Roosevelt Ave. Bus Terminal Closed For Demolition

Commuters Scramble For New Bus Stops

Hauling a small valise and an attache case, Martin Porter raced across Broadway, from the Roosevelt Ave. station for the newly-located Q33 bus stop, between 75 and 76 Sts. Porter, a salesman from Milwaukee, sat panting in the bus. With only 75 minutes to flight time, he explained, "I cant take any chances."
The busy bus hub is fed by even busier E, F, G, R, and #7 subway lines, which carry an estimated 100,000 passengers per day between Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
The terminal, known as the Victor Moore Arcade (see sidebar story), provides an important bus link between Midtown Manhattan and LaGuardia Airport for business commuters, as well as for airport employees without cars.
The changed bus stops signaled the initial phase of a $125 million Transit Authority construction project that requires the demolition of the outmoded Victor Moore bus arcade.
Plans call for the construction of a new transportation hub that will link the E, F, G, R, and #7 subway lines with the six bus lines. The six-year project will feature a three-tier intermodal unit, with improved lighting, new escalator and elevator services, a convenient fare area, wider passage ways between the two IND and IRT stations, and new tiled walls.
City Councilman John Sabini (DJackson Heights) said that the bus terminal will be completed in 2003, and the balance of the project in 2006.
The terminal is designed to meet all standards required by the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette (DJackson Heights) hailed the project as a "a great clean and safe station."
Last December, the project took on a greater public urgency when the Roosevelt Avenue train station was named the "city subway systems dirtiest station" by a Straphangers Campaign study. The station also ranked fourth from the bottom because of crowded conditions, security problems, and difficulty of movement.
The key contributor to these problems has been the citywide 28 percent mass transit ridership increase since the introduction of the MetroCard, which links bus and train rides on a single fare. Last year, Queens mass transit ridership soared 10.9 percent.
Confused and hurried commuters coming home from work in Manhattan and not finding their buses in the depot frantically searched for signs posted by the Triboro Bus Company on the construction fence of the new depot. They looked at the signs to find where the buses had been relocated.
Jackson Heights resident Angelica Ware said she got confused when trying to get home from work Monday night. "I dont even know where the signs are," said Ware. "I just noticed them. They should put up bigger signs and give us more information."
Frequent bus rider Michael Smetah had mixed emotions about the renovations. "It is no good," he said. "Now, its more crowded. But, its good that theyre remodeling this building. It was dangerous."
Triboro Bus, which operates most of the vehicles at the depot, began handing out flyers explaining the changes to the confused travellers.
The new bus stops of five lines operated by the Triboro Coach Corporation are, as follows:
Q19 B Bus stop moved to south curb on 37th Road, between 73rd and 74th St.
Q33 Bus stop moved to south curb of Broadway , between 75th and 76th Streets.
Q45 Bus stop moved to east curb on 75th St., between Broadway and Roosevelt Avenue.
Q47 Bus stop moved to south curb of 37th Road, between 75th and 74th Streets (Woodside bound).
Q53 Bus stop moved to north curb of Broadway, between 76th and 75th Streets (Woodside bound).
The Transit Authoritys Q32 (Roosevelt Ave.-5th Ave., Manhattan) bus stops will not change.
For more information, riders can visit the website at www.triboro-coach.com  or by calling (718) 335-1000.

More from Around New York