By James Farrell
A state lawmaker is hoping to provide relief for northeast Queens mass transit users this summer, especially with upcoming track reconstruction at Penn Station expected to upend commutes to and from Manhattan in the coming months.
In a June 15 letter to the MTA, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) requested more rush hour service for express buses in northeast Queens until the project is completed.
“As you are aware, transit options are limited for residents of Northeast Queens who travel into Manhattan and express buses that serve my district are already crowded during rush hour,” Braunstein said. “Since many of my constituents might prefer to travel by express bus during the reconstruction project, I request that you add additional service during rush hour until the project is completed for express bus routes serving northeast Queens, including QM2 QM3, QM5, QM20, QM32 and QM35 buses.”
Braunstein also requested additional service for the Q13, Q15, Q16 and Q28 buses to help accommodate more commuters trying to get to Main Street, in order to take the 7 train into Manhattan as opposed to the Long Island Rail Road, which will be severely affected by the construction.
An MTA spokesperson said they would review the request.
Amtrak will reconstruct tracks in Penn Station in response to an uptick in derailments, train breakdowns and delays in recent weeks. The construction will lead to a 20 percent reduction in service to Penn Station, according to reports.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that it will be a “summer of hell” for commuters and written to President Donald Trump seeking emergency funding for transportation alternatives and “facilitation of a long-term resolution for Penn Station.”
The MTA has announced plans to address the impending situation that includes adding more cars to trains, ferry routes, 200 coach buses at eight different park and ride locations and an ongoing outreach to employers, asking them to be flexible with employees’ business hours as delays continue.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-4000 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.