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MTA Bus Proposal Would Scrap a Number of Bus Lines in Jackson Heights, Residents Want Them Restored

Jan. 6, 2020 By Kristen Torres

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that the MTA modify its plan that would eliminate a number of bus routes that currently go through Jackson Heights.

The petition was created on Jan. 1 by Rachel Knopf—just one day after the MTA released its draft plan to overhaul the Queens bus network. The proposal, which many Jackson Heights residents have criticized since its release, is still in the draft phase and is far from being finalized.

The online petition calls on MTA officials to re-work the proposal, which eliminates multiple east-west bus routes that go along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.

“The elimination of the Q49, Q33 and Q32 bus routes will have drastic negative impacts on the Jackson Heights community,” the petition reads. “It will prohibit people living within a wide neighborhood from traveling east-west.”

The Q32 currently runs east-west from the 74th Street subway station through 82nd Street along Roosevelt Avenue; the Q33 runs east from the same station until 83rd Street along Roosevelt Avenue; and the Q49 runs east from the 74th Street subway station until 89th Street along 35th Avenue. Under the new plan, these three routes would be scrapped.

“This redesign will create inequity in our neighborhood and leave vulnerable populations stranded, unable to access the subway and the wider community,” the petition reads. “The Jackson Heights community demands that the MTA reconsider the Queens bus route redesign to include more buses in Jackson Heights.”

The plan calls for the three bus lines to be replaced with four new lines. Under the proposal, the Q49 will be replaced by two new routes—the QT 74 and QT 83. The QT 74 will run north-south, from Ditmars Boulevard/Grand Central Parkway to Elmhurst Hospital. The QT 83 will operate between Elmhurst/Woodhaven Boulevard and Howard Beach/156 Avenue.

The Q33 will become the QT75, which will run from 42nd Street/Bryant Park in Manhattan to Broadway/Northern Boulevard in Astoria. The Q32 will be replaced by the QT10, which will run north-south down 82nd Street from LaGuardia Airport to Queens Boulevard/62nd Avenue.

(MTA) Draft Proposal

The MTA said in its proposal that it plans to revamp the bus system to improve service reliability, bus speeds and route connections. The proposal said its draft plan for Queens “better aligns with customer travel patterns, ridership demand, and traffic conditions.”

But many people who signed the petition said the MTA should not alter any existing routes connecting to the Roosevelt Avenue/Jackson Heights 7 train station.

“The idea of cancelling these routes is absurd. They’re vital. Always filled with commuters, and I say this firsthand as I rely on them daily,” said one of the petition’s signers.

The MTA said it plans to hold multiple public workshops in the coming months to get feedback on its proposal. Residents can also submit comments to the city’s plans online here.

“We value all of the feedback we get and look forward to our many upcoming events where we will be out in the communities speaking directly with our customers,” said MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek.

The MTA plans on releasing a final draft for the bus network between April and June 2020, according to the proposal. It will then undergo further review.

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38 Comments

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Leila

This spells disaster for the outlying communities surrounding the Jackson Heights hub. These buses have served the two-fare zone, enabling riders to get to work. You need a bus to Jackson Heights or Astoria or Junction Boulevard or Forest Hills subway stations.

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Jack Shen

MTA is doing marvelous job which is backtrack the whole bus system to the third world countries.

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Yuki Endo

q29, q32, q33, Q47, q49, Q53 SBS, q66, Q69 and Q72 buses are life line bus lines.
Q29 buses are busy route that serves between 82nd St (7) train and Shops at Atlas Park Mall.
Q32 is heavily used especially during weekdays between Penn Station and Jackson Heights. My friend, Carol Marcus need Q32 bus between Penn Station and 57th St to get to fur protest.
Q33 and Q49 buses are also busy bus route 7-day.
Q53 SBS/QT53 SBS buses are needed at Woodside Station because during summer season, majority of beach goers board at Woodside to get to Rockaway Beach from either (7) train or LIRR.
Q66/QT66 need to leave alone and service needed on 21st St and Queens/boro Plaza.
ending Q69/QT69 at 21st St/36th Av does not make any sense since people need access to subway at 21st St-Queensbridge, Queens/boro Plaza, Court Sq.
New proposal are insane.
Q32, Q33 and Q47 buses also need to leave alone.
Q72 buses are needed at LGA Airport.
Person who redesign this proposal DOESN”T TAKE BUSES.

