FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 16, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 29
I only recently became aware of
major changes the MTA is planning
to make on Queens local and express
bus lines. In spreading the word to my
neighbors and fellow commuters, it
seems that many were also unaware, or
had only just found out.
Th e MTA has a draft proposal in
place with drastic changes to bus lines,
both local and express. Some are good,
positive changes, but others are not.
Queens residents who ride MTA buses
need to know about these impending
changes, and how they will be aff ected
by them – be it positive or negative.
For those of us living the furthest
from any subway, note that on express
service, hours would be cut and Sunday
service eliminated. And certain local
lines would require transfers, even for
only a couple of stops.
I urge all to go to the MTA’s site for
the Queens Bus Redesign: new.mta.
info/queensbusredesign. Th e draft document
is detailed and complicated, be
sure to read about all substitutes to
your line, as in some cases there is
more than one line replacing it.
Before this is a done deal, please
make your voices heard by submitting
feedback. Th ere will also be public
meetings in January and February for
anyone who can attend.
Susan Simons, Bayside
LITTLE NECK PARKWAY
Q36 BUS RIDERS
Remember forgotten past history of
the Little Neck Parkway bus route?
Th e original Little Neck Parkway bus
service began on June 4, 1950. Th e
newly created NYC Transit Authority
in 1953 assumed operations.
Growing up in the neighborhood
during the 1960s and early 1970s, it was
known back then as the Q12A. It was
a time when bus drivers had to make
change and drive, at the same time. No
one dared bring any food on the bus or
leave any litter behind.
In the mid-1960s, air-conditioned
buses were just becoming a more common
part of the fl eet. You had to pay
separate fares to ride either the bus or
subway. Th ere were no MetroCards
aff ording free transfers between bus
and subway along with discounted
weekly or monthly fares. Employee
transit checks to help cover the costs
On April 12, 1990, it was renamed
the Q79, probably due to avoiding confusion
with the Little Neck to Flushing
Q12 route. On June 25, 2010, at 6:23
p.m. — right on time — my wife and
I boarded the Q79 bus departing Little
Neck for its last run to Jericho Turnpike
in Floral Park.
Service was restored on Jan. 2, 2013.
I was able to board the fi rst bus leaving
the Little Neck Long Island Rail
Road station at 6:41 a.m. Aft er signifi -
cant lobbying by both riders and local
elected offi cials, service had resumed
by extending some Q36 buses from
their previous Jericho Turnpike City
Line terminus to the Little Neck LIRR
Station via Little Neck Parkway.
Under the MTA’s proposed Queens
Bus Network Redesign Draft Report,
there will be no service south of
the Horace Harding Expressway to
Jericho Turnpike. Residents of Glen
Oaks Village adjacent to Little Neck
Parkway will also lose the Q46 260th
Street route. Elimination of the existing
Q36 Little Neck LIRR Station to
Jamaica route also defeats the purpose
of attracting more riders who live adjacent
to Little Neck Parkway access to
the LIRR via bus.
Funding from congestion pricing,
which is scheduled to start Jan. 1, 2021,
is supposed to help pay for increased
— not reduced — bus service. Th is was
supposed to be especially true from old
two fare bus-to-subway neighborhoods
in so called transit deserts. Th is confl
icts with signifi cant reductions in service,
such as elimination of the current
Q36 Little Neck Parkway route. Th ere
are alternatives such as the purchase
of smaller 25-, 30- and 35-foot buses
to provide service on those routes with
signifi cantly fewer customers. Smaller
buses can also better navigate tighter
streets and cost less to operate.
Larry Penner, Great Neck
NCYT MUST CONSULT
WITH NORTH SHORE
Th e following is a letter sent to MTA
New York City Transit President Andy
North Shore Towers is a co-op community
located in Floral Park that consists
of 1,844 units and over 3,000 residents.
Recently, my offi ce has heard from
coop residents who are opposed to the
draft Queens Bus Network Redesign
and its impact on the QM6 route. I
understand your redesign proposes to
replace the current QM6 route with a
new route that will reduce by more than
half the work-week bus service between
North Shore Towers and Manhattan.
Eliminated under this proposal are
all mid-day and late evening buses
Monday through Friday. I understand
the new proposal would also eliminate
all weekend bus service. Hence, service
would only be available during weekday
Th is proposed service reduction is of
concern for the following reasons:
North Shore Towers residents rely on
the QM6 bus to get them to and from
Manhattan for medical appointments,
work, to see shows and other purposes;
Th ere are hundreds of support staff at
North Shore Towers who provide services
to the coop and its residents, or
who work in the restaurants and businesses
located in the complex. Th ese
workers include aides to many elderly
residents, whose service residents to
age in place. Many of these workers do
not drive or have access to a car;
North Shore Towers is located in a
transit desert. Th ere is no other viable
means of public transportation available
to residents or people who work in
I understand that you will be reaching
out to community members for
feedback on the proposed redesign. I
urge you to consult with residents and
employees at North Shore Towers. It is
essential that they continue to receive
the frequent and reliable bus service
that they have come to expect from the
NYC Transit Authority.
I look forward to personally discussing
this matter with you.
Congressman Th omas Suozzi
oped letters & comments
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Queens bus redesign is
BY ANDY BYFORD
Whenever I speak
with bus customers in
Queens, I like to ask
a simple question: Are
you happy with the
Not many people say
they are; neither am I.
We are all on the same page in that regard.
Something needs to change, and nothing short
of a comprehensive borough-wide transformation
will suffi ce.
Th at’s why we are pursuing a sweeping redesign
of bus service in Queens, as in every other
borough. Th e proposal we released in December
incorporates common-sense, data-driven
improvements designed with our customers in
mind, benefi tting from their input.
I want to make clear that customer feedback
is paramount to the redesign process. To give
you an idea of our initial outreach, we hosted
nine open houses, 12 outreach events, 11 meetings
with civics groups, and had seven sit-downs
with community boards. Th at’s in addition to
sourcing feedback in nearly 2,000 online customer
And that’s just the beginning. We are committed
to working with the community every
step of the way to come up with a system that
best serves our riders. We want to hear what
you like about bus service, and especially what
We’re redrawing the map with a blank-slate
approach. Th e goal is to create straighter, less
complicated routes to shorten commute times,
increase bus speeds and provide more frequency
and more choices for customers to travel within
Queens and to Brooklyn, Manhattan and the
Th e draft redesign also looks to expand bus
priority through the creation and enforcement
of bus lanes and by using traffi c signal priority
technology. We will coordinate with our partners
at the NYC Department of Transportation
and NYPD to make this happen.
Th is redesign is about improving service. It’s
a chance to create something entirely new. We
know change can be unnerving, but to improve
service, the service needs to change. It can’t and
won’t happen overnight, but it must happen.
Th e routes that your grandparents once rode
around Queens aren’t suitable for riders in 2020
and beyond. Our focus is on improving connectivity
in the busiest and most populous areas,
and increasing access to intermodal transfer
locations like subway and commuter rail stations.
We can’t do this with just a few simple
We want to welcome customers back to our
buses. We want buses to work for everyone.
Taking buses is better for the environment, and
it gets more people out of their cars and onto
mass transit, which in turn makes the roads
less crowded. We have a once-in-a-generation
opportunity here to give New Yorkers the bus
service they demand and deserve. We need you
to be a part of it.
Andy Byford is president of MTA New York