Increasing bus service in Queens to attract riders: What a concept!
Hoping to convince local residents to take the bus rather than hail a cab or a ride-sharing service, the MTA announced on Thursday that it would increase service on two bus lines serving Long Island City and Jamaica.
This September, the MTA will add buses to the Q6 line between Jamaica and John F. Kennedy Airport during midday and evening hours on weekdays, and during all hours on Sundays. It will increase Saturday service along the route beginning in July.
Additionally, the MTA will boost service in September on the Q69 bus route between Long Island City and Jackson Heights during midday hours on weekdays, and throughout the weekends.
The changes are part of the MTA’s Fast Forward plan, which includes improving bus service citywide after years of declining ridership, according to MTA Bus Company President Darryl Irick.
“We’re trying numerous approaches in the Fast Forward Plan to win back bus customers by making service better for everyone,” Irick said. “Adding service outside traditional commute times and on weekends will benefit customers who take these routes as well as attract new customers who might be using other modes of transportation right now.”
Running primarily along Sutphin Boulevard, the Q6 connects riders between downtown Jamaica and JFK’s cargo terminals. It also stops near the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station and the Sutphin Boulevard-Archer Avenue station on the E, J and Z subway lines.
More than 10,000 estimated customers stand to benefit from the increased bus service, according to the MTA, as the extra buses should alleviate overcrowding especially in the ever-growing Jamaica area.
Meanwhile, the Q69 runs an L-shaped path through northwest Queens along Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Street, connecting riders between LaGuardia Airport and Queens Plaza. Along the way, it connects to several subway stations on the 7, E, F, G, M, N, R and W lines. The MTA estimates that 9,500 riders will benefit from the increased service.
The MTA noted that it would conduct “extensive marketing” to inform Queens residents of the improved bus service and encourage riders to take advantage of it.