By Joe Anuta
It’s the end of the line for Middle Village straphangers who said they have put up with spotty service on the Q38 line for far too long.
Residents aired long-held grievances to a representative of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority who attended a meeting of the Juniper Park Civic Association last Thursday.
“The 38, I think we can safely say, is the worst bus line in New York City,” said civic President Robert Holden as the audience responded with cheers and cries of affirmation.
“How many people here have waited forever and have got some extra gray hair because of the Q38?” he asked.
There was no shortage of answers.
“It was the worst night of my life,” said Pat Zinza, who recounted a cold February night spent waiting for the elusive vehicles.
Zinza and a friend were trying to get home after emerging from the Metropolitan Avenue stop on the M train.
They walked on an icy sidewalk to the bus stop at Metropolitan Avenue and 69th Street and began waiting around 6:30 p.m., she said.
Nearly two hours passed before Zinza — along with the roughly 20 other people who had arrived in the meantime — saw two Q38 buses lumber into view.
“They love to travel in pairs,” she said.
The much-maligned route runs along 63rd Drive and Penelope and Elliot avenues through Rego Park, Middle Village and Elmhurst.
The MTA did not respond to a request for comment by press time, but Susan Czelusniak, a representative from the MTA, took down notes on her legal note pad at the meeting with the intention of passing them along to her colleagues.
But that was little comfort for Gary Colter, whose son has to take the Q38 as part of his morning commute to Molloy College on Long Island.
“It’s so stressful every morning,” he said. “Sometimes the neighbors have to drive him down to the train station.”
He said his son can never predict when the bus will show up, but he typically waits 30 to 40 minutes.
Steve Sheridan also has daughters who have used the Q38 to commute to school for years.
“It’s a horror story with my daughters,” he said. “You have students trying to get to school.”
Holden and the Juniper Park Civic Association would like the MTA to publish an accurate schedule and stick to it.
Subway service is nonexistent, aside from the terminus of the M train, he said. And since Queens is underserved by train lines, the city should do more to ensure bus service is up to par.
“We’re paying taxes,” he said. “We should really get decent bus service.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.