One lawmaker wants to bring relief to the transportation desert that is northeast Queens.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic of Queens has teamed up with Assemblyman Michael Cusick of Staten Island to demand better express bus service for their constituents, many of whom live in transportation deserts without subways and depend on express bus service to commute to Manhattan.
Rozic represents District 25, which covers much of northeast Queens including Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside and Douglaston.
“When your neighborhood is only serviced by buses, it is critically important that service is reliable,” said Rozic and Cusick in a joint letter addressed to MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast.
Cusick understands that for many residents of outer boroughs, “commuting to Manhattan is an unavoidable fact of life.” He believes there are solutions to lower the nearly 15 hours he claims his constituents spend on the bus every week, hours which can be spent more meaningfully at home with their families.
Cusick and Rozic’s recommendations are sourced from constituent input and experiences, who cite the proximity of stops as a main factor in increasing travel time and traffic conditions, especially during rush hour.
They recommended the MTA revisit the idea of “park-and-ride” facilities for certain express bus routes, a move that would ostensibly reduce surface traffic by encouraging drivers to take public transportation instead and thus reduce commute times.
These requests come at a time of intense pressure for the MTA to improve a transportation system that many see as outdated and overburdened.
The MTA is currently in the process of reviewing all bus service in Staten Island. The letter requests a similar study be conducted in Queens to improve the quality of express service during rush hour.