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Barbara

Ok, saw the new plan… It APPEARS (if I’m reading the map right) that the fix to the 32 bus route (which btw is not broken) is a route that will continue straight past Roosevelt Ave ( I’m talking about the North to South route here) to Queens Blvd where you would then have to transfer to the Queens Blvd bus that heads into Manhattan’s east side and ends at 2nd Ave… MARVELOUS! What GENIUS! You’ve now used up your free transfer to get to 2nd Ave/ 60th and will now need to spend again to get any further into Manhattan.
WHY???? If it’s not broke..
If anything ADD a Limited version of the 32, that serves so many so well .

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Angdawa Sherpa

Q33 bus have to be same as before with more bus that will be great idea because of more population

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Carla

I live on 100th street and 23rd Avenue!!!! If they take away the Q33 then how am I supposed to get to work?!?!??!? These people who make these decision are not thinking about the people who have to commute in a two fare zone!! If it ain’t broke why fix it. Please just leave EE and JH alone!! People depend on these lines!!! LGA is already congested! So by eliminating the buses in this area then there will be more cars on the road…. This makes no sense.

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Vicki Salinas

This is beyond ridiculous. When I hear about this I thought it was a joke. Well then again the MTA is a joke of a system. The fares go up the service still sucks. Many years ago there used to be an express bus into the city and these idiot eliminated that. Now they want to take away our local buses, not right. Keep the same bus routes no changes and add an express bus. The trains don’t work more than half the time of especially during rush hour. A little drizzle and the 7 has signal problems.

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I need the Q32

THIS is total insane to take away the Q32 !!!
I take this bus every morning to work near Penn Station. CANNOT take the train due to leg injury .
So I have to travel all over Queens take like 3 buses just to get to work. HOW the hell is that better service. Idiots at MTA have no clue how inconvenience this will cause. TAKE away the OT and do some real work for a change .

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Barbara

JH is full enough of hipsters but they don’t rely on the 32 bus to the extent that less affluent, older, immigrant, families do.

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68 year resident of Jh

While waiting for the Q33 today 3 not in service buses passed us by. The 4th came finally, by the time we got to 25 avenue the bus was packed. At northern blvd we stopped, could just about make it off the bus, there was another bus behind us to pick up the passengers waiting. And you want to get rid of this route. Look at all the people that would be inconvenienced. Terrible idea

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Crackson Heights

This is just absurd. This plan basically forces you to the nearest subway . What happens when the subway doesn’t work which is a lot of the times. Call your representatives and complain this is nonsense. Go to the meetings they have scheduled and raise hell.

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Beverly Carroll

Jackson Heights us the most populated neighborhood in Queens and second most populated in the city per the MTA table from 2010. While the city in total may have lost minimal population, it is ridiculous to cut services needed to Jackson Heights. Any financial MTA shortfalls should be within the agency and not on the backs of commuters. The 7 train is unreliable, if you can climb 4 flights of stairs. Dropping off commuters at 90 st Elmhurst 7 station is a joke. You cant board west bound 7 train by the time it gets to 90 st. Jammed packed. Ive had to take the east bound train back to Main St to get on a west bound train! Adding people who normally get any one of 5 trains at Roosevelt 74 st to the 7 train is insane.
The Q32 is the only transit into Manhattan for the elderly,disabled and those who cant use the subway. Come on!!
MTA outreach is disingenuous at best. Plans not widely made known publicly and not in many languages needed for this culturally diverse community.

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Jean Carter

What moron(s) came up with this ridiculous plan? It’s obvious that they don’t use public transportation. It should be mandatory for them to do so.

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Duke of Heights

Where are the elected officials ? During their campaign they promised so many beautiful things.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t even stop by to speak to the people that voted for her to be in office.

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Stew Gotts.

Jessica Ramos should say something about this situation. Councilmember Daniel Dromm also needs to speak up .

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Nadine

Earth to detractors of the not-so-radical concept of buses that link up to ADA-compliant subway stops: if you’re human, you’re a single injury or illness or stroller or visiting parent or heavy package away from needing a bus and an accessible station. Your current sense of security is just that: current. It’s privilege, plain and simple.

