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Bedford Park bus shelter replaced

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A Bedford Park bus shelter has been restored in time for the winter months.

The corner of Paul Avenue and West 205th Street has been without a bus shelter since May, when the MTA took down the shelter and relocated the bus stop due to nearby train yard construction.

The bus stop, which services the Bx10 and Bx28 buses, was replaced at the corner at the end of the summer when construction was completed, but the shelter was not scheduled to be replaced until May 2012.

Local residents began to publicly express concern as the weather became colder and contacted city agencies and the Community Board 7 office. Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who is the chair of the City Council Committee on Transportation, learned of the dilemma and immediately contacted the city Department of Transportation and Cemusa, the company which provides the city with bus shelters.

The shelter was fully restored on Friday, December 9 and Vacca, along with CB 7 district manager Fernando Tirado, joined straphangers on Monday, December 12 to celebrate the shelter’s restoration.

“After reading about the lack of a sufficient bus shelter at this busy bus stop, I reached out to Cemusa and am very grateful that they responded right away to rebuild this vital shelter,” Vacca said. “With the upcoming unpredictable winter, it was unacceptable that hundreds of riders would potentially be left completely exposed to the elements for months to come and I commend Cemusa for taking swift action.”

Cemusa spokeswoman Risa Heller said that immediately after they were notified, DOT gave the approval for the shelter to be built again and the construction began on Tuesday, November 22.

Residents who live in Scott Towers housing complex across the street from the bus stop were confused by the original timetable to replace the bus shelter, which would have been a year after the construction had started.

Tirado said the board was aware of the situation, but that complaints became more frequent as the temperature began to drop. He acknowledged that construction was being done earlier in the year, but since it was completed, it was only right that the shelter be installed before it becomes too cold.

“We were confused because usually there is a priority to replace the bus shelters as soon as any work is complete,” Tirado said. “There are hundreds of people who use that bus stop every day, especially most of the residents that reside in Scott Towers. We appreciate the quick response from Cemusa and the DOT because it’s getting pretty cold out there.”

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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