36 THE QUEENS COURIER • NOVEMBER 30, 2017 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
KATRINA MEDOFF, ANTHONY GIUDICE, ANGELA MATUA
CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Time to fi x Queens bus system
It’s no surprise that bus service in New York City is generally terrible, but
City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s thorough breakdown of what he calls “Th e
Other Transit Crisis” reveals how far it has truly fallen.
Th e city’s bus system has lost 100 million passengers over the last eight
years. Some point to ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft as contributing to
that decline, but the bus system’s substandard performance is driving people
away from public transit and toward private cars.
Th e average New York City bus crawls along at 7.4 mph, slower than the
average speed of the nation’s 17 largest bus companies (in Queens, buses
move only a little bit faster: the average speed was 8.1 mph).
Somewhat miraculously, the report found that the decline in bus service
hasn’t negatively impacted the Queens economy. Jobs have grown by 34 percent
over the last decade, despite the fact that public transportation options
are limited in many places where these jobs have been created. College Point
is one such example; there were 13,851 jobs reported there in the latest
Census report, but the neighborhood is served by just seven high-frequency
What must be done to improve bus service in Queens? Th e problem can’t
be ignored. Subway service, which is crumbling before our eyes, is nonexistent
east of Flushing and Jamaica. Long Island Rail Road service in eastern
Queens is more limited and expensive than subways. Buses, for better or
worse, keep our borough moving — and they need to be made more reliable.
Th e de Blasio administration plans to expand Select Bus Service (SBS)
across the city over the next decade, with up to eight new lines being created
in Queens. SBS, which includes off -board fare collection and dedicated bus
lanes on major roadways, is an improvement from limited and local bus service,
but we caution the city to be careful not to place SBS in ways that negatively
impact local businesses.
One more immediate, and easier, way to improve bus service in Queens is
to redraw the borough’s bus route map. Stringer touched on this in his report;
six Queens bus routes alone have more than 20 turns on their routes, and
each twist and turn adds to travel time for commuters.
Many of these routes were formerly operated by private bus companies that
the MTA took over more than a decade ago. While the MTA upgraded fl eets
and updated schedules, few changes were made to the routes themselves.
We urge the MTA and the city’s Department of Transportation to examine
every Queens bus route and streamline them without terribly inconveniencing
Th e city must get moving when it comes to developing short- and longterm
solutions toward improving our failing bus system.
STORY: Burglars hit six businesses along Bayside’s Bell Boulevard in
weekend spree: police
SUMMARY: As the investigation continues, police have released more
details about a string of reported commercial break-ins at Bayside
businesses this past weekend.
REACH: 20,450 people (as of 11/27/17)