B44 select bus service debuts in Brooklyn to mixed reviews

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FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Many Brooklynites couldn’t wait for this day.  Others had no clue the B44 Select Bus Service was rolling into town.

Its ultra-fast route, along dedicated bus lanes, stretches about ten miles from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay, making it the city’s sixth such expedited line.

Transit officials estimate the select line will cut down a straphanger’s commute time by 20 percent.

Christopher Greif, a member of the New York City Transit Riders Council, monitored the first stop in Williamsburg Sunday morning.

“A lot of people are a little confused about where SBS buses are stopping,” Grief said.  “People are not used to seeing it not stopping at the old limited stops anymore.”

Riders pay their fares in advance at terminals, then board the bus through any of its three doors.  Inspectors check to make sure no one gets on without a ticket.

“I think it will be more efficient, less fumbling for the metro card at the fare box,” said MTA bus driver Noel Barrett.

Barrett expects to have anything but a smooth ride during Monday’s rush hour.

“It’s a new system,”  he said.  “There’s still a lot of kinks to be ironed out, and typically on  Monday, it’s heavy delays.”

Some motorists expressed anger over the bus lanes taking away precious parking spots.

“People can’t park anymore,” said David Johnson, who was driving on Nostrand Avenue.  “The street is already narrow.  I think it was a bad idea.”

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