By Philip Newman
City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), with an enthusiastic crowd of transit supporters behind him, called Tuesday for installation of super express buses to what they termed underserved areas of southeast Queens.
“Thousands of our Queens commuters need better transit options,” Richards told a news conference outside City Hall.
“They need Bus Rapid Transit, a cost-effective and achievable transit solution to the mobility needs of New York’s transit-starved neighborhoods, particularly those in outerboroughs in Queens, stretching from the Rockaways to northern Queens.
“The Woodhaven Boulevard Cross Bay Boulevard route is congested and dangerous,” the councilman said. “Around 30,000 residents take buses along this corridor each day..”
He pointed out that bus transportation is unreliable on the major north-south corridor because of heavy traffic.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority introduced BRT service first in the Bronx and such service is now also available in Manhattan and several other boroughs.
Boarding time on such buses is minimized by pre-boarding payment and use of all doors.
In the future is installation of equipment to prolong green traffic lights so BRT buses can avoid unscheduled stopping.
Several transit advocacy organizations cheered on the prospect of BRTs in Queens, including the Straphangers Campaign , RidersAlliance, Working Families Party, Pratt Center for Community Development, Tri-StateTransportation Campaign and Transportation Alternatives.