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BM5 via Woodhaven

Q47 to Serve Bulova Corporate Center

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From the meeting board materials (Pages 155-160).

http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/180220_1000_Transit.pdf

Quote

DISCUSSION:

The Q47 provides local bus service on weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at all times except late nights between LaGuardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) and Glendale, Queens via the intermediate neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Woodside. The Q47 travels a one-way distance of approximately 7 miles, transporting approximately 7,890 passengers per weekday, 3,330 passengers per Saturday, and 2,580 passengers per Sunday.

The Bulova Corporate Center is located in northern Jackson Heights, Queens near the route of the Q47. It is an approximately 480,000 square foot multi-tenant office building with private and public tenants. It has a current population of approximately 2,000 workers, which is expected to increase to approximately 2,250-2,350 as vacant space is repopulated. Additionally, tenants host events such as training sessions and meetings, which attract transient visitors.

The Q47 currently operates near the Bulova Corporate Center, but requires a moderate walk to the building's entrance. The Center requested that MTA Bus review options to provide improved transit connections to this large employment center to encourage transit usage by its workers and visitors. The Center had identified a transit connection to the subways at the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue  station would be the most desirable destination for its tenants. It is estimated that approximately 175-200 current building users per day could benefit from a more proximate service to the building, increasing ridership by 350-400 trips per day on trips traveling the reverse direction of the current peak Q47 ridership. Current Q47 ridership in this area of the route is peaked southbound toward the subway in the AM period and northbound from the subway in the PM period.

Upon review of the available options and based on communication with the Center, it is recommended to divert the Q47 through the Bulova Corporate Center parking lot during prime weekday business hours to directly serve the building. The northbound Q47 would be diverted weekdays from 6 AM until 3 PM for passengers traveling from the subway to the building, and the southbound Q47 would be diverted weekdays from 10 AM to 7 PM for passengers traveling from the building to the subway, which are the off-peak directions of the existing Q47 passengers. Passengers would also be able to access the Long Island Rail Road by walking to the Woodside station at Roosevelt Avenue and 61st Street from the Q47’s bus stops on 69th Street at Roosevelt Avenue. The proposed hours of service would accommodate the majority of the building’s workers and visitors while minimizing impacts for the majority of existing Q47 passengers. Existing Q47 passengers traveling between points north and south of the Bulova Corporate Center primarily travel southbound during the weekday AM peak period and northbound during the weekday PM peak period, and these trips would not divert through the Bulova Corporate Center.

Outside of these hours and all day on weekends, the Q47 would travel its current route with the closest bus stops being the existing stops on 77th Street (northbound) and 78th Street (southbound), both at 25th Avenue. To facilitate operation of the Q47 through the parking lot, the Bulova Corporate Center has agreed remove obstructions along the proposed travel path of the buses, and enhance the sidewalk area for waiting passengers to provide additional space for bus access.

The northbound Q47 trips serving the Bulova Corporate Center would operate along its current travel path from Glendale and Jackson Heights towards LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal, and at 77th Street and 25th Avenue, the Q47 would continue north on 77th Street, and turn west into the Bulova Center parking lot. Upon entering the parking lot, the bus would travel to the southern entrance of the building where a new bus stop would be located southeast of the entrance doors. The Q47 would then turn south and continue through the Bulova Center parking lot and exit onto 25th Avenue to 77th Street, where it would resume its regular route route. The southbound Q47 trips serving the Bulova Corporate Center would travel west on its regular route on 25th Avenue, pass 78th Street, follow the same loop via 77th Street and the parking lot as the northbound Q47, and return to 25th Avenue at 78th Street, where it would resume its regular route. See the attached map.

Travel distance would increase by approximately 0.3 miles northbound and 0.4 miles southbound, and travel time would increase by approximately 4 minutes northbound and 5 minutes southbound. This revision would not discontinue or relocate any existing bus stops along the route. However, travel times would increase for the approximately 350 current passengers per weekday traveling to and from stops north of the Bulova Corporate Center.

 

RECOMMENDATION:

To better serve the Bulova Corporate Center, a large employment center, and encourage transit use, it is recommended to divert the Q47 to directly serve the Center via its parking lot on weekdays northbound from 6 AM to 3 PM and southbound from 10 AM to 7 PM during prime weekday business hours, which are the off-peak directions of the existing Q47 passengers. These hours of service would accommodate the majority of the building’s workers and visitors, while minimizing impacts for the majority of existing Q47 passengers, traveling between points north and south of the Bulova Corporate Center. No existing Q47 bus stops would be affected; however the travel times of approximately 350 customers per weekday traveling beyond the Bulova Corporate Center would increase by approximately 4-5 minutes. The Center’s management has agreed to make modifications and remove obstructions in the parking lot to facilitate bus operations on a travel path that would minimize travel through the lot.

