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MTA Says it Will Rework Bus Routes That Link to 74th Street Station

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Jan. 17, 2020 By Kristen Torres (Updated Jan. 20)

The MTA says it’s listening–and that Jackson Heights residents have been heard loud and clear.

MTA officials said Friday that they will re-work the bus routes that link to the 74th Street Subway Station in Jackson Heights– among other network changes.

The current draft plan, which was released Dec. 31, proposed to remove multiple east-west bus routes heading to and from the 74th Street station.

“I’ve been in Jackson Heights a lot recently, and have heard from customers about the route changes in the draft plan,” said Craig Cipriano, acting president of the MTA bus company.

“People want access to the 74th Street subway station because of accessibility issues, and we’re going to go back and incorporate those concerns in the next draft,” he said.

The plan, although in its early stages, came under fire in Jackson Heights over recent weeks—specifically for the removal of east-west bus service along Roosevelt Avenue from 74th to 83rd Street.

But Cipriano said the new bus routes are far from being finalized, and will be altered following rider input over the next few months.

“What you see today and what will be implemented eventually will be different,” Cipriano said. “We didn’t get everything right on first go around—we knew that; we knew we needed more feedback.”

Officials also said they have added additional community meetings in eastern Queens, including one in Bayside and another in Bellerose.

“We are proud to go where people are working and living and carrying out their day-to-day lives,” said Lucille Songhai, director of community affairs for the MTA.

Songhai said additional meetings are being planned throughout March, including presentations at colleges, senior centers and community boards.

“The biggest thing we’ve noticed is that misinformation about the plan is out there,” Songhai said. “We’re focusing on educating riders about what the new draft plan actually entails and how commutes will be affected.”

The announced changes come amid disapproval of the draft plan by some local lawmakers and civic groups. Council Member Costa Constantinides penned a letter to MTA President Andy Byford earlier this month and said he was disappointed in the public outreach process being carried out by MTA officials.

Assembly member Michael DenDekker, who represents Jackson Heights, also said in a statement on Jan. 7 that he was “alarmed by some of the changes to bus routes.”

The MTA is currently redesigning the entire Queens bus network–the first time any significant changes have been made to the nearly century-old bus system. MTA officials insist the project is still a work in progress.

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22 Comments

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Theorem Ox

Pay close attention to the service frequencies on the MTA proposals!

Some areas are facing scheduled service cuts from the current 10-20 minutes (outside of rush hour) to 30 minutes or more.

Whether the routes are running more to your liking OR you are forced to make extra transfers, the huge service cuts will substantially increase the likelihood of missed connections and lead to longer overall travel times.

The whole proposal is largely a service cut disguised as an “improvement” – DO NOT LET THE MTA GET AWAY WITH IT!

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Dr. Sandra Langer

Seems like this is the case. The city has money. The mayor is absent. And Gov. Cuomo is diverting find for an unwanted monorail from Laguardia to gentrification city.

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Ms Q32 Bus rider

YES Lucille – I am take the Q32 on Roosevelt Ave and I need this bus to go to work to Penn Station DON’T TAKE IT AWAY or change its route !
Otherwise we will have a lot of those dollar vans NOW hows that for congestion . LEAVE Q32 as it is.

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Fredrick Wells

Jackson Heights needs new Bronx routes via the RFK Bridge along with keeping the Q32 and Q66 in tact. The Q60 also needs to remain in Manhattan.

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Al Vyssotsky

Eliminating the Q49 and Q33 would require that commuters from eastern and central Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst change to a second bus or the 7 train to get to the E, F, M, or R. That is a bad plan, and needs to be rethought. The Q49 is crowded all day long, I can’t imagine eliminating it.

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Jason

The 74 St Bus Terminal is an important stop to get people to the subway and vice versa. Trying to decongest that area is laudable, but does not help riders to get where they’re going.

If anything I would have figured they increase the frequency of the Q47 and expand the Q32/33/etc bus service north and northeast of Jackson Heights beyond 82nd and Northern Boulevard and so on.

