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Via Garibaldi 8

Queens Lawmakers Complain About Proposed-Bus Route Changes and Loss of Sunday Express Service

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Queens Lawmakers Complain About Proposed Bus-Route Changes 

MTA’s Andy Byford hears concerns over new stop locations and the loss of Sunday express service
 

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The state-controlled MTA is overhauling all of its bus networks borough by borough.PHOTO: ANDREW LAMBERSON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By Paul Berger and Jimmy Vielkind

Jan. 14, 2020 6:16 pm ET

ALBANY, N.Y.—A top official at New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority traveled to the Capitol on Tuesday to hear out state lawmakers unhappy with a proposed overhaul of the authority’s Queens bus network.


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Andy Byford, head of the MTA’s subway and bus systems, spent more than an hour in a closed-door session with Democratic Assembly members, who aired a litany of concerns about the redesign, which was unveiled on Dec. 30.

The state-controlled MTA is overhauling all of its bus networks borough by borough to address changes in ridership and travel demand. Queens is the third borough to undergo the process, and the proposed changes there are the most extensive so far.

Some legislators said Tuesday they were concerned about the redesign because they didn’t see it as an improvement. Among their complaints was a loss of Sunday express-bus service, changes in the location of stops, and the shape of existing routes.

Several legislators said they were particularly concerned because they voted last year to raise funds for the MTA through a system of congestion pricing—in which drivers are charged a fee for entering Manhattan south of 60th Street—and expected bus service would improve.

“A lot of people were very upset,” said Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, a Democrat who represents parts of the Elmhurst and East Elmhurst neighborhoods.

Mr. Byford said he believed the meeting was positive, and stressed that the plan released last month was an early draft.

“This is a listening process. We want to get this right,” Mr. Byford said.

City buses have experienced declining ridership in recent years, yet still carry 2.2 million riders on an average weekday.

Many of New York’s routes haven’t changed in decades. Some still follow former trolley lines or bear no relation to the city’s residential growth and changed commuting patterns.

The idea behind the redesigns is to better serve the city, while creating simpler, more direct routes that improve reliability and travel times. MTA officials also promise more frequent service.

MTA officials launched a redesigned network for Staten Island’s express buses in 2018. They unveiled a final proposed new systemwide network for the Bronx in October 2019.

Both of those changes faced concern from elected officials. But because Queens isn’t laid out on a grid like the Bronx, the MTA’s proposed redesign for the borough is more extensive, with a larger number of altered, eliminated or added routes.

Mr. Byford said transportation planners considered a variety of data in designing the new routes, including demographics, ridership counts and the locations of health-care facilities and subway stations.

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, a Democrat who represents Jackson Heights, Queens, asked Mr. Byford to make no changes within his district and said the MTA should have done more to consider existing ridership habits. Mr. DenDekker stormed out of the meeting.

“People bought homes and planned on bus routes and put businesses and schools along those bus routes, and to just change them is going to be very difficult for constituents to accept,” he said. Mr. DenDekker added that he was cautiously optimistic the plan would improve with consultation.

The Queens proposal has been welcomed by advocates. “It’s rare to see the MTA really get out from behind the bunker mentality and propose something big, bold and ambitious,” said Ben Fried, a spokesman for TransitCenter. “I think the rewards are going to be really substantial.”

The proposal adds new north-south and east-west connections. But it also proposes the consolidation of overlapping segments of routes.

MTA officials say they must redesign the city’s bus system to stem declining ridership. Between 2013 and 2018, bus ridership across the city fell 14%.

The authority attributed the most recent declines to the swift rise of competition from ride-hailing services, such as Uber TechnologiesInc., and to increased road congestion, which has slowed buses.

MTA officials will host a series of open houses to discuss the Queens proposal during January and February. They are expected to release a proposed final plan before the end of June that must then be voted on by the MTA board.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Byford said the process doesn’t have a specific end date, and that he hoped developing the plan would be a “model of consultation.”

Write to Paul Berger at Paul.Berger@wsj.com and Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/queens-lawmakers-complain-about-proposed-bus-route-changes-11579043813?redirect=amp&fbclid=IwAR2sjgwkf070oHVeuknKd-pVOrVBM0gADvRQvviD_asQT-Xsd7WDLCplxK4#click=https://t.co/3bhjTcqac8

 

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Why eliminate Sunday Service? Sunday is the one day of the week when buses actually run on time and people are far more relaxed. Any delays on routes is mostly caused by people shopping Queens Center Mall and the Rego Center. Those new  bus lanes and new traffic signals between Grand Avenue and 71st/Continental on Queens Blvd are what's causing most of the delays. The Q60 and other routes are now traveling on an orderly single file line with no space to manuver around on the Outer Lanes of Queens Blvd. It's now safe to cross Queens Blvd, but now buses are slower thanks to the lack of turns till a major intersection. 

There's also Traffic at the Five Towns Shopping Center and Green Acres Mall heading into Queens to consider. People love to shop till they drop during the day.  From what I've seen at Flushing, most shops are doing away with 24 or Midnight and closing up around 9pm-10pm the latest. Same goes for the shops at Jamaica except the Movie Theater and the Clubs. 