 

ALTERNATIVES:

One alternative is to keep the existing service unchanged; however that would not respond to the opportunity to provide improved service to this large employment center and encourage transit use at this large trip generator.

A second alternative would be to reroute the Q47 full time on a more direct travel path, northbound via 74th Street, 30th Avenue, 72nd Street and 25th Avenue; and southbound via 25th Avenue and 73rd Street. This alternative would serve the center from 25th Avenue at 75th Street. However, this alternative would impact 3 bus stops in each direction, affecting approximately 1,200 passengers per weekday and a lesser number on weekends; and would introduce buses to streets with sensitive land uses where there aren’t already buses operating.

A third alternative would be to extend or reroute another bus route, or create a new route to directly serve the Bulova Corporate Center. This alternative was comprehensively reviewed, but the Q47 is the only route that is able to serve the Bulova Corporate Center and the subways at Jackson Heights – the key connection as identified by the Center; while minimizing the need for additional resources. Additionally, other nearby bus routes either do not serve the Jackson Heights subway hub, or require reroute that would be a lot more circuitous.

 

IMPACT ON FUNDING:

The net result of the recommended revision would be an increase of approximately $58,000 in annual operating cost, as there would be a small increase in scheduled travel time of 4-5 minutes and travel distance of 0.3-0.4 miles on the weekday trips that are diverted. Ridership is estimated to increase by roughly 350- 400 trips per weekday, increasing revenue by approximately $150,000 to $172,000 per year and offsetting the additional cost.

 

PLANNED IMPLEMENTATION:

Spring 2018

 

I have a serious issue with the MTA just outright claiming that very little people are being affected because of the reverse commute. First off, the Q47 now serves an even more important role for those who need terminal A, as airport ridership has gone up from the midday & and evening workers who typically rode those buses. This just adds unnecessary time for those folks (and for anyone going along 31 Street. 

Second, sure, the bus wouldn't affect so many people since it is in the reverse-peak direction. But don't underestimate the loads on the Q47 in the reverse peak, especially during school hours. This will be disaster all around if more service isn't added. 

Third, once buses get to Roosevelt, they essentially are running in the peak direction to Glendale. These buses get slammed.

And to top it off, service on the Q47 has become so unreliable. Adding this runtime will only decrease reliability. I remember when moving to my area about 6.5 years ago, that bus was reliable, and with the occasional bunching (the Q38 was an absolute shitshow). Nowadays, the Q38 has got (slightly) better, while the Q47 has gone down the drain. Buses are not given enough time to get to/from Roosevelt Avenue. The current detour which is scheduled to last until sometime this year (apparently) has added runtime, but the MTA has not added a single minute. 

I'm looking at the recommendations, and I'm slightly upset as to why the MTA couldn't just create a new route between Bulova or short-turn some of the current Terminal A buses at Bulova instead. During certain periods, there is too much service to Terminal A. Some route towards Bulova could have been made running every 12 minutes in the AM, and every 15-20 minutes in the PM from 6 AM to 9 AM, and from 2 PM to 7 PM, while letting the Q47 deal with midday service. Rush hour service will only become more atrocious. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
The quote boxes need to be fixed. My comments are inside the quote.

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I agree with you. Let's start with the obvious:

Quote

It is estimated that approximately 175-200 current building users per day could benefit from a more proximate service to the building, increasing ridership by 350-400 trips per day on trips traveling the reverse direction of the current peak Q47 ridership.

Does that mean that they are assuming that none of the existing workers/visitors at that building are using the Q47? That would be very unlikely considering it's only a "moderate walk" from the existing Q47.

Quote

Upon entering the parking lot, the bus would travel to the southern entrance of the building where a new bus stop would be located southeast of the entrance doors.

 
 

Just nitpicking a little, but according to Google Transit, the stop is slightly southwest of the entrance doors (basically, it's directly across the street). Shows you they already consider it a given that it will pass (despite the recent calls by advocacy groups for routes to be less circuitous, and for the MTA to not cave in to every single request for a stop by a business' or resident's front door). But moving on....

