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Community Activists to Hold Rally Tonight in Jackson Heights Against Proposed Bus Service Cuts


Jan. 7, 2020 By Kristen Torres

Local elected officials and transportation advocates are rallying in Jackson Heights Tuesday to voice opposition against proposed bus service cuts by the MTA.

The rally—which is slated to take place at 73-19 37th Road at Diversity Plaza from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.—is being organized by Nuala O’Doherty-Naranjo, a community activist who is also vying for a spot in the New York State Assembly.

The rally is being held in response to the MTA Queens Bus Network Redesign Draft Plan, which was released on Dec. 31. The plan—which is still in its early draft stages and is far from being finalized—will eliminate bus service going east on Roosevelt Avenue between 74th and 83rd Streets. It will also remap the Q49, which currently runs diagonally connecting Jackson Heights to East Elmhurst.

“I wish the MTA had considered people that lived in the neighborhood,” said O’Doherty-Naranjo. “People pick their apartments, their jobs, their schools all based on proximity to bus stops.”

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and transportation activist Jim Burke will also be attending Tuesday’s rally, according to O’Doherty-Naranjo.

“The MTA fails to understand that people take the bus for specific reasons,” said O’Doherty-Naranjo. “Maybe they can’t climb steps or can’t walk multiple blocks, but the draft redesign transforms bus routes into feeders to the closest subway stops. Not everyone wants to go to the subway.”

O’Doherty-Naranjo said they will be handing out flyers to educate community members about the MTA’s proposed changes.

MTA officials will be hosting an outreach meeting at the 74th Street/Roosevelt Avenue subway station on Jan. 8 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Another community forum to discuss the draft plan for the Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Corona communities will be held by the MTA at 100-01 Northern Boulevard inside the Langston Hughes Library on Jan. 30 from 6 to 8 p.m.

MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Eliminating the Q18 line with its stop at 61/Woodside /LIRR is just stupid. 69 st is not equipped to handle the large volume of commuters from Maspeth/ Woodside who frequent the businesses in Woodside Town Center while connecting from bus to train. The businesses will suffer, people’s quality of life with respect to doing their errands on their way home will suffer. The 69 st station platform itself is not large enough to handle the sheer volume of riders which generally takes 2 Q18 buses at a time to handle. We have the ridership, what’s the problem?!


Maybe if we had 20,000 plus jobs at Amazon in a few years the MTA wouldn’t be cutting service. The MTA doesn’t see a reason for buses which run east west since we have subways which run the same direction. The MTA should instead have more buses which run north and south to areas which are not covered by the subway.

Jim Burke

Currently our seniors & mobility impaired neighbors can get around by bus but after the cuts that will not be the case. For example the Q49 that travels from East Elmhurst & Upper Jackson Heights to downtown Jackson & the hub will no longer exist. It’s a big blow for all of us. But thebQ49 also services the enormous Southridge Apartment complex that runs from 90th to Junction Blvd and the enormous Northridge off Northern Blvd. which are among the NORCs in the area. (Naturally occurring retirement community.)

Many seniors have remained in Jackson Heights to age in place because of the bus network. The senior residents & our mobility impaired neighbors cannot use the new destinations at 90th Street for the 7 or the last stop at Elmhurst Avenue. They have no escalators or elevators and are not even in the planning stages. So they will not be accessible for many years to come.They will have no access to many of the churches, the synagogue or other cultural draws along the Q49 route. They will lose their independence and sadly have to stay in or sign up for access-a-ride or spend their limited income on taxis. It’s quite upsetting.

Judith Nemzer

I’m in my 70’s, still working (in Jkson Hts and Sunnyside). I cannot climb subway steps all day long (speech therapist treating children in their homes). I’m absolutely dependent on Q49 and 32, including for trips into Manh for classes and medical apptmts. The MTA clearly doesnt know how to run a business, keep customers…they need to talk to us like we pay their salary, which we do!

Richard Vagge

A numbers Game ?
What is the Daily
ridership count
on these Buses
Other Lines
orrrrrrr …
Is this about
traffic flow ?
Rabid Richie V

Margaret Barron

The fact that they didn’t inform the residents or community says a lot. It’s all about money. People use the busses to get to shopping areas and not just the subway. This is heartless!

Daphne Diaz

Unbelievable!!! Unacceptable!!! Most people in Jackson Heights depend on these three bus lines!!! Please don’t take away our buses!!! People pick their jobs, homes, schools – depending on this transportation being there. Who’s ridiculous idea was this???


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