In a letter sent to MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) President Andy Byford, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic expressed her opposition to upcoming service adjustments to the Q46 bus route beginning in January 2019.
The NYCT plans to adjust service on the route, which primarily runs along Union Turnpike from Forest Hills to New Hyde Park, by reallocating trips to the local AM peak from the limited service, effectively decreasing limited service, according to Rozic.
On behalf of her constituents in eastern Queens, who rely on bus service on a daily basis, Rozic is requesting that the proposed 2019 service adjustments be revisited to ensure no lines see decreased service.
“While I am a strong advocate for increasing local AM peak service, it must not be at the expense of riders who rely on limited service,” she said.
Constituents reached out to Rozic and staff have reported lengthy delays and wait times along the Q46, which runs through Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica, Oakland Gardens, Glen Oaks and Floral Park.
“The New York City Transit Authority needs to improve service and accountability across the system, and it must develop a plan for both improving and increasing bus service,” said Rozic, whose district has no subway or train service. “Outer borough transit riders must be a priority and sadly at NYCT, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”
Stephanie Burgos-Veras, senior organizer at Riders Alliance, said cutting Q46 limited service will deny riders an efficient means of getting around, forcing them to have longer commutes, and spend more time away from family.
“New York’s two million daily bus riders need service improvements, not cuts. On busy routes through dense neighborhoods far from the subway, riders should be able to choose between frequent local and limited bus service,” said Burgos-Veras.
Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, noted that public transit is the city’s lifeline to opportunity.
“Our subways and buses connect residents to jobs, school, and critical services. We need to improve bus service citywide, but nowhere is more important than the neighborhoods that lack subway access and rely entirely on the bus as their main mode of public transit,” said Sifuentes. “As the MTA balances the needs of commuters, it’s important to make sure they’re not leaving anyone out – and that includes riders of the Q46, many of whom live far from a subway stop.”
The MTA said a holistic redesign of Queens is coming up and they’re welcoming input from customers and partners in government.
“New York City Transit is using the public’s input to reimagine the bus network in every borough, adjusting service to meet demand where it is and redrawing every bus map for faster, more reliable, customer-focused routes,” said Amanda Kwan, MTA spokeswoman.
The MTA recently redesigned the Staten Island express bus network in August and are now planning the bus network redesign for the Bronx. The initiatives are informed heavily by customer, operator and other stakeholder input, according to the MTA. They will be looking at every bus route, both local and express, and the entire route map and schedules to see what customer need is.