Quote

A second alternative would be to reroute the Q47 full time on a more direct travel path, northbound via 74th Street, 30th Avenue, 72nd Street and 25th Avenue; and southbound via 25th Avenue and 73rd Street. This alternative would serve the center from 25th Avenue at 75th Street. However, this alternative would impact 3 bus stops in each direction, affecting approximately 1,200 passengers per weekday and a lesser number on weekends; and would introduce buses to streets with sensitive land uses where there aren’t already buses operating.

So in other words, they assume that none of the residents of the western portion of Jackson Heights would benefit by having a bus route down that portion of 25th Avenue. And instead of actually looking to see if those residents would be open to the idea of buses running down their street, they just assumed they wouldn't, even though it would result in a quicker, more efficient (both time-wise and cost-wise) operation. Also, the area around 31st Avenue & 77th Street is also proximate to the Q33 for those who don't want to walk to the rerouted Q47.

Also, why not 74th-30th-75th-25th Avenue northbound, and 25th Avenue-75th southbound (since buses already run down 75th to reach the subway station, so you might as well take the opportunity to straighten out the whole Q74 while you're at it)? Or run down 77th straight to Astoria Blvd (and have southbound buses take 80th-24th-78th, and just have people walk from 24th & 78th). I would personally prefer the first of those options.

And I agree, there's still people who need to go to the Marine Air Terminal (and unlike those at the Bulova Center who can walk from the Q47 or take the Q19/M60, people at Marine Air Terminal have more limited options). 

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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7 hours ago, GojiMet86 said:

Guess that will be the end of the shuttle bus that Bulova has.

Maybe, maybe not. The Hutchinson Metro Center shuttle is still running long after the Bx24 was extended to replace it.

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Quick points on this:

I like how the (MTA) has the Q47 as the only route serving BCC, when the M60 SBS and the Q19 serve it (albeit eastbound). 

I wonder what the (MTA)'s definition  of "comprehensive review" is

I would have the Q47 terminate at Bulova rush hours only rather than mid route diversion, rather than create a new route from scratch.

Maybe the Q19 could have served it or maybe the Q69 or possibly the Q48. However, with the Q19 it would be similar to how the BL-20 diverts off Central Park Av to serve Cross County heading toward the Bronx. 

There will be a 5 hour window (10 AM-3 PM) where all trips serve BCC. 

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4 hours ago, Q43LTD said:

Q69 or possibly the Q48.

Serving Bulova with the q48 wouldn't really accomplish much since the existing Bulova Shuttle gets passengers to the 74 Street complex. The q47 to 74 would be muh quicker and more useful than having to take a tour of LGA to get to the subway via the q48.

The q69 has the same issue of not getting to a subway quick enough.

Edited by Orion6025

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1 hour ago, QM1to6Ave said:

Damn, I wonder who at Bulova paid off some MTA big-wig to get this through. 

Same....especially since they had their own shuttle buses several years ago.

  • Upvote 1

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5 minutes ago, Cait Sith said:

Same....especially since they had their own shuttle buses several years ago.

This is a sweet deal for them. They save all that $$$ on shuttle buses and can claim they are bringing extra fares in for the MTA. 

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7 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

Maybe, maybe not. The Hutchinson Metro Center shuttle is still running long after the Bx24 was extended to replace it.

 

Some of those buses (the small ones) don't even run to the subway, they just end outside the complex

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8 hours ago, QM1to6Ave said:

This is a sweet deal for them. They save all that $$$ on shuttle buses and can claim they are bringing extra fares in for the MTA. 

They aren't bringing in extra fares. The people on the shuttles were already paying MTA fares to get to the shuttle.

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12 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

Serving Bulova with the q48 wouldn't really accomplish much since the existing Bulova Shuttle gets passengers to the 74 Street complex. The q47 to 74 would be muh quicker and more useful than having to take a tour of LGA to get to the subway via the q48.

The q69 has the same issue of not getting to a subway quick enough.

Under my plan, the Q48 would no longer serve LaGuardia. 

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On 2/17/2018 at 11:24 AM, GojiMet86 said:

Guess that will be the end of the shuttle bus that Bulova has.

I think that died a long time ago. The RTS they had was sold, and I think their Orion was sold as well.

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1 hour ago, Q43LTD said:

Under my plan, the Q48 would no longer serve LaGuardia. 

Unless you plan on completely scrapping the current q48 route, it's still gonna be a long ride to the subway. Not to mention how it would only serve the (7) whereas the q47 would serve the (7)(E)(F)(M) and (R) 

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Now that I google mapped just what the heck this Bulova place is....

