal.

"To send a senior to Throop Avenue or Malcolm X Boulevard with a cane in a wheelchair is not fair," Vaughn said.

MTA officials at the meeting said they appreciated community feedback, reminding distraught residents plans for the route redesign are nowhere near their final iteration.

In addition, other opportunities for public feedback will be available over the next stages of the project. Residents can also leave comments on Remix, an interactive map that shows all existing and proposed routes in Brooklyn.

To learn more about the Brooklyn bus redesign proposals, click here.