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Bus Time Coming to Brooklyn: The Battle between the Limited and Local Bus

Will Bus Time improve service on the B38 limited and local buses?
Dara K. Fulton

The MTA announced on Monday that they will expand their Bus Time system to all Brooklyn and Queens bus routes starting March 9. Bus Time allows riders to check the location of their bus on their smartphones in real time via the web and text message. One of the first Brooklyn bus routes to get Bus Time was the B63 in 2011. While this is a step in the right direction, some wonder if it will improve service on one particular bus line.

The B38 bus which runs along DeKalb and Lafayette Avenues to and from Downtown, Brooklyn have local and limited service. Limited buses run express, and local buses make all stops. However, there is a schedule difference between the limited and local buses. Riders have been complaining that the limited B38 runs more frequently than the local. “Why are there more limited buses than regulars?” one rider said. “I shouldn’t have to always walk blocks away from my home when there’s a bus stop right there,” another rider expressed.

Overcrowding and late local buses have been a problem along DeKalb Avenue during rush hours. One rider stated that it takes her longer to get downtown waiting for the local bus, which is near her home. With the recent snow storms and icy sidewalks, walking to the limited bus stops can be difficult. When asking that same rider if she feels the Bus Time will make a difference, she said, “I hope so.”