Edited by NY1635
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12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Mr. Byford said transportation planners considered a variety of data in designing the new routes, including demographics, ridership counts and the locations of health-care facilities and subway stations.

Right someone sees a line on a map and say "omg they're reducing service 20 min headway" but resources should be allocated accordingly.

12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, a Democrat who represents Jackson Heights, Queens, asked Mr. Byford to make no changes within his district and said the MTA should have done more to consider existing ridership habits.

The routes in Jackson Heights which are proposed to connect to each of the (7) stations, the MTA most likely has metrocard data which shows the majority transferring at those stations anyway, as opposed to staying on congested Roosevelt Ave until 74th st.

12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The proposal adds new north-south and east-west connections. But it also proposes the consolidation of overlapping segments of routes.

 

This is needed , more connection options and direct trips.

Also, 25 people on 1 bus is more efficient than 5 people on 5 buses.

Speaking of which, I was thinking about the N23/N27 merge. It could have worked but they implemented it before they had GPS feeds. I heard that sometimes the N27 would leave Roslyn before the N23 arrived, etc.  Now, with GPS there's no excuse for missed connections.

One trip, on the way back to Hempstead, the N23 became SRO and picked up a few passengers on Willis Ave. The B/O asked people to move back, this caused some people to complain about the service change, but it was SRO for maybe 10 mins till we got to Hillside Ave, where a lot of people transferred to the N22.

12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The Queens proposal has been welcomed by advocates. “It’s rare to see the MTA really get out from behind the bunker mentality and propose something big, bold and ambitious,” said Ben Fried, a spokesman for TransitCenter. “I think the rewards are going to be really substantial.”

I agree, once riders get used to it,they're going to appreciate the ease and the quickness of which they can travel around Queens (and to Brooklyn, etc).

12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

The authority attributed the most recent declines to the swift rise of competition from ride-hailing services, such as Uber TechnologiesInc., and to increased road congestion, which has slowed buses.

Yes, Uber gets across places much quicker. Increased road congestion has been caused by NYCDOT directly, and proliferation of Uber and Lyft drivers driving super slow and having no sense of direction.

One example is the Q4 and Q84. The Q84 can get between Merrick and the Cross Island Parkway faster than the Q4 because 120th Ave is wide and awesome, (and less commercial), where as the Q4 will get stopped every couple of blocks because of red signals (irritating), Q5 also.  Even the N4 is bogged down by the traffic signals, it used to zoom up Merrick from Hook Creek to Jamaica Center, passing so many NYCT buses. (The purple routes are going to help a lot).

12 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

MTA officials will host a series of open houses to discuss the Queens proposal during January and February. They are expected to release a proposed final plan before the end of June that must then be voted on by the MTA board.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Byford said the process doesn’t have a specific end date, and that he hoped developing the plan would be a “model of consultation.”

When do they plan on implementing the final?

  

38 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

Why eliminate Sunday Service? Sunday is the one day of the week when buses actually run on time and people are far more relaxed. Any delays on routes is mostly caused by people shopping Queens Center Mall and the Rego Center. Those new  bus lanes and new traffic signals between Grand Avenue and 71st/Continental on Queens Blvd are what's causing most of the delays. The Q60 and other routes are now traveling on an orderly single file line with no space to manuver around on the Outer Lanes of Queens Blvd. It's now safe to cross Queens Blvd, but now buses are slower thanks to the lack of turns till a major intersection. 

There's also Traffic at the Five Towns Shopping Center and Green Acres Mall heading into Queens to consider. People love to shop till they drop during the day.  From what I've seen at Flushing, most shops are doing away with 24 or Midnight and closing up around 9pm-10pm the latest. Same goes for the shops at Jamaica except the Movie Theater and the Clubs. 

 

They said that ridership is low on Sundays, like 5 people per trip or something like that.

As for Green Acres, the traffic signals at Green Acres Rd and Hook Creek Blvd are the cause of congestion.  They're not green long enough to let traffic flow out of the area.  It might help a little bit if they turn that little Bus cut out, at the north east corner of Hook Creek and Sunrise Highway, and turn that into a Right turn on red lane.

Edited by N6 Limited

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18 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

Why eliminate Sunday Service? Sunday is the one day of the week when buses actually run on time and people are far more relaxed. Any delays on routes is mostly caused by people shopping Queens Center Mall and the Rego Center. Those new  bus lanes and new traffic signals between Grand Avenue and 71st/Continental on Queens Blvd are what's causing most of the delays. The Q60 and other routes are now traveling on an orderly single file line with no space to manuver around on the Outer Lanes of Queens Blvd. It's now safe to cross Queens Blvd, but now buses are slower thanks to the lack of turns till a major intersection. 

There's also Traffic at the Five Towns Shopping Center and Green Acres Mall heading into Queens to consider. People love to shop till they drop during the day.  From what I've seen at Flushing, most shops are doing away with 24 or Midnight and closing up around 9pm-10pm the latest. Same goes for the shops at Jamaica except the Movie Theater and the Clubs. 

To the (MTA) right now. It’s simply a numbers game. They don’t care at this point if Sunday express service is cut in Queens. There are so many transit deserts throughout most of queens and that queens is so complex at this point to them is simply eliminate the premium service and force people on local buses and the trains. 

