BY JON CRONIN
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that the Q6 and Q69 will receive an increase in their off-peak service between Long Island City and Jamaica beginning in September.
The MTA cited a demand in service as both residential and commercial development has also seen an increase in the neighborhoods covered by the bus lines. The Q6 already serves approximately 10,000 riders every day, according to the MTA.
“We’re trying numerous approaches in the Fast Forward plan to win back bus customers by making service better for everyone,” said Darryl Irck, the president of the MTA Bus Company. “Adding service outside traditional commute times and on weekends will benefit customers who take these routes as well as attract new customers who might be using other modes of transportation right now.”
This change is part of the MTA’s Fast Forward plan, which will completely redesign the bus network in New York City while increasing bus service. The Q6 connects Sutphin Boulevard in downtown Jamaica to the John F. Kennedy International Airport cargo area. Many of the Q6’s riders work in JFK Airport’s commercial district and at facilities within the airport, such as the large United States Post Office in the airport.
The MTA has also cited new residential and commercial developments near Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica as a reason to increase service. The E, J and Z subway lines and Long Island Rail Road stops are in close proximity to the roadway.
The service will first increase on Saturdays in July. Then it will increase during weekday, midday and evening hours and all day on Sunday to help mitigate crowding and attract customers who are currently using other means of transportation.
The Q69 connects Jackson Heights to the subway lines in Astoria and Long Island City via the Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Street commercial corridors. The bus line serves more than 9,500 riders. The MTA cites an increase in residential and mixed-used developments in the area as the reason more service is needed, especially in Long Island City near the Queensboro Plaza, Queens Plaza and Court Square subway stations.