Jackson Heights assemblywoman rides Q49 on fact-finding mission over proposed changes to Queens bus network

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Courtesy of Riders Alliance

The MTA’s draft proposal for a complete redesign of the Queens Bus Network has been so poorly received by riders since it was rolled out on New Years Eve. All 15 members of the Queens delegation to the City Council called on the MTA to go back to the drawing board and amend the draft and address their constituents concerns.

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, who represents Jackson Heights — which was the first neighborhood to rise up against the proposal — as well as Corona and Elmhurst, where riders are also dissatisfied, undertook a fact-finding mission Wednesday.

Cruz joined MTA Bus Company Acting President Craig Cipriano and members of the Ridership Alliance transit advocacy group aboard the Q49 bus collecting data from readers about current slow and unreliable service and hearing new feedback on the contemplated changes to the borough’s bus network.

“It is clear that bus service in the community needs major improvement, and my partnership with the Alliance and the MTA helps reach out to as many individuals as possible in order to obtain their feedback as to how the MTA can best meet their transportation needs.” Cruz said. “It is imperative that during this open comment period that community members participate in surveys, attend events, and otherwise inform the MTA of their ideas and suggestions.”

Riders emphasized the need for better service overall and the importance of hearing local concerns about the plan. MTA officials promised to incorporate feedback into subsequent revisions to the redesign.

“Today we heard that Queens riders are fed up with the unacceptably slow and unreliable status quo on the bus,” Riders Alliance Campaign Manager Stephanie Burgos-Vera said. “Riders want MTA officials to be more forthcoming about how significant proposed changes to the bus network will speed their trips and improve commutes. We applaud the MTA for thinking big. We encourage riders to engage with planners to ensure the redesign works for Queens. Thank you to Assemblymember Cruz for riding the bus and hearing directly from riders about how badly we need better service.”

To review the proposed changes to the Queens bus network and see a schedule for public outreach events, visit new.mta.info/queensbusredesign.