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22 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Right someone sees a line on a map and say "omg they're reducing service 20 min headway" but resources should be allocated accordingly.

I agree, once riders get used to it,they're going to appreciate the ease and the quickness of which they can travel around Queens (and to Brooklyn, etc).

I'm not sure why you are praising this plan, when it calls for considerable service cuts.  There is no way that people should be forced to wait ONE HOUR during RUSH HOUR for a bus, when they may wait every 20 - 30 minutes currently. That is not an improvement.  You are looking at just the routes. I am looking at the cuts to the service spans AND the frequencies and the fact that there are NO alternatives in some cases.  Cutting bus service at 9:30pm back to Queens is absurd, when buses currently run until 12:30am at night. That's a three hour cut to the span of service.

You also talked the need for more direct trips. Well riders will be forced to make more transfers under this plan, thus elongating their trips, so I'm not sure how this plan makes service more direct. The routes will be more direct, but service won't be more direct for the actual passengers.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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2 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

1. Right someone sees a line on a map and say "omg they're reducing service 20 min headway" but resources should be allocated accordingly.

2. The routes in Jackson Heights which are proposed to connect to each of the (7) stations, the MTA most likely has metrocard data which shows the majority transferring at those stations anyway, as opposed to staying on congested Roosevelt Ave until 74th st.

 

 

1. The premise for the grid network they're forcing on us was that offering more frequent service would reduce the impact of transferring, and the need for direct routes. I don't agree with a grid network for queens to begin with, but if they can't even get the frequency part sorted out properly, what was the point? 

 

2. That's just simply not true. The 90th Street station has no bus in the surrounding area, so nobody is transferring from anywhere. The Q49 only feeds in to (7) because of the connections and the heavy commercial activity in that area. Also, have you seen the loads of people on the Q33 going to/from 74th Street? They beat the amount of people waiting at 82nd Street by a landslide. 

3 hours ago, NY1635 said:

Why eliminate Sunday Service? Sunday is the one day of the week when buses actually run on time and people are far more relaxed. Any delays on routes is mostly caused by people shopping Queens Center Mall and the Rego Center. Those new  bus lanes and new traffic signals between Grand Avenue and 71st/Continental on Queens Blvd are what's causing most of the delays. The Q60 and other routes are now traveling on an orderly single file line with no space to manuver around on the Outer Lanes of Queens Blvd. It's now safe to cross Queens Blvd, but now buses are slower thanks to the lack of turns till a major intersection. 

The issue at the malls is because of the lack of enforcement of the bus lanes. At Queens Center Mall, buses are constantly fighting to pull in and out of the bus stops because cars and taxis are hogging up space and idling there. When multiple routes show up and there's this idling, it causes more congestion.

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Million dollar question in that regard is - What are they using as a basis as to who they're so proclaiming they're making trips more direct for?

I'm sorry, but they are throwing out that term way too loosely; almost as if the word "direct" is being used as a nothing more than a mere buzzword to try to get folks to be on board with the plan.... The (final versions of the) routes will roll out whenever they will & the riders will eventually, actually determine whether the routes will be more direct for them...

As far as opting to making a grid out of Queens' network, well until we get more subway stations panning east of Flushing & Jamaica, opting to deconstruct the existing feeder networks based out of those 2 aforementioned areas, simply will not fly for far too many people....

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6 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

Right someone sees a line on a map and say "omg they're reducing service 20 min headway" but resources should be allocated accordingly.

You, uh, haven't seen the Q35, have you? (I'm not even getting into some of the other routes, mostly because the only other ones I'm really willing to speak about are the Q44 and Q53, both of which are also getting shafted, along with the corridors they serve.)

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7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I'm not sure why you are praising this plan, when it calls for considerable service cuts.  There is no way that people should be forced to wait ONE HOUR during RUSH HOUR for a bus, when they may wait every 20 - 30 minutes currently. That is not an improvement.  You are looking at just the routes. I am looking at the cuts to the service spans AND the frequencies and the fact that there are NO alternatives in some cases.  Cutting bus service at 9:30pm back to Queens is absurd, when buses currently run until 12:30am at night. That's a three hour cut to the span of service.

You also talked the need for more direct trips. Well riders will be forced to make more transfers under this plan, thus elongating their trips, so I'm not sure how this plan makes service more direct. The routes will be more direct, but service won't be more direct for the actual passengers.

I more-so like the opportunities the plan presents. I realize some service spans and frequencies are being reduced. They should add a filter to the interactive map of which buses won't run after 10PM etc, because those spans are hidden. Some purple lines run all night, Some end at 10, some Green lines are not 24 hours, etc.

I've also seen light buses rolling around, so I can see the angle they are coming from as well.

As for "more direct", an example would be, one day I was at Springfield and Hempstead Ave and wanted to go to Green Acres. The N1 is not the most frequent route and I wouldn't have made it to Elmont Rd in time for the next trip, but a Q27 was available. So I took the Q27 to 120th Ave, then had to wait for the pokey Q77 (no timed transfers), to transfer to the Q5.  With the new plan, it's the QT71 to the QT42 (or probably QT43 after people complain.)

Or just going from that same intersection to Northern Blvd would be a chore as well. The Q27 stops short then heads west to Flushing. With the plan I can take the QT71 straight up, and even beyond to stop by Unos.

