32 THE QUEENS COURIER • JANUARY 23, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
MTA deserves criticism for Queens bus plan
The Train Daddy showed
some respect for Queens bus
riders when he went into the
belly of the beast to answer
questions from angry Jackson
Heights residents last week.
Yes, that was New York City
Transit President Andy Byford
who stood right in the center
of the crowd as complaints
about the MTA’s draft plan
of the Queens Bus Network
Redesign ranged from bus
lines being completely wiped
off the map to bus stops being
set farther apart, creating new
difficulties for seniors.
Byford explained that
it was a draft plan and his
team would listen to the public
comments during 10 public
workshops in the coming
weeks before finalizing anything
on the redesign plan.
It seems as though Byford
and his MTA planners could
be in for some very long confrontations
over this plan.
Perhaps one of them should
have placed a phone call to
the bus driver’s union boss to
solicit his opinion of the plan.
“It ignores the transit needs
of many parts of the borough,
especially transit deserts
with its emphasis on
greater access to revitalized
or gentrified neighborhoods,”
Amalgamated Transit Local
1056 President Mark Henry
said in a statement from his
Oakland Gardens headquarters.
“Most commuters within
the borough will be challenging
for the average Queens
rider. It appears that consultants
who view Queens as a
car borough, not a necessary
transit borough, orchestrated
this proposed bus redesign.”
Henry went on to say the
redesign “attempts to mask a
money savings pitch” and that
the routes mean longer commutes
as well as two- or threestep
transfers to connect to
other bus lines, rail or subways.
Byford and his team will be
in for some very challenging
trips across the East River as
they come to Queens to hear
the concerns of Queens commuters
over this draft plan.
An MTA spokeswoman called
the redesign “a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to completely
reimagine the borough’s
bus network, which hasn’t
changed in a century.”
You know what else has not
changed in a century? That
Queens commuters have felt
the city was giving them the
Photo credit: Photo by Mark Hallum
shaft when it came to mass
transit options for generations.
NYCT President Andy Byford speaks at a workshop in Jackson Heights.
STORY: Bayside parents blast Carranza over school sex
assault and other woes.
SUMMARY: A contentious education town hall for District
26 parents abruptly ended after about 30 minutes on Jan.
16 after Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza refused to
address the father of a teen who was sexually assaulted
at her middle school.
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