Queens councilmen introduce bill requiring borough-specific transit plans

Photos courtesy of City Council

Councilmen Costa Constantinides and I. Daneek Miller are planning to introduce a bill on Wednesday, Jan. 8, that would require the New York City Department of Transportation to craft a distinct transit plan for each of the five boroughs.

“For years, residents of Queens have contended with lack of service and inefficient routes, disconnecting entire neighborhoods,” Miller said. “Eastern Queens, in particular, remains an extreme transit desert, despite decades of outreach and advocacy. This legislation will help facilitate the hyper-local analysis our transit system desperately needs as we work to provide better options for all residents of the borough.”

The legislators hope that such a bill would help the DOT planning bus infrastructure and addressing traffic congestion across the city.

The bill would require the Department of Transportation to conduct a transit study for each borough that assesses the transit needs of every neighborhood in the city, identifies transit deserts, engages community boards and then submits a report to the mayor and City Council speaker within a year of the bill’s passage.

Constantinides and Miller pointed out that job growth in the outer boroughs has outpaced Manhattan over the past 20 years and resulted in fewer people commuting there for work. Between 2000 and 2017, Queens saw a 26.8 percent increase in jobs, according to the Independent Budget office.

“Even though not all roads lead to Manhattan anymore, we still live under a system that does so,” said Constantinides. “The DOT can and should run a community-led process that takes a forward-thinking view of our streets, and engages with the MTA so faster, reliable and, most importantly, accessible bus service.”