B38 (New York City bus)
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The DeKalb Avenue Line is a public transit line in Brooklyn and Queens, New York City, running mostly along DeKalb Avenue, as well as eastbound on Lafayette Avenue (as part of a one-way pair), between downtown Brooklyn and Ridgewood, Queens. Originally a streetcar line, it is now the B38 DeKalb/Lafayette Avenues bus route, operated by the New York City Transit Authority.
|DeKalb Avenue Line|
A Ridgewood-bound B38 bus in Downtown Brooklyn.
|System||MTA New York City Bus|
|Operator||New York City Transit Authority|
|Garage||Grand Avenue Depot|
|Start||Downtown Brooklyn–Cadman Plaza & Tillary Street|
|Via||Lafayette Avenue (eastbound) / DeKalb Avenue (westbound)|
|Operates||All times (Seneca/Catalpa), All times except late nights (Metropolitan/Starr)|
|Annual patronage||5,951,980 (2017)|
The B38 bus route begins at a loop around Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn. It heads east on Fulton Street, splitting onto DeKalb Avenue (westbound) and Lafayette Avenue (eastbound). After crossing Broadway, eastbound buses return to DeKalb Avenue via Bushwick Avenue. The route crosses into Ridgewood, Queens and turns southeast on Seneca Avenue; every other bus turns northeast on Stanhope Street to a loop around Linden Hill Cemetery, while the rest continue along Seneca Avenue to just shy of Myrtle Avenue. Along the way, transfers can be made to the subway at Court Street – Borough Hall (2, 3, 4, 5, N, R, and W), Jay Street – MetroTech (A, C, and F and <F>), DeKalb Avenue (BMT Fourth Avenue and Brighton Lines) (B, D, N, Q, R, and W), Classon Avenue (G), Kosciuszko Street (J), DeKalb Avenue (BMT Canarsie Line) (L), and Seneca Avenue (M).
After a legal battle with the Coney Island and Brooklyn Railroad (Smith Street Line), which shared Water Street west of Main Street, and in which it was decided that the CI&B would own two tracks and give the BC&N trackage rights over one, the Brooklyn City and Newtown Rail Road opened the line to the public on January 28, 1862. The route stretched from Fulton Ferry east to stables at Throop Avenue and a depot at Marcus Garvey Boulevard (then Yates Avenue, later Sumner Avenue). Tracks were laid in Fulton Street, Front Street, Gold Street, Willoughby Street, University Plaza (then Debevoise Street), and DeKalb Avenue. The eastbound track, in Water Street and Bridge Street rather than Front Street and Gold Street, was soon opened. By July, the line was extended northeast on DeKalb Avenue and southeast on Seneca Avenue to the Myrtle Avenue Park in Ridgewood, Queens.
In order to enable the company to avoid the narrow Debevoise Street and a dangerous westbound curve at Debevoise Street and DeKalb Avenue, a law was passed in 1869 to allow a single track in DeKalb Avenue and Gold Street between Debevoise Street and Willoughby Street. The company laid a single track plus a "siding", but used both for revenue service, rerouting all trains in both directions to the new route in August 1869. Eastbound trains were moved back to Willoughby Street and Debevoise Street once a single track was built to replace the two; by then, the Hunter's Point and Prospect Park Railroad (Crosstown Line) was also using Willoughby Street.
Starting on May 3, 1871, the Park Avenue Railroad's Vanderbilt Avenue Line shared the tracks between Fulton Ferry and Concord Street. In March 1872, a law was passed to allow the BC&N to build in DeKalb Avenue west from Debevoise Street to Fulton Street, and use the Brooklyn City Rail Road's trackage in Fulton Street to Fulton Ferry. After some opposition from the City Railroad, the route was changed in April to turn off on Washington Street after passing City Hall. Despite objections from Washington Street residents, the new route, using Washington Street north to Front and Water Streets, was opened on September 4, 1872. The old route continued to be used by short-turn trains to Yates Avenue. The BC&N stopped using the old route later that decade, but the Vanderbilt Avenue Line continued to use it until 1883, when it built a track in Concord Street west of Bridge Street in order to serve the new Brooklyn Bridge.
