There will now be two new early morning express bus service for commuters between eastern Queens and downtown Manhattan, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on Aug. 5.
Rozic celebrated the MTA’s decision to add two early morning trips on the QM5 and QM7, at 5:10 a.m. and 5:40 a.m. respectively.
“Relief in the outer boroughs is long overdue for Queens commuters who are far too familiar with increasing and often inconvenient travel times. Without the subway or train stations in the area, my constituents rely on express buses for their daily commutes, and these new trips will provide more flexibility and additional convenience,” Rozic said. “I thank Chair Foye and his team at the MTA for coming up with a mutually-agreeable solution that will benefit hundreds of commuters in Eastern Queens.”
According to a recent report by the New York City Comptroller, the number of subway and bus commuters departing for work outside of the typical morning rush hour — 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. — has increased by 39 percent, from 253,922 to 355,019, in the last 25 years. At the same time, rush-hour commuters rose 17 percent, making up about 53 percent of subway and bus riders.
Craig Cipriano, acting president of MTA Bus Company and New York City Transit’s senior vice president of Buses, said they’re thrilled to add more service on the QM5 and QM7 routes so that northeast Queens customers have more options for public transit.
“Adding these additional, earlier weekday trips means more flexibility for customers and more seats for riders, and we thank Assemblymember Rozic for her continued support of public transit and advocacy on behalf of our bus customers,” Cipriano said.
Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director of the Riders Alliance, an organization that advocates for reliable, affordable, world-class public transit, said new early morning express bus trips are a huge victory for Queens riders.
“New York never sleeps. Many New York riders rarely sleep. As more and more of us work outside the usual nine-to-five workday, we need our transit system to keep up with our round-the-clock commutes,” Pearlstein said.
Earlier this year, Rozic also announced transit improvements including local bus service restoration on the Q44 and Q46. The Q44 is a Select Bus Service line between Jamaica and the Bronx and serves the heart of Downtown Flushing along Main Street.
The MTA is also undergoing redesigns of bus route networks in all five boroughs as part of its Fast Forward plan to modernize the New York City Transit system and improve service. It is taking a comprehensive, clean-slate approach to updating the network to improve reliability, streamline circuitous routes, bolster service and coverage, attract new ridership, speed up buses and more.
Riders are encouraged to learn about the redesign process and how to provide feedback and submit suggestions at outreach events.
“We are very pleased the MTA understood the need to expand express bus service for residents in Northern Queens,” said Tony Utano, president of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100. “Buses are the lifeblood of New York City and we need to continue to work in ensuring that we are providing safe and reliable services for communities like these.”