WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES JANUARY 16, 2020 13
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Queens bus redesign is
a unique opportunity
BY ANDY BYFORD
Whenever I speak with bus customers
in Queens, I like to ask a simple
question: are you happy with the existing
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
That’s why we are pursuing a sweeping
redesign of bus service in Queens,
as in every other borough. The 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. That’s in addition
to sourcing feedback in nearly
2,000 online customer surveys.
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. The 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 Bronx.
The 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.
This 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
The 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 tweaks.
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 oncein
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 City Transit.
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.
The 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
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. The 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. There will also be public
meetings in January and February for
anyone who can attend.
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