1 hour ago, Q43LTD said:

Under my plan, the Q48 would no longer serve LaGuardia. 

Under my plan, the Q48 wouldn't exist.

18 hours ago, Q43LTD said:

Quick points on this:

I like how the (MTA) has the Q47 as the only route serving BCC, when the M60 SBS and the Q19 serve it (albeit eastbound). 

I wonder what the (MTA)'s definition  of "comprehensive review" is

I would have the Q47 terminate at Bulova rush hours only rather than mid route diversion, rather than create a new route from scratch.

Maybe the Q19 could have served it or maybe the Q69 or possibly the Q48. However, with the Q19 it would be similar to how the BL-20 diverts off Central Park Av to serve Cross County heading toward the Bronx. 

There will be a 5 hour window (10 AM-3 PM) where all trips serve BCC. 

Good example w/ the BL-20..... Cross County is also a short turn for the route.

I wouldn't have much of a problem ending Q47's @ this Bulova Corporate ctr..... Either that or dead at Astoria Blvd.... Most folks from the south (of LGA) simply don't use the Q47 for access to the airport.....

Edited by B35 via Church

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9 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

They aren't bringing in extra fares. The people on the shuttles were already paying MTA fares to get to the shuttle.

I know, but in the materials it claims the cost of the extra stop will be offset by the "extra fares"

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10 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

I wouldn't have much of a problem ending Q47's @ this Bulova Corporate ctr..... Either that or dead at Astoria Blvd.... Most folks from the south (of LGA) simply don't use the Q47 for access to the airport.....

2

But hasn't ridership increased since JetBlue started flying out of Marine Air?

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8 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

But hasn't ridership increased since JetBlue started flying out of Marine Air?

Steadily, yes... But that's not really saying much, considering how atrocious the usage levels used to be in/out of MAT before the fact....

How much will that usage grow, is the question/concern.... With the emergence/growing popularity (one of the few routes in the whole system the MTA actually advertises, for obvious reasons) of the Q70. things aren't looking too hot for the Q47. 48. and Q72 inside the airport.... Q47 will likely end up overtaking the Q48 and probably end up being on par with the Q72 (at best), but that's basically the extent of it IMO/as far as I can perceive..... Of course, the M60 will hold its own, being that it serves a completely separate market.....

I believe the ultimate end goal for (MTA provided) bus service inside LGA is to be that of only of the SBS variety, regardless of any of my route ideas.....

 

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16 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Steadily, yes... But that's not really saying much, considering how atrocious the usage levels used to be in/out of MAT before the fact....

How much will that usage grow, is the question/concern.... With the emergence/growing popularity (one of the few routes in the whole system the MTA actually advertises, for obvious reasons) of the Q70. things aren't looking too hot for the Q47. 48. and Q72 inside the airport.... Q47 will likely end up overtaking the Q48 and probably end up being on par with the Q72 (at best), but that's basically the extent of it IMO/as far as I can perceive..... Of course, the M60 will hold its own, being that it serves a completely separate market.....

I believe the ultimate end goal for (MTA provided) bus service inside LGA is to be that of only of the SBS variety, regardless of any of my route ideas.....

 

I agree I feel like in the future the Q70 will serve the MAT with the M60 while the Q47 ends on possibly 80th street and Ditmars. I can see the Q72 being kicked out too, with it ending with the Q33 where it used to end. As for the Q48, I don’t know what to really say. I would say that it is a lost cause with that route, but I can’t see the MTA downright getting rid of it. Even though it performs poorly I feel that the MTA has an obsession with the fact that they need a bus to link a major destination like Flushing to LGA. Most people will take the (7) to Junction or 74th Street to go to LGA. I would simply have the Q19 rerouted via Roosevelt and 108th street to serve that route, while the Q23 gets straighten up in East Elmhurst and serve the other part of the Q48. The Q48 on 23rd is lightly used and when I’ve been over there there is always less than 5 ppl on the bus. 

 

Back to the Q47 though, I don’t know why the the route simply couldn’t be straighten up in that part of Jackson Heights and have a stop at the corner of the Bulova complex so that the bus doesn’t have to make that few minute detour. I’m guessing they figure that at that point most people are off the bus anyways. The Q47’s days in LGA are numbered especially with the popularity of the Q70 route and the 47’s weird routing through Jackson Heights. 

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I feel like it would be easier to just add more service between Terminal A and 74th Street and have those trips serve Bulova. Something similar to what the B15 does with the Spring Creek short turns.

