Two years after the B77 bus was eliminated from the area, The Carroll Gardens Association and Red Hook Civic Association are planning a rally later this month in hopes of bringing the route back. The public outing will take place at the Jackie Gleason Bus Depot in Sunset Park in late June, according to Mike Racioppo, a community organizer with CGA.
He tells DNAInfo.com that residents are fed up with long, unpredictable wait times and crowded buses. “The B61 is packed like a sardine can. It’s pretty intense. It’s the only way for people to get to places like Fairway.” With renovations at the Smith-9th Streets subway stop on the G line still ongoing, the strain on the B61 is even more evident, he adds.
Two years ago, the MTA combined the B77 and B61 bus routes, extending the B61 to operate from Downtown Brooklyn to Windsor Terrace. Previously, the B77 ran from Park Slope to Red Hook along Ninth Street and Court Street in Carroll Gardens. Now, the extended B61 operates on Columbia Street, instead of Ninth Street, and passes Red Hook on its way to Windsor Terrace.
MTA responds that this summer, it will install a GPS in the B61 so that bus-arrival times can be tracked and posted online, allowing riders to check online to see when their bus is arriving. Deirdre Parker, an MTA spokeswoman, says, “we believe that by eliminating the B77 and extending the B61, we are giving customers better options by offering a single route from Downtown to Windsor Terrace via Red Hook. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the service but there are currently no plans to restore the B77.”