Northeast bus study recommends new services, downtown Flushing terminal

The Q13 line was included in a MTA study on northeast Queens bus routes.
File photo

Creating a pilot “limited zone service” program on one or more bus lines and building a bus terminal in the outer edges of downtown Flushing were recommendations in a northeast Queens bus study completed by the MTA.

The limited zone service would combine features of limited and express bus lines to create an service not currently utilized by the MTA, according to the study. The buses would make limited stops along the outer part of the route and then operate nonstop to terminals near subway stations. This service is aimed to benefit riders going directly to the subway from outer portions of Queens who typically have long travel times.

Routes that could possibly benefit from the implementation of limited zone service are the Q12, Q17, Q27, Q43, Q46 and Q88.

A downtown Flushing bus terminal, according to the study, would reduce traffic congestion in the area, which was cited in the study as having the highest volume of intermodal bus-to-rail transfers in North America. A total of 22 bus routes serve the area and many of these lines terminate in Flushing, generating empty buses sitting on local streets before the next scheduled trips.

A Flushing bus terminal would also reduce sidewalk congestion by consolidating all bus stops into a single place away from pedestrian traffic near retail stores, the study indicated.

MTA Senior Vice President of Buses and President of MTA Bus Company Darryl Irick said that new ideas like limited-zone bus service in Northeast Queens is part of the agency’s pragmatic approach finding solutions for better service.

“While this study confirms that bus service in northeast Queens generally exceeds the performance of buses throughout Queens and citywide, some areas were identified for potential improvements,” Irick said.

State Senator Tony Avella funded the study; he allocated $500,000 of New York State’s 2014-2015 fiscal budget for the comprehensive review by the MTA.

“Whether servicing commuters on their morning trip to work, students on their way to schools and colleges in the area, or the high population of senior citizens in Queens who rely on them for their daily errands, MTA and New York City Transit bus lines are vital for our borough,” Avella said.

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