The shuttle bus to Barretto Point Park lives again.
The bus that carried passengers between the Hunts Point Ave. 6-train station and the park for a year before the MTA axed it in 2010, will run weekends, every thirty minutes from now through September 3rd. It will also operate weekends on a regular schedule.
Many in the neighborhood are pleasantly surprised the service has been reinstated at all.
The shuttle was introduced in 2009 after residents and advocates from The Point CDC’s advocacy program Action fought to have the MTA implement a safer transit option to transport residents to the five-acre park. Their efforts coincided with the city’s decision to bring the 82-square-foot Floating Lady swimming pool on a barge up from Brooklyn, to be moored at the park. But a year later, the MTA announced budget cuts that spelled the end for the shuttle.
Local resident William Fratacci, 50, remembers when drag racing down the streets of Hunts Point’s industrial area as a kid was a typical way to spend time.
“Safety is more important than anything,” Fratacci said. “When it involves kids, you don’t want them to have to walk down that street.”
With no signs for pedestrians to follow, few other people on the streets and almost no trees, the forbidding 11-block stretch to the park from the Hunts Point Ave. station has deterred many residents from visiting the park on the East River.
“It definitely needs to be year round, and we need to figure out how to make alternative routes, for things like biking,” said community activist Sharon de La Cruz, who oversees the Action group. “If it’s access to a public park, these things are required,”
The first bus to the park will be scheduled to leave the 6-train station stop mornings at 9:44 a.m. and takes approximately 10 minutes before arriving at Barretto. The last bus of the day leaves at 7:44 p.m.
The first inward-bound bus from the park to the 6-train is scheduled to leave mornings at 10:13 a.m. The last bus in will leave at 8:03 p.m.
Reinstatement of the shuttle was one of several Bronx transit expansions the MTA announced earlier this week, including an extension of the Bx13 line to the Gateway Center Mall near Mott Haven.
The story has been updated on July 23, and changed to reflect that the shuttle will run only on weekends.