If I want to go from Linden and Sutphin to Francis Lewis and Linden, no crosstown bus. I have to take the Q6 to Jamaica, then the Q4 or walk over to the bus terminal for the Q77.

There are many examples. And yes, it's currently hub and spoke system because of where the subway terminates, but there are no inner or outer rims, to connect them all so there's a lot of back tracking of up to an hour for simple trips that in a car would be like 10 mins. 

From those examples, and complaints just talking with people and fellow riders over the years, it's possible that the interconnection of routes would require less vehicles, reduce crowding and congestion going to the hub, as capacity the at the maximum load point would no longer require as many buses since riders could use "more direct" ways to get to their destination.  Another example, some riders wouldn't need or want to go to the (E) or (J) if there was an easy way to get to the (A) (why wasn't the (A) at least extended to Jamaica anyway?) .

 

4 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

1. The premise for the grid network they're forcing on us was that offering more frequent service would reduce the impact of transferring, and the need for direct routes. I don't agree with a grid network for queens to begin with, but if they can't even get the frequency part sorted out properly, what was the point? 

 

2. That's just simply not true. The 90th Street station has no bus in the surrounding area, so nobody is transferring from anywhere. The Q49 only feeds in to (7) because of the connections and the heavy commercial activity in that area. Also, have you seen the loads of people on the Q33 going to/from 74th Street? They beat the amount of people waiting at 82nd Street by a landslide. 

The issue at the malls is because of the lack of enforcement of the bus lanes. At Queens Center Mall, buses are constantly fighting to pull in and out of the bus stops because cars and taxis are hogging up space and idling there. When multiple routes show up and there's this idling, it causes more congestion.

1) This is just a draft right, they'd be sure adjust frequencies once the network was running and they witness crowding, etc.

2) I wasn't referrfing to 90th St, really. As for the Q49 and Q33 most are going to the (E) and (F) probably.

1 hour ago, Lex said:

You, uh, haven't seen the Q35, have you? (I'm not even getting into some of the other routes, mostly because the only other ones I'm really willing to speak about are the Q44 and Q53, both of which are also getting shafted, along with the corridors they serve.)

I've only seen the Q35 a few times on Flatbush Ave.  I've used the Q44 and Q53.  Come to think of it, they may be trying to cut to barebones headway and increase it until the buses are consistently full, this way it will be seen as service increases and not cuts. 

Edited by N6 Limited
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2 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I more-so like the opportunities the plan presents. I realize some service spans and frequencies are being reduced. They should add a filter to the interactive map of which buses won't run after 10PM etc, because those spans are hidden. Some purple lines run all night, Some end at 10, some Green lines are not 24 hours, etc.

I've also seen light buses rolling around, so I can see the angle they are coming from as well.

As for "more direct", an example would be, one day I was at Springfield and Hempstead Ave and wanted to go to Green Acres. The N1 is not the most frequent route and I wouldn't have made it to Elmont Rd in time for the next trip, but a Q27 was available. So I took the Q27 to 120th Ave, then had to wait for the pokey Q77 (no timed transfers), to transfer to the Q5.  With the new plan, it's the QT71 to the QT42 (or probably QT43 after people complain.)

Or just going from that same intersection to Northern Blvd would be a chore as well. The Q27 stops short then heads west to Flushing. With the plan I can take the QT71 straight up, and even beyond to stop by Unos.

If I want to go from Linden and Sutphin to Francis Lewis and Linden, no crosstown bus. I have to take the Q6 to Jamaica, then the Q4 or walk over to the bus terminal for the Q77.

There are many examples. And yes, it's currently hub and spoke system because of where the subway terminates, but there are no inner or outer rims, to connect them all so there's a lot of back tracking of up to an hour for simple trips that in a car would be like 10 mins. 

From those examples, and complaints just talking with people and fellow riders over the years, it's possible that the interconnection of routes would require less vehicles, crowding and congestion going to the hub, as capacity the at the maximum load point would no longer require as many buses since riders could use "more direct" ways to get to their destination.  Another example, some riders wouldn't need or want to go to the (E) or (J) if there was an easy way to get to the (A) (why wasn't the (A) at least extended to Jamaica anyway?) .

 

1) This is just a draft right, they'd be sure adjust frequencies once the network was running and they witness crowding, etc.

2) I wasn't refferfing to 90th St, really. As for the Q49 and Q33 most are going to the (E) and (F) probably.

I've only seen the Q35 a few times on Flatbush Ave.  I've used the Q44 and Q53.  Come to think of it, they may be trying to cut to barebones headway and increase it until the buses are consistently full, this way it will be seen as service increases and not cuts. 

You're not getting it. There has been NO money added to this redesign for Queens. It's supposed to be cost neutral, so there won't be tons of service to add with overcrowding. They actually added some money to the Staten Island redesign and there are still tons of issues with overcrowding.

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1 minute ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

You're not getting it. There has been NO money added to this redesign for Queens. It's supposed to be cost neutral, so there won't be tons of service to add with overcrowding. They actually added some money to the Staten Island redesign and there are still tons of issues with overcrowding.

