BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
As Astoria residents continue to suffer through closures along Astoria’s N and W subway lines, state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) is calling on the MTA to extend the Q102 bus to supplement the service.
On April 25, Gianaris sent a letter to Darryl Irick, the president of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bus Company, to ask for the Q102—which runs from 20th Avenue to Queens Plaza along Steinway Street and 21st Street—to run along 31st Street from 30th Avenue to 20th Avenue.
“With ongoing MTA construction that will result in the full closure of the N/W Astoria Boulevard station beginning in 2019, restoration work at the Ditmars Boulevard station, and continued Enhanced Station Initiative (ESI) projects at four additional stations, residents and commuters grapple with frequent delays and ever-changing service,” said Gianaris. “Given the hardship faced by local businesses and residents, the least the MTA can do is mitigate the enduring damage by increasing bus service to offset the negative effects of all this construction.”
In the letter, Gianaris mentioned that he had previously requested temporary bus shuttle service for riders along the N and W lines and noted that his call for a permanent Q102 extension is a result of being denied the shuttle service.
“The MTA needs to do more to help our entire community deal with yet another months-long shutdown,” said Gianaris. “It is time they extend this bus route in the neighborhood to provide service for the whole community.”
An MTA spokesman said there have been added services to the Q102 during the current station closures.
Additionally, New York City Transit (NYCT) President Andy Byford announced that the agency is embarking on a comprehensive redesign of the city’s bus network.
“We’ve listened to our riders’ concerns and are working tirelessly to create a world-class bus system that New Yorkers deserve,” said Byford. “We’re targeting challenges like traffic congestion and enforcement, undertaking bold initiatives like redesigning the entire route network, and pursuing advancements such as the latest computer-aided management, double-decker and electric buses, all-door boarding, and improved customer service with more real-time data. Our customers will start to see changes this year and we will never stop improving this critical component of New York City’s transportation landscape.”
The NYCT bus plan would include a completely redesigned bus route network; collaboration with the city’s Department of Transportation, the NYPD and local community leaders; speeding up boarding by using all doors; improving customer service; proactive management to improve service delivery; and enhancing the fleet of buses.
In the meantime, the spokesman said that the MTA is reviewing Gianaris’ proposal.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.