QUEENS BUS REDESIGN
Gianaris outlines concerns over MTA’s proposed
bus network redesign
26 FEBRUARY 2020 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
BY BILL PARRY
Add state Senator Michael Gianaris to
the growing list of elected officials who
are calling on the MTA to go back to the
drawing board on proposed redesign
of the Queens bus network.
In a letter to MTA Chairman Patrick Foye, Gianaris
called on the agency to focus on three main issues
in the proposal: accessibility problems, difficult
transfers, and lack of access to the cultural institutions
in Astoria and Long Island City.
“Queens riders depend on the reliability of our
buses to get around,” Gianaris said. “Redesigning
the system cannot be a code for cuts and greater
inconvenience to thousands of riders.”
Specifically, Gianaris wrote he had particular
concern for riders of the Q18 and Q19 buses, which
connect Astoria, Long Island City and Ridgewood.
He said the proposed QT80 combines the routes
but reportedly increases the wait time and extends
the distance between bus stops.
“In fact, some people are concerned that under
the redesign plan, they would be forced to walk
30 minutes or more to the closest bus stop when
currently there is one across the street from their
homes,” Gianaris wrote.
He said the plan appears to require transfers in
order to travel between two Queens neighborhoods
when it is not currently necessary and forces riders to
travel significantly between transfer points instead of
them being intuitively connected. Gianaris wrote that
this hurts those who rely on bus transit as a necessity
and who would be adversely affected by additional
walking and exposure to inclement weather.
“For example, current Ridgewood-to-Long Island
City riders on the Q39 will now need to transfer from
the proposed QT80 to the QT60 near a highway,”
And finally, Gianaris wrote of his concerns that
under the proposed plan, the Q103 would be eliminated,
reducing access to a number of cultural
institutions including the Noguchi Museum and
Socrates Sculpture Park.
“This was service I worked on with the MTA
several years ago to increase in order to help more
people visit these institutions,” Gianaris wrote.
“Currently riders could access these locations
via this increased service on Vernon Boulevard,
but would now have to access via a route almost
three quarters of a mile away on 21st Street that
might be a serious challenge for some,” Gianaris
noted. “Surface transportation options should be
expanded, faster, more accessible, more reliable,
move more people and connect to more places of
interest in order to thrust Queens into the future
Gianaris concluded the letter to Foye saying
he hoped the proposed plan would evolve to the
benefit of concerned riders and that their voices
would be heard.
“I urge the MTA to work on these major issues
and help improve buses for everyone in our neighborhoods,”
State Senator Michael
Gianaris ward that the
elimination of the Q103
bus would reduce access to
cultural institutions along the
waterfront such as Socrates