I know it's cost neutral.  Basically, they can barely add any service without cutting something else anyway, so they might as well just redesign the network and make it more useful and efficient with NYCDOT's help. As ridership increases, which is what usually happens with redesigns, then maybe  putting in more money won't be such a red flag and possible better farebox recovery ratio could help with that also.

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3 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

I know it's cost neutral.  Basically, they can barely add any service without cutting something else anyway, so they might as well just redesign the network and make it more useful and efficient with NYCDOT's help. As ridership increases, which is what usually happens with redesigns, then maybe  putting in more money won't be such a red flag and possible better farebox recovery ratio could help with that also.

You're not going to get ridership increases when you have hour gaps in service during rush hour. People will ditch the buses and DRIVE. 

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5 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

You're not going to get ridership increases when you have hour gaps in service during rush hour. People will ditch the buses and DRIVE. 

Which routes are you referring to?

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Just now, N6 Limited said:

Which routes are you referring to?

Several. There's no Sunday express bus service anywhere.  Several express bus lines not only start two hours later, but then have an hour gap in between trips.  Just ridiculous. There are tons of other problems as well.  We've been reaching out to some of the co-ops and condos in Queens and board members have joined my advocacy group. They are FURIOUS. This plan would kill property values all over the borough. Who is going to want to move to large housing developments when there's no bus service?

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2 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Million dollar question in that regard is - What are they using as a basis as to who they're so proclaiming they're making trips more direct for?

I'm sorry, but they are throwing out that term way too loosely; almost as if the word "direct" is being used as a nothing more than a mere buzzword to try to get folks to be on board with the plan.... The (final versions of the) routes will roll out whenever they will & the riders will eventually, actually determine whether the routes will be more direct for them...

As far as opting to making a grid out of Queens' network, well until we get more subway stations panning east of Flushing & Jamaica, opting to deconstruct the existing feeder networks based out of those 2 aforementioned areas, simply will not fly for far too many people....

In a general sense, I don't think they went overboard in gridding out the Eastern Queens network. Look at the Q27: They kept the 46th Avenue portion (QT15), the HHE-Jamaica Avenue portion (QT31) and you can even get from Cambria Heights to Flushing on the QT73. Francis Lewis Blvd loses direct access to Jamaica, but south of Hillside, most of the intersecting routes go there anyway, north of the HHE, you're better off going to Flushing for the subway, and between the HHE and Hillside Avenue, both the QT32 & QT33 provide service to Queens Blvd express stations. 

Obviously there are some routing decisions that are head-scratchers (the QT84 comes to mind, especially the Francis Lewis Blvd portion) but I think the basic principle of what they are trying to do is sound.

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38 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Several. There's no Sunday express bus service anywhere.  Several express bus lines not only start two hours later, but then have an hour gap in between trips.  Just ridiculous. There are tons of other problems as well.  We've been reaching out to some of the co-ops and condos in Queens and board members have joined my advocacy group. They are FURIOUS. This plan would kill property values all over the borough. Who is going to want to move to large housing developments when there's no bus service?

Yes some of the times are a bit ridiculous. Does the MTA have Automatic Passenger Counters on their bus? Someone mentioned that in another thread. But, If there are only 5 people on the bus on Sundays...

24 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

In a general sense, I don't think they went overboard in gridding out the Eastern Queens network. Look at the Q27: They kept the 46th Avenue portion (QT15), the HHE-Jamaica Avenue portion (QT31) and you can even get from Cambria Heights to Flushing on the QT73. Francis Lewis Blvd loses direct access to Jamaica, but south of Hillside, most of the intersecting routes go there anyway, north of the HHE, you're better off going to Flushing for the subway, and between the HHE and Hillside Avenue, both the QT32 & QT33 provide service to Queens Blvd express stations. 

Obviously there are some routing decisions that are head-scratchers (the QT84 comes to mind, especially the Francis Lewis Blvd portion) but I think the basic principle of what they are trying to do is sound.

I agree, buses that go to train stations and routes that allow you to avoid those areas if it's unnecessary.

The QT84s routing looks like it's to take over the Q25 and Q76 , serve the (7) , Shopping Center on 20th Ave, and connect to Bayside.

Edited by N6 Limited
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1 hour ago, N6 Limited said:

1) This is just a draft right, they'd be sure adjust frequencies once the network was running and they witness crowding, etc.

2) I wasn't referrfing to 90th St, really. As for the Q49 and Q33 most are going to the (E) and (F) probably.

I've only seen the Q35 a few times on Flatbush Ave.  I've used the Q44 and Q53.  Come to think of it, they may be trying to cut to barebones headway and increase it until the buses are consistently full, this way it will be seen as service increases and not cuts. 

1) Just because it's a draft doesn't make any more justified to come out with an overall terrible bus network. My area basically loses most useful subway connections, will see less night service, loses bus service completely on several roads, and leaves actual coverage gaps. Most outer neighborhoods in SE Queens lose overnight bus service altogether. The one bus running 24/7 is the Springfield Blvd bus, which wouldn't even go to Jamaica or Flushing. It's insulting to even consider this a draft plan, when all these service cuts are being proposed.

And what makes you think they are going to adjust frequencies properly? All they have been doing is cutting bus service in any way possible.

 

2) Okay, then why did you mention that there people are not staying on buses because of Roosevelt Avenue to begin with? You're contradicting yourself here. 