Do I expect the MTA will ever take substantive steps toward ADA compliance? Of course not–they don’t care one whit. But to TAKE AWAY accessible transportation from where it’s already in place–that’s a new low, even for them.

Go to the scheduled workshops–err, lectures–and raise hell!

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shrikant ashar

How can MTA think of cutting the Lifeline of Jackson Heights Commuters.!
Me and my wife are Senior Citizens and without the current Q49 and Q33 Bus Routes we will be losing our Mobility!
Instead MTA should strengthen the current Lucrative (For MTA) and Indispensable (For Commuters) Bus Routes Q49 and ARE.

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Maria Walkuski

This is absurd. The Q49 doesn’t have enough buses to accommodate all the riders now. 34 and 35 Avenues are all apartments with a large ridership. Nit to forget the homes and homes north of Northern Blvd. How about riders up to the 102 St. ? How are people to get to the subway, the handicapped, the elderly can not climb stations with stairs only.

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Charles Hawkins

I used to live in Jackson Heights. Now Flushing. The new plan is equally bad for us. People built their lives around bus routes. Now they change them. The rich will just relocate to more desirable apartments. The poor will become ghettoized. In 10-20 years, you will have blighted neighborhoods. All to make the buses “faster”. Just revamp the fare system where we can scan at any door and get on faster. That would go a long way.

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Shelley Brevda

Assembly Member Den Dekker:
I believe that the MTA’s first draft of the Queens Bus Network Redesign and the proposal to cut bus service is a terrible idea for Jackson Heights. I know many of my constituents share those concerns, and I have been in touch with MTA Chair Pat Foye and others to schedule a special meeting in Jackson Heights to give our neighbors a chance to let their voices be heard.

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Batbara

To add to my previous comment: the 32 bus is often PACKED – from midtown Manhattan right into Jackson Heights, and at times vice versa. .To the geniuses considering eliminating this route: What do you think that MEANS? Don’t get too much of a headache trying to figuee it out.

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Davida Weber

The proposed plan strands thousands who rely on our busses to get to school and to work every day. And if you can’t climb the stairs to get to the #7 you have no way to get to any point west, including the 74th street subway hub except private cab. Such a cruel and thoughtless and heartless plan.

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Carlos

This idea is totally absurd and impractical. It tells you that whoever came up with this idea doesn’t live in Jackson Heights and doesn’t need to take bus to go to work every morning
We need these routes. There are thousands of people living in this area and need to take the buses to connect with the subway on Roosevelt Ave. 82nd and 74th streets

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Yuki Endo

Agree. I think people who design this don’t take buses at all. Same thing happend during Staten Island Express Bus Network design when bus were changing from “X” prefix to “SIM”.

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Tere Alfonso

The Jackson Heights/East Elmhurst neighborhoods need those three bus li es to continue! There are a lot of elderly and middle age people that require the bus roots to get to the subway, it is totally ridiculous to cut them off! Thank you especially with bad weather!

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Rafael

Ah, yes, the MTA, the one agency New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with. I’m just wondering when’s the last time an MTA bigwig rode ANY of these bus routes which they are proposing to ax? Do they even know what an inside of a bus looks like? Zilch! Zero! Fuggheddaboutit! After all, it isn’t their neighborhood or means of transportation. They couldn’t care any less.

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Rosa Simon

I live in East Elmhurst where there is no train. The bus is vital for me, and so many other residents. How am I supposed to get to the 7 train? Taking a cab everyday is expensive.

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JH Resident

Whose the bright light that came up with this plan fid any of them ride the buses that they want to do away with and see how crowded these buses are? Most of the riders go to 74th street to get the train. The most populated area you want to cut transportation very sad!!!!

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Princess

The Q32 is a vital route on Roosevelt for commuters into Penn Station and locally in Woodside, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights neighborhoods. As an elderly person, I cannot manage the stairs to the 7 (if it is running).

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Barbara

I agree- ending this route would require we along its route to take the trains into Manhattan. Many CANNOT DO THIS.
The 33 may be expendable but the 32 is ESSENTIAL to.our community.

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Deborah Alexander

Not a single mention from the MTA about how this affects kids and families who rely on the bus to get to/from school.

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