As part of a pilot program, livery vans will provide “group rides” along the route of the now-defunct Q79 bus route, according to City Councilmember Mark Weprin.
Weprin received confirmation from New York City Taxi and Limousine (TLC) Commissioner David Yassky on Thursday, July 15. Yassky said that Weprin “was the first to contact me to say that TLC should consider the Q79 route for livery van group ride service. His timely and thoughtful input was helpful in our review process.”
In Weprin’s June 23 letter, he reminded Yassky that “Eastern Queens has no subway service and only a handful of bus lines,” and informed him that “The residents, especially seniors and students, relied heavily on the Q75 and Q79 to commute to schools or senior programs and to transfer to connecting bus service or to the subway system.”
As the only north-south public transportation in eastern Queens, the Q79 provided access to the Long Island Railroad and the Q30, Q12, Q36, Q43, Q46, and X68 bus routes; shopping districts; cultural amenities such as the Queens County Farm Museum and Deepdale Gardens Community Center Pool, and medical facilities including Long Island Jewish Hospital, Zucker Hillside Hospital and the Little Neck Nursing Home.
“Now that the Q79 is gone, livery van group ride service looks like a viable option for local residents,” Weprin said, adding, “TLC’s quick evaluation process yielded positive results for eastern Queens.”
Weprin also thanked his City Council colleague, Councilmember Daniel Halloran, also a strong advocate for maintaining service on the Q79, which ran through both members’ districts.
“I am thrilled to see that the Taxi and Limousine Commission has intervened where the MTA came up short,” Halloran said.