1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

In a general sense, I don't think they went overboard in gridding out the Eastern Queens network. Look at the Q27: They kept the 46th Avenue portion (QT15), the HHE-Jamaica Avenue portion (QT31) and you can even get from Cambria Heights to Flushing on the QT73. Francis Lewis Blvd loses direct access to Jamaica, but south of Hillside, most of the intersecting routes go there anyway, north of the HHE, you're better off going to Flushing for the subway, and between the HHE and Hillside Avenue, both the QT32 & QT33 provide service to Queens Blvd express stations. 

Obviously there are some routing decisions that are head-scratchers (the QT84 comes to mind, especially the Francis Lewis Blvd portion) but I think the basic principle of what they are trying to do is sound.

Not everybody is going to the subway. Flushing and Jamaica are major commercial areas as well. Plus, there's the connection to other bus routes there. You can't just tell those people to go to Union Turnpike because, they're not trying to go there. 

A Francis Lewis Boulevard route doesn't make any sense because people south of Hillside aren't going north of Hillside in large amounts. Those that do, are not going to destinations around Francis Lewis Boulevard.

Also, the walks to the bus stops on the east-west route aren't necessarily a piece of cake. You need to consider that most people have to walk to Francis Lewis Boulevard. With how they're spacing bus stops on all these routes, they'll need to walk to Francis Lewis Boulevard then walk up, or walk up the avenue blocks to the specific avenue, then walk to the bus stops. 

 

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10 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

When do they plan on implementing the final?

At the bottom of the page it says the goal is to roll out the new network by 2022 (my guess is they will do Brooklyn & Queens at the same time, since there's so many routes that cross between the boroughs)

https://new.mta.info/system_modernization/bus_network/queensbusredesign/draftplan

7 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

That's just simply not true. The 90th Street station has no bus in the surrounding area, so nobody is transferring from anywhere. The Q49 only feeds in to (7) because of the connections and the heavy commercial activity in that area. Also, have you seen the loads of people on the Q33 going to/from 74th Street? They beat the amount of people waiting at 82nd Street by a landslide. 

And what portion of it is caused by the structure of the network that funnels so many buses to Broadway & Roosevelt to begin with? For example, to get from Queens Center Mall to the northern section of Jackson Heights, you have to take the subway or Q53 to reach the Q33. Now you can take the QT10 directly (though it seems to be missing a stop near the Queens Center Mall, which is likely an error. The terminal is actually by Rego Park).

I'm sure some of those people are taking the (7) train because they want a chance at getting a seat: That can be solved by having short-turns start at 82nd & Roosevelt (or more likely 83rd & Roosevelt, since I'm not sure they'll be making 82nd two-way) heading north. 

1 hour ago, N6 Limited said:

Yes some of the times are a bit ridiculous. Does the MTA have Automatic Passenger Counters on their bus? Someone mentioned that in another thread. But, If there are only 5 people on the bus on Sundays...

I agree, buses that go to train stations and routes that allow you to avoid those areas if it's unnecessary.

The QT84s routing looks like it's to take over the Q25 and Q76 , serve the (7) , Shopping Center on 20th Ave, and connect to Bayside.

That's what its purpose is, but once it turns onto Francis Lewis Blvd (coming from Flushing), I forsee buses being virtually empty. If they're going to run service up Utopia Parkway and have that be the main north-south artery through that area, they might as well just do that. The only advantage I see of them running it that way is that it gives a connection to the QT71 (so you can go from say, Queens Village to College Point without going through Flushing), but I don't forsee many people taking advantage of that connection (and with Willets Point Blvd having peak-only service, and Beechurst having peak-only access to Flushing, I think there are more pressing issues to worry about).

34 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Not everybody is going to the subway. Flushing and Jamaica are major commercial areas as well. Plus, there's the connection to other bus routes there. You can't just tell those people to go to Union Turnpike because, they're not trying to go there. 

A Francis Lewis Boulevard route doesn't make any sense because people south of Hillside aren't going north of Hillside in large amounts. Those that do, are not going to destinations around Francis Lewis Boulevard.

Also, the walks to the bus stops on the east-west route aren't necessarily a piece of cake. You need to consider that most people have to walk to Francis Lewis Boulevard. With how they're spacing bus stops on all these routes, they'll need to walk to Francis Lewis Boulevard then walk up, or walk up the avenue blocks to the specific avenue, then walk to the bus stops. 

And that's why some of the new crosstown routes come in (and some routes that pass through Flushing or Jamaica without terminating there): For example, if someone needed to get from Francis Lewis & 73rd to Sutphin & Linden, they could now do so by taking the QT73 to the QT7, as opposed to the Q76 to the Q6. If they needed to get somewhere on the northern part of Merrick Blvd, they could transfer from the QT71 to the QT18. If they needed to get to Ozone Park, they can take the QT73 to the QT67.

As for the commercial areas argument, there's new commercial areas that have easier access as a result of this (e.g. the Francis Lewis route now goes to Flushing instead of Jamaica, the Springfield Blvd route now connects to the commercial parts of Bell Blvd near Bay Terrace and near the Bayside LIRR station). For that matter, areas north of Northern Blvd trade one route to Jamaica (the Q76) for two that are much more direct (the QT64/65). There are some areas that lose off-peak service to Flushing, but that can be remedied through further restructuring.