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Gregg

We’ll be watching our Congresspeople and the City Council and how they stand up for those of us living in Jackson Heights. If the MTA institutes these changes and they vote with the MTA and against our wishes, they’ll be gone.

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D Bernard

Cutting the Q66 (to end at B’way) so it won’t intersect with the Q32 (which they’re planning to move to 48th St) means that all of Jackson Hts and E. Elmhurst won’t be able to reach a bus to take them into Manhattan!

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T

The QT66 will intersect with the QT61 at 75th street which will take you to Roosevelt Ave station and Manhattan.

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D Bernard

If you want to take a bus into Manhattan, you need the Q32. By creating a new line which begins at 48th St, and ending the Q66 at Broadway, there’s no transfer to it.

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Carolina

Lucille Songhai, can you elaborate of misinformation going around about MTA’s plan of eliminating the Q32, 33, 49 and shorten routes of Q66?

The vast majority of Jackson Heights residents read the 400 pages proposals and we clearly understands what’s at stakes! I think it is so irresponsible of MTA to eliminate our buses without taking consideration of an alternatives of ADA subway stations. The distance formula, is not going to work with people with disabilities like me!

I walk with a help of a cane with your proposals I have to walk 5blocks to either get into the 7 line or take a bus on with the propose new line that will take me to 90th or 82nd st Station on the 7 line neither of this Stations is ADA compliance. This we know for a fact!

All buses that MTA’s is trying to take away is so essentials in our daily commute! from East Elmhurst theres no direct subway and even going to Middle Village that’s why we rely on these buses, because it led us to a subway station the only subway station that has an elevators!

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EDashwood

I was at the meeting with Andy Byford in Jackson Heights last week, and he was very respectful and appeared committed to working with the community…and then I read this. More condescending garbage from the MTA. I don’t know why they’re talking about a “9 block route.” Their “draft” plan has East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights losing ALL bus service to 74th Street, not just one segment along Roosevelt Avenue from 83rd to 74th Street. And a note to Ms. Songhai: There is no “misinformation” out here. No one is confused by or spreading fictions about the new MTA plan. We all saw your draft with our own eyes and we have a crystal clear understanding of what the MTA wants to do to Jackson Heights, so please don’t make it sound like the real problem is a lack of public “education” on this issue. We don’t need to be “educated.” What we need is our bus service.

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Bert

I’ve heard they want to eliminate or reduce Q32 Q33 and Q49. And I feel they are proposing this for us to raise our voices against it at at the end as a bargain accord they will eliminate just one. We need the 3 of them, look at the ridership on those lines, without them it will be a very long walk to the nearest station to then transfer at 74 and the train service will never be 100% reliable not even 75% not even with all new “improvements” they never finish…

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Concerned Jackson Heights Resident

What misinformation? That is an unprofessional thing for the MTA community affairs person to say. It would have been better for Lucille Songhai to say specifically what was incorrect about what the Council members and Assembly member said. The reaction in Jackson Heights came because people read the published MTA plan and reported what it says. That is not misinformation.

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Beverly Carroll

Not clear if there was a typo in the article. It reads there will be a revision to the plan for a 9 block area 74-83 street. The entire length of the line needs to be maintained. Please clarify with the MTA and republish

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Beverly Carroll

Thank God!!!
Please include keeping the Q32 which is the only means to get into Manhattan for those of us unable to access the subway.

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Dr. Sandra Langer

Not good enough by a long shot the q49 needs to stay as it is. This 82 cuts out all of north ridge, Southridge and everything in our naturally aging neighborhoods. Throwing us a sop to placate us does not solve our real transportation needs. Try to be sincerely problem solving and open your ears wide.

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Eric Rosenfield

Not just East-West on Roosevelt, but also the Q49 that goes East-West on 35th ave. is eliminated in the proposal. I hope they’re not getting rid of that line either, as myself and many other people rely on it.

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Daphne Diaz

They definitely need to redesign their original redesign! Q32, Q33, Q49 and Q66 are essential buses to Jackson Heights residents!!! I use all of them all the time. I don’t understand why they are even considering changing these.

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