Jan. 29, 2020 By Kristen Torres
Transportation advocates and elected officials are rallying in Jackson Heights Thursday to protest proposed bus service cuts included in the MTA’s draft plan to overhaul the Queens bus network.
The rally—which is slated to take place at 5:15 p.m. in Travers Park, located at 76-9 34th Ave.—is being organized by Nuala O’Doherty-Naranjo, a community activist and candidate for the New York State Assembly.
Participants in the rally will then walk over to a scheduled community meeting with MTA officials concerning the Queens Bus Network Redesign Draft Plan. That meeting will be held at Langston Hughes Library, located at 100-01 Northern Blvd., from 6 to 8 p.m.
“We are protesting the MTA’s outreach, their tone-deaf plan and the stealth service cuts we were not supposed to notice,” O’Doherty-Naranjo wrote in a statement Wednesday.
The event is being held to voice opposition about the draft plan, which has come under fire across Queens since its release on Dec. 31. On a local level, residents are upset that the plan would not provide east-west service to take residents to and from the 74th Street Roosevelt Avenue subway station.
Advocates are demanding the MTA include more routes and increase bus frequency in the next version of the plan, which is set to be unveiled later this year. They are also calling on MTA officials to route more buses toward accessible train stops.
“The plan completely devalues our seniors, mobility-impaired riders and parents with strollers by not taking accessibility into account,” O’Doherty-Naranjo said.
Council Member Costa Constantinides—a current candidate for Queens Borough President—will attend the rally, alongside transportation advocate Jim Burke, according to O’Doherty-Naranjo.
“We need better buses, more reliable buses, more efficient buses, and more comfortable buses,” O’Doherty-Naranjo said.
“The plan that the MTA is providing is clearly the opposite, and they need to start listening to the people who take these busses before they start cutting our service and stranding riders,” she added.