As for the spacing between the routes/stops, along the QT71 the east-west routes are generally less than 1/2 mile apart and the areas are fairly well-gridded (again, generally speaking. There's a couple of exceptions, like Hillside Avenue-Union Turnpike, and 48th Avenue-Horace Harding Expressway). So the maximum walk to get to an east-west route is under 1/4 mile in most cases (if you live between two east-west routes, you will walk to the closest one). If someone walked 1/4 mile to get to Francis Lewis Blvd, then we're talking about a maximum of 1/2 mile of walking for most cases.

3 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

If I want to go from Linden and Sutphin to Francis Lewis and Linden, no crosstown bus. I have to take the Q6 to Jamaica, then the Q4 or walk over to the bus terminal for the Q77.

You have it reversed (Q6-Q77 directly, or Q6 and walk to the Q4). But yes, I agree with your point about the crosstown routes. 

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...What exactly can I find the legal basis for the "cost-neutral" thing? I read about that too much but I don't know where to look for the law or whatever it is.

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42 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

And what portion of it is caused by the structure of the network that funnels so many buses to Broadway & Roosevelt to begin with? For example, to get from Queens Center Mall to the northern section of Jackson Heights, you have to take the subway or Q53 to reach the Q33. Now you can take the QT10 directly (though it seems to be missing a stop near the Queens Center Mall, which is likely an error. The terminal is actually by Rego Park).

I'm sure some of those people are taking the (7) train because they want a chance at getting a seat: That can be solved by having short-turns start at 82nd & Roosevelt (or more likely 83rd & Roosevelt, since I'm not sure they'll be making 82nd two-way) heading north. 

There's no reason to go to 74th, when the Q29 is available at 82nd Street. Yes, the trip is now direct for those people going to QCM, but a significantly greater amount of people are impacted now that they don't have access to the (E) or (F) . You can't assume that everyone is going to the (7) just because it's the nearest train in that area. There's no need for short-turns on that end of the Q33 either. They need to all go to 74th Street. 

42 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

And that's why some of the new crosstown routes come in (and some routes that pass through Flushing or Jamaica without terminating there): For example, if someone needed to get from Francis Lewis & 73rd to Sutphin & Linden, they could now do so by taking the QT73 to the QT7, as opposed to the Q76 to the Q6. If they needed to get somewhere on the northern part of Merrick Blvd, they could transfer from the QT71 to the QT18. If they needed to get to Ozone Park, they can take the QT73 to the QT67.

As for the commercial areas argument, there's new commercial areas that have easier access as a result of this (e.g. the Francis Lewis route now goes to Flushing instead of Jamaica, the Springfield Blvd route now connects to the commercial parts of Bell Blvd near Bay Terrace and near the Bayside LIRR station). For that matter, areas north of Northern Blvd trade one route to Jamaica (the Q76) for two that are much more direct (the QT64/65). There are some areas that lose off-peak service to Flushing, but that can be remedied through further restructuring.

As for the spacing between the routes/stops, along the QT71 the east-west routes are generally less than 1/2 mile apart and the areas are fairly well-gridded (again, generally speaking. There's a couple of exceptions, like Hillside Avenue-Union Turnpike, and 48th Avenue-Horace Harding Expressway). So the maximum walk to get to an east-west route is under 1/4 mile in most cases (if you live between two east-west routes, you will walk to the closest one). If someone walked 1/4 mile to get to Francis Lewis Blvd, then we're talking about a maximum of 1/2 mile of walking for most cases.

No one in that part of the Fresh Meadows area is even looking for service to SE/SW Queens like that. Their demographics and where they typically travel to are virtually different.

I'm not talking about commercial Bayside though, I'm talking about the loss of direct access to major commercial areas and hubs like Flushing and Jamaica, where more people are going. I am also specifically talking about your point regarding people going to the east-west routes to get to Jamaica. I don't have a problem with the QT71 route-wise, so that's irrelevant.  My problem is with the QT73 and how it's supposedly replacing both the Q76 and Q77.

The vast majority of Francis Lewis between Horace Harding and the GCP is parkland. Much of nobody is getting on buses between GCP and Hillside Ave. The QT31 also covers some parts of the section between Horace Harding and Northern Boulevard. So only a small portion of people that are not near Northern Boulevard, or Hollis Court Boulevard would benefit, while people going to Jamaica on both the Q76 and Q77 (which is far greater) would be negatively impacted. 

Edited by BM5 via Woodhaven
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@BM5 via Woodhaven I was thinking of an editorial where someone mentioned taking the Q33 to the Q53 to reach Woodhaven Blvd. But yes, you're right, for the QCM under the current system you can do it without passing through Broadway/Roosevelt.

As for your other comment, it seems to be two points that you're making: One being that the proposed system doesn't do enough to get people to major hubs like Flushing & Jamaica, and the other about the QT73 specifically.

