May 7, 2019 By Christian Murray
The MTA is hosting a series of public meetings across Queens over the next month as it looks to solicit feedback in its quest to overhaul the borough’s bus network.
The MTA announced last month that it is redesigning the entire Queens bus network as it attempts to increase bus speeds and reliability of service. Many current routes, the agency says, no longer reflect the travel patterns of riders.
There will be at least seven public meetings through to the end of June, with two scheduled in western Queens. There will be an open house at P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights between 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13, and another open house at P.S. 112Q in Astoria on Monday, May 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
“We are taking a clean, holistic, blank slate look at the entire Queens bus network,” Mark Holmes, an official with the MTA Bus Company, told Community Board 2 at its monthly meeting Thursday.
“We are looking at local, express and SBS routes from soup to nuts,” Holmes said. “Some of these routes were trolley routes in operation in the 1920s and ’30s; travel patterns and riders’ needs have changed.”
Queens currently has 107 bus routes moving more than 714,000 riders each weekday.
In the past two years, ridership has dropped about 2.5 percent year, the agency said.
“A major contributing factor to that fallen ridership is slow bus speeds,” Holmes said. “Bus speeds are the slowest in the nation at about 8 to 9 MPH.”
Holmes said that the MTA is genuinely in need of feedback. He said the public’s input will shape the outcome.
The MTA aims to complete an assessment of the current system by August and release a draft Queens redesign plan in November. The agency’s goal is to produce a final plan in April 2020 and then implement it soon after.
Lucille Songhai, assistant director of government and community relations for MTA-NYC Transit, told Community Board 2 that the agency is visiting community boards and civic associations across the borough to get feedback. She encouraged civic groups to reach out to the MTA.
Queens will be the third borough to undergo a network redesign of the bus system. Staten Island’s network was changed last year and a draft redesign is expected to be released in the Bronx this month.
The redesigns are part of New York City Transit President Andy Byford’s plan to modernize New York City Transit.
“The Queens bus network has not substantially changed in decades and the people of Queens deserve better. I’m immensely proud to begin the process of bus network modernization in the city’s largest borough,” Byford said last month. “The reality is that as our city changes, so too must our bus routes.”
- Tuesday, May 7 — 7-9 PM
- Peninsula Library
- 92-25 Rockaway Beach Blvd
- Subway: A to Beach 90 St
- Bus: Q22, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS
- Monday, May 13— 6:30-8:30 PM
- PS 69 Jackson Heights
- 77-02 37th Ave
- Subway: 7 E M R to Roosevelt Av-Jackson Heights
- Bus: Q32, Q33, Q47, Q49
- Wednesday, May 15 — 6:30-8:30 PM
- The Woodhaven Elementary School
- 91-02 88th Ave
- Subway: J to Woodhaven Blvd
- Bus: Q11, Q21, Q24, Q52-SBS, Q53-SBS, Q56
- Monday, May 20 — 6:30-8:30 PM
- PS 112Q Dutch Kills School — Astoria
- 25-05 37th Avenue
- Subway: N W to 36th Av
- Bus: Q66, Q69, Q102
- Tuesday, May 21 — 6:30-8:30 PM
- Flushing Library
- 41-17 Main St
- Subway: 7 to Flushing-Main St
- Bus: Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q17, Q19, Q20A, Q20B, Q25, Q27, Q28, Q34, Q44-SBS, Q48, Q50, Q58, Q65, Q66
- Tuesday, May 28 — 7-9 PM
- Central Jamaica Library
- 89-11 Merrick Blvd
- Subway: E to Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer or F to 169 St
- Bus: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q6, Q8, Q9, Q17, Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q36, Q41, Q43, Q44-SBS, Q54, Q56, Q76, Q77, Q110
- Monday, June 10 — 7-9 PM
- PS 33Q–Queens Village
- 91-37 222nd St
- Bus: Q1, Q27, Q88