APRIL 22, 2022 www.qns.com RIDGEWOOD TIMES
Holden pushing for in-person workshops on Queens bus network redesign
BY JULIA MORO
Councilman Robert Holden has requested that the
MTA hold in-person meetings regarding the Queens
bus network redesign instead of virtual workshops
to hear feedback from the community before moving
The MTA will be hosting a three-month-long virtual
public workshop series to hear feedback from communities.
Workshops will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.,
starting with District 1 (Astoria, Long Island City and
Woodside) on April 18.
The workshop for Community Board 5, consisting of
Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Fresh
Pond and Liberty Park, will be held Wednesday, May 4.
Holden, however, is unhappy that these virtual meetings
will not reach all members of the community who
may not have computers or internet access.
“With the draft plan recently published, my office has
heard from many constituents, especially our seniors,
that they have not been able to see the plan,” Holden wrote
in a letter to the MTA. “This is why my office requested
that your staff send hard copies of the entire draft to our
local senior centers and other community facilities.”
According to MTA Spokesperson Sean Butler, the city’s
Department of Aging has sent digital copies to every senior
center and home-care provider agency that works
in the borough.
Just last month, the MTA released a new draft plan for
the Queens bus network after halting the 2019 project
amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The revision offers a total
of 85 routes for the borough, an increase from the current
82 there are now. Some routes will be added and some will
be removed and consolidated with others close by. The
plan will take away 1,685 stops.
In an effort to shorten the commuting time, the MTA
wants to space stops further apart, from about 850 feet
to 1,400 feet. This could save 20 seconds of travel per stop,
according to officials.
Butler also said the MTA has seen higher attendance
and increased engagement through virtual public meetings
compared to in-person meetings.
“The MTA has emphasized the importance of robust
community engagement including 14 upcoming community
district workshops that can be attended virtually or
Photo courtesy of DOT
via smartphone as well as through dial-in for individuals
lacking internet access,” Butler said. “The MTA has
not ruled out in-person public meetings on the Queens
Redesign should they be warranted and can be held safely.
We will continue to update stakeholders on how to best
participate in the Redesign as we advance through each
The MTA kicked off the bus redesign again in August,
starting with the Bronx, which will get the new bus system
this summer. According to the city’s comptroller, the MTA
buses are the slowest in the nation and lost 100 million
passenger trips since 2008.
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