12 SEPTEMBER 27, 2018 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
A ‘ferry’ good idea, but bus solutions needed
Queens and New York City have a
public transit problem. It’s no secret
to anyone that our subways
are crumbling, our roads are packed
with vehicles and slow-moving buses,
and it’s taking longer and longer for
most of us to get where we need to go.
In recent years, the de Blasio Administration
has looked to ferries as being
a major part of the solution to improving
our woefully inadequate public
transit system. The city overhauled
the entire East River ferry system that
makes it possible for outer borough
residents to shorten their commuting
times to and from Manhattan for the
same price as a bus or subway ride.
The city’s Economic Development
Corporation has launched a ferry survey
and is soliciting ideas from residents
about how to further improve the city’s
ferries — and to even expand them. For
example, one Queens lawmaker, Paul
Vallone, is working to drum up support
for a new ferry route linking northeast
Queens and Manhattan.
But while the city continues its
eff ort to fully realize its aquatic transportation
potential, it cannot escape
the reality that commuters further
inland — especially in our neck of the
woods — still need to fi gure out a way
to get to the ferry stops.
The M line is heavily used by Middle
Village, Ridgewood and Glendale
residents, and they’ll be competing
with additional commuters next year
once the L line goes down. Maspeth,
meanwhile, isn’t close to any subway
stations. The light rail idea that former
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley
pitched for the Long Island Rail Road’s
Montauk branch is essentially dead.
Nobody’s building new subway lines
in Queens anytime soon, which means
that the city and the MTA will need to
work on making bus lines more reliable.
The MTA will soon embark on a
redesign of the entire Queens bus map,
an eff ort that’s long overdue.
However, to complement the changes
in routes, the MTA and city must
also put together a plan to ensure that
the buses run according to schedule.
They must also ensure that enough
buses are on the roads during rush
hours and on weekends to meet the
travel demands of Queens residents.
Too often, commuters who rely
on bus lines like the Q54 on Metropolitan
Avenue, or the Q58 on Fresh
Pond Road and Grand Avenues, or the
Q55 on Myrtle Avenue feel as if the
MTA doesn’t believe they really exist.
Service can be infrequent at times,
especially on weekends and holidays.
Some spend 20 minutes to a half-hour
waiting for the bus.
If the MTA wants people to use these
buses, then they need to make sure the
buses are actually running to meet the
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