The line was leased to the Coney Island and Brooklyn Railroad in 1897. The De Kalb Avenue and North Beach Railroad (also leased to the Coney Island and Brooklyn) built the branch on Stanhope Street. Buses were substituted for streetcars on January 30, 1949.
On January 6, 2019, the B38 was fully assigned to the Grand Avenue Depot since the route was planned to be converted to using articulated buses. In July 2019, the MTA announced plans to converted the route to use articulated buses. Consistent with the conversions of other bus routes, the frequency of service was decreased by 1 to 3 minutes on weekdays, and by 2 to 3 minutes on weekends, as each articulated bus can fit 115 passengers, compared to the 85 riders that can fit onto a standard 40 feet (12 m)-long bus. In order to accommodate the longer articulated bus stops, four bus stops in Brooklyn and five stops along Seneca Avenue in Queens were discontinued during the week of August 12–16, 2019. In addition, 14 bus stops were adjusted. The route started using articulated buses with the start of the Fall Pick on September 1, 2019.
- MTA Regional Bus Operations. "B38 bus schedule" (PDF).
- "Facts and Figures". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- "The Rival Railroad Companies". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 2 October 1861. p. 3.
- "The Fight Between the Newtown and Coney Island Railroad Companies". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 12 February 1862. p. 2.
- "The Newtown Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 2 January 1862. p. 2.
- "City and Newtown Railroad Co". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 18 January 1862. p. 3.
- "The Opening of the Newtown Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 27 January 1862. p. 3.
- "The Newtown Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 28 January 1862. p. 2.
- "The Brooklyn City and Newtown Railroad Company". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 11 March 1869. p. 2.
- "Local Railroads". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 15 March 1869. p. 3.
- "Change of Railroad Route". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 24 May 1869. p. 10.
- "Corporate Sharp Practice". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 14 August 1869. p. 2.
- "DeKalb Avenue Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 25 August 1869. p. 3.
- "Cross Town Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 9 April 1869. p. 2.
- "Travel". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 3 June 1869. p. 4.
- "The Park Avenue Line of Cars". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 3 May 1871. p. 4.
- "From Albany". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 28 March 1872. p. 4.
- "Rival Railroads". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 20 March 1872. p. 4.
- "From Albany". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 3 April 1872. p. 3.
- "Railroad Matters". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 5 April 1872. p. 3.
- "The Change of the DeKalb Avenue Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 16 July 1872. p. 4.
- "Change of Route". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 4 September 1872. p. 3.
- David Rumsey Map Collection, J.B. Beers & Co., A new and complete street directory of Brooklyn, 1874; the following routes are listed for the "Dekalb Avenue R. R.":
- ROUTE NO. 1. Fulton Ferry to Montrose Avenue, via Water, Washington and Fulton Streets and Dekalb Avenue and Chestnut St., to City Line. Returning by same route to Front, thence through Front and Fulton Sts.
- ROUTE No. 2. Fulton Ferry to Yates Ave., via Water, Bridge and Willoughby Sts., Debevoise Place and Dekalb Ave. Returning by Dekalb Ave., Gold, Front and Fulton Streets.
- "Events in Brooklyn". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 10 June 1883. p. 5.
- "Unused Tracks". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 2 October 1883. p. 2.
- "The Board of Aldermen". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 10 June 1884. p. 2.
- "B38 Bus Timetable" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 1, 2019. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Wong, Pamela (August 14, 2019). "MTA To Cut 4 Brooklyn Stops On B38 Route With Switch To Longer Buses". Bklyner. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Wong, Pamela (August 6, 2019). "Myrtle Ave BID Petitions Against B54 Bus Cuts, Rally On Thursday". Bklyner. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
- Media related to B38 (New York City bus) at Wikimedia Commons