Edited by MTA Bus

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On 2/18/2018 at 9:54 AM, Gotham Bus Co. said:

They aren't bringing in extra fares. The people on the shuttles were already paying MTA fares to get to the shuttle.

Hence why he said "claim" they're bringing in extra fares.

Of course, the MTA just uses the general "average fare" statistic to calculate how much additional revenue those passengers would generate (which goes under the assumption that a certain percentage of those riders are attracted to the system due to an improvement on one component of their trip (whether it's the bus or subway), while others will simply transfer as opposed to walking and not bring in additional revenue.

In this case, if there's already a shuttle, then the additional revenue generated would be even closer to zero (if it doesn't simply result in tons of ridership loss from points north of Bulova). 

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i wish the MTA improves the rush hour Q47 hour service instead of this service change.  whenever i ride the Q47 bus during rush hour to atlas park, it seems to run like very 15-20 minutes and it goes soo crowded it has to skip 69th and Roosevelt ave.

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On 2/17/2018 at 2:25 AM, checkmatechamp13 said:

1) Just nitpicking a little, but according to Google Transit, the stop is slightly southwest of the entrance doors (basically, it's directly across the street). Shows you they already consider it a given that it will pass (despite the recent calls by advocacy groups for routes to be less circuitous, and for the MTA to not cave in to every single request for a stop by a business' or resident's front door). But moving on....

2) So in other words, they assume that none of the residents of the western portion of Jackson Heights would benefit by having a bus route down that portion of 25th Avenue. And instead of actually looking to see if those residents would be open to the idea of buses running down their street, they just assumed they wouldn't, even though it would result in a quicker, more efficient (both time-wise and cost-wise) operation. Also, the area around 31st Avenue & 77th Street is also proximate to the Q33 for those who don't want to walk to the rerouted Q47.

Also, why not 74th-30th-75th-25th Avenue northbound, and 25th Avenue-75th southbound (since buses already run down 75th to reach the subway station, so you might as well take the opportunity to straighten out the whole Q74 while you're at it)? Or run down 77th straight to Astoria Blvd (and have southbound buses take 80th-24th-78th, and just have people walk from 24th & 78th). I would personally prefer the first of those options.

And I agree, there's still people who need to go to the Marine Air Terminal (and unlike those at the Bulova Center who can walk from the Q47 or take the Q19/M60, people at Marine Air Terminal have more limited options). 

1) I think I made a post about that in the Random Thoughts Thread a few months back, and how I called customer service to verify if the bus actually goes there. The customer service agent tells me that the buses do run there (even though they don't) for roughly about the same hours presented in the document. That stop has been there for a while, and when I noticed it, I was puzzled (I first saw it on bustime).

 

2) IDK if the routing is kept to serve the Jackson Heights Shopping Center, but FWIW, I think ridership from there doesn't really matter to begin with. Most people going there drive to begin with. The MTA could theoretically reroute southbound buses via 75 Street (between 25th Avenue and 31 Avenue, and people can still access the bus from the shopping center). Having NB buses straight up 74 Street would leave them a block off, but then again, ridership is relatively low from there anyways. The rerouted Q47 would still be closer than the Q33 (in most cases). I would still maintain the Q47 on 73 Street so as to not have riders to the west walk even more (some portions are underserved as it is).

5 hours ago, azspeedbullet said:

i wish the MTA improves the rush hour Q47 hour service instead of this service change.  whenever i ride the Q47 bus during rush hour to atlas park, it seems to run like very 15-20 minutes and it goes soo crowded it has to skip 69th and Roosevelt ave.

I agree. The Q47 has become a lot more packed, and although the ridership doesn't reflect it, it is because operators sometimes have people just go through the back door (to see if they can fit).

This is how I would modify Q47 service levels (if a new route wasn't created):

 

NB (to 30 Avenue and points south) / SB (points 31 Avenue and south) :

Every 5-6 minutes in the AM, every 20 minutes during middays, every 7.5 minutes in the PM, 

 

Bulova Corporate Center 

Every 10-12 minutes in the AM, every 20 minutes during middays*, every 15 minutes in the PM 

*Served by Marine Air Terminal buses

 

Marine Air Terminal Branch (bypasses Bulova) 

Every 10-12 minutes in the AM, every 15-20 minutes during middays^, every 15 minutes in the PM 

^ Serves Bulova

 

 

 

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After year and a half past the planned implementation date, Q47 buses will start serving Bulova Corporate Center on September 30th. Signs have been placed on certain buses.

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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