Several Queens officials have written a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) saying that they are opposed to a component of the proposed Queens Bus Redesign that would see a bus stop removed from the Q11 bus route in the Centerville area of Ozone Park.
State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato and Council Member Joann Ariola penned the letter to the MTA on Jan. 24 expressing their concern about the change that the MTA announced as part of its overarching redesign plan on Dec. 12.
Currently the Q11 bus route stops on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst and serves Woodhaven Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard before stopping in Centerville to serve Hamilton Beach and Old Howard Beach.
The new proposed plan by the MTA would see the continuation of the Q11 route serving Hamilton Beach and Old Howard Beach, but the removal of the Centerville Street/149th Avenue stop.
The letter written by elected officials points out the area that would be affected by the elimination of this stop is home to 3,500 residents comprising students, seniors, and working-class adults who rely on the Q11 bus service daily.
They also point out that if implemented, bus riders would have to walk a significant distance to the nearest bus stop on Cross Bay Boulevard that could be potentially dangerous.
“The potential impact on the lives of the residents in the Centerville section of Ozone Park cannot be understated. The proposed change would create increased walking distances and potential safety concerns for our constituents, and we urge the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to carefully consider the vital role the Q11 route plays in our community,” Addabbo said.
The letter also explained that the elected officials have received testimonials and complaints from residents who use this stop for short trips to Howard Beach and for running errands, which would no longer be possible if the stop is eliminated.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for the MTA Queens Bus re-design to eliminate service to an entire neighborhood. We need to expand bus access to improve the lives of people in our community, not eliminate it. The MTA must listen to the people of Centerville and reconfigure this map to meet their needs. I look forward to seeing the MTA go back to the drawing board,” Amato said.
The elected officials also include a proposed solution in the letter addressed to the MTA whereby they request the continuation of the Q11A route for New Howard Beach and the establishment of the Q11B route for Centerville/Hamilton Beach.