Today’s news:

MTA restores Bx34 weekend service, extends Bx13 to Gateway Mall

Bronx Times

While service is being enhanced and restored to two Bronx bus lines, Co-op City residents are fuming over cuts to their transit service as a fare hike looms.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced on Thursday, July 19 it is extending the Bx13 bus line south from East 161st Street and River Avenue to near the Gateway Mall around East 149th Street, as well as restoring weekend service on the Bx34 bus linking Woodlawn, Norwood, and Bedford Park.

The move was part of a service upgrade to nearly 40 bus and subway lines citywide and to commuter trains that MTA chairman Joseph Lohta touted as a testament to the increase in ridership.

Local elected officials including Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz who represent Woodlawn said restoration of weekend bus service that was cut in 2010 on the Bx34 linking East 242nd Street to Fordham Road via Bainbridge Avenue will be very helpful for people with children and seniors who need to access the city’s network of subways and buses.

“I am extremely pleased that the MTA has listened to the community and its elected officials,” said Dinowitz. “The Bx34 bus is extremely important for the Woodlawn community, and the previous service cutbacks caused extreme inconvenience for many people in that neighborhood.”

Senator Klein announced in June that he had joined private van operator DorCal and the Taxi and Limousine Commission to bring van service linking Woodlawn to the No. 4 IRT’s last stop on Jerome Avenue in Norwood.

Woodlawn Heights Taxpayers and Community Association president Christine Sheridan said the new $2 shuttle service should be a nice supplement to the Bx34.

The new service on both lines will start in January 2013, said MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker.

Meanwhile, residents of the sprawling - and somewhat isolated - Co-op City held a rally Wednesday evening, July 25 to protest an increase in the fare after a service reduction in 2010 cut the Bx26 and Bx28 bus lines wound up forcing some riders to take three buses and pay two fares to get to the nearest subway.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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