For the first point, I've already made my points (the crosstown routes and through-routing will help, and most people in Eastern Queens will still be within walking distance of a route to one of the major hubs)

For the QT73, remember that the Q76 is the only route from Jamaica that serves that part of NE Queens (the Q31 swings over along 48th & Bell, and the other routes run towards College Point). So most riders north of Northern Blvd will be able to take the QT64 or QT65. Even for those along Northern Blvd, some are transferring from the Q12/13, so those riders would just transfer at Utopia Parkway if they wanted Jamaica. 

For the area around Francis Lewis/HHE, fair enough, since they are also losing the Q30 to Jamaica.

But in any case, if you're saying that they need to go to Jamaica as a transfer point, but then you say that they don't need southern Queens, you just defeated your own argument. If they are going towards areas on the QBL, they would be better off taking one of the bus lines that heads in that direction directly (e.g. QT32, QT87, QT12, etc). The only major connection you can say they are really missing out on is the (J) train if they are heading towards Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan (but even then, that's a fairly long walk from the 165th Street Bus Terminal to the (J) station. To get to the AirTrain/LIRR station is even longer)

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22 minutes ago, GojiMet86 said:

...What exactly can I find the legal basis for the "cost-neutral" thing? I read about that too much but I don't know where to look for the law or whatever it is.

It's probably the one where the MTA (or state?) is bound by law to have a balanced budget.

35 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

You have it reversed (Q6-Q77 directly, or Q6 and walk to the Q4). But yes, I agree with your point about the crosstown routes. 

That's right. I usually walk between Jamaica Center/Sutphin and Jamaica Bus terminal because the bus ride is horrible. Going to the terminal there's the traffic, then the bus loops around 168th street. And leaving from the terminal(Q6,Q8, etc), it dwells at each stop on Jamaica Ave as shoppers board, and fold their strollers, look for their metrocards, etc. 

 

15 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

I'm not talking about commercial Bayside though, I'm talking about the loss of direct access to major commercial areas and hubs like Flushing and Jamaica, where more people are going. I am also specifically talking about your point regarding people going to the east-west routes to get to Jamaica. I don't have a problem with the QT71 route-wise, so that's irrelevant.  My problem is with the QT73 and how it's supposedly replacing both the Q76 and Q77.

Redundant service and mileage on Hillside between the Bus terminal and Francis Lewis. 2.3 miles. Almost 5 miles round trip, that's 10 miles combined just for for one run of each route. Those buses are rarely even half full as many along the routes [walk to, (something people supposedly don't do)] alternatives to get to Jamaica and Flushing due to their round about routings. So with that, they can be converted into a crosstown to help people get across Queens and to numerous connecting routes. The one time I've seen a SRO Q77, I was actually on it, because the N6 broke down on Francis Lewis Blvd on the way to Jamaica and we all hopped on the Q77 when we saw it coming. (the bus had like 3 riders before we filled it up). 

Some people are not interested in getting to certain parts of Queens because it's too difficult, the proposed connectivity makes travel easier.

50 minutes ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

The vast majority of Francis Lewis between Horace Harding and the GCP is parkland. Much of nobody is getting on buses between GCP and Hillside Ave. The QT31 also covers some parts of the section between Horace Harding and Northern Boulevard. So only a small portion of people that are not near Northern Boulevard, or Hollis Court Boulevard would benefit, while people going to Jamaica on both the Q76 and Q77 (which is far greater) would be negatively impacted. 

That's exactly why it'll be a quick crosstown, and will get to Northern and the (7) pretty quick. No one gets on between GCP and Hillside because there is much more service on Hillside, why wait for a bus on 20-30 min headway when there is one on Hillside every 3 seconds?

Those going to Jamaica will have the QT18 running frequently as well as the QT34 and QT36 running limited all day.

15 minutes ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The only major connection you can say they are really missing out on is the (J) train if they are heading towards Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan (but even then, that's a fairly long walk from the 165th Street Bus Terminal to the (J) station. To get to the AirTrain/LIRR station is even longer)

Now they can transfer to the QT67 for the (J) or (A) , or the QT7 for the (A) . (Although now they can transfer in Jamaica for routes to the (J) but most of them are starting in Jamaica so they're getting bogged down by passengers boarding. Q43 stops are far from all other stops at the subway so transferring to it isn't that quick and easy.

--------------------------------------------------

The planned routes open up many options to get around so that it's not just 2 particular bus pairs to get somewhere. One has many routes to chose now, and bus time/trip planners can help choose the quickest one if they're already on the bus. Its almost to the point where if you miss a bus connection you can stay on your current bus another 5 mins and connect to another route going the same direction.

 

.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

In a general sense, I don't think they went overboard in gridding out the Eastern Queens network. Look at the Q27: They kept the 46th Avenue portion (QT15), the HHE-Jamaica Avenue portion (QT31) and you can even get from Cambria Heights to Flushing on the QT73. Francis Lewis Blvd loses direct access to Jamaica, but south of Hillside, most of the intersecting routes go there anyway, north of the HHE, you're better off going to Flushing for the subway, and between the HHE and Hillside Avenue, both the QT32 & QT33 provide service to Queens Blvd express stations. 

Obviously there are some routing decisions that are head-scratchers (the QT84 comes to mind, especially the Francis Lewis Blvd portion) but I think the basic principle of what they are trying to do is sound.

They didn't go overboard in gridding SE Queens, but they have with NE Queens & the general portion of the network around