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An extremely difficult commute

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An extremely difficult commute

By Justin Rocket Silverman, amNewYork Staff Writer

November 19, 2007



For Extreme Commuter Miguel Diaz, a five-minute

bus ride means the difference between a one-hour or

two-hour ride to work. (amNewYork)[/float]You would think taking a bus for one stop would be a pretty easy ride to work -- it's so short you can even walk it. But not when you're traveling on a Kennedy Airport access road that has no sidewalk and rely on a bus that sometimes comes just once an hour.


It's enough to qualify Miguel Diaz, an aircraft caterer at JetBlue's Hanger 81, as an amNewYork Extreme Commuter.


"About 40,000 people work at this airport," Diaz said, "and there are a dozen ways to get here. But no matter which one you choose, there is no guarantee that you are going to get to work on time!"


Diaz begins his commute at the J/M/Z stop on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg. After an hour-long ride to Howard Beach (he transfers to the A train at Broadway Junction), he hops an AirTrain to Terminal Four, the airport's main international gateway. If the trains run smoothly, this leg of the trip takes about an hour.


But Miguel is not at work yet. While Hanger 81 is just a short distance from Terminal 4, there is no pedestrian access. So, for the hundreds of employees like him who rely on public transportation, it's a long wait for the Jamaica-bound Q3 bus to take them to the hanger. If the bus is waiting for him when he gets off the AirTrain, it's only five more minutes to work. But when Miguel and his co-workers clock out at 2:30 a.m., the Q3 is only running once an hour. So it's a long wait in the cold dark just to catch the bus that will take them to the trains that'll get them home.


Multiple calls to the Port Authority about improving pedestrian access to Hanger 81 were not returned.


"At night, some of us get lucky and we get a lift to Aqueduct Station or Jamaica Station," Diaz said. "That five-minute car ride can shave 45 minutes or an hour off the commute home."


The Extreme Commuter can be anyone who takes more than the average ride to work. Whether it's a complicated bus and subway transfer, an extra long ride, or just something that requires the person to get up really, really early, amNewYork wants to hear about it.


Video: amNY icon_offsite.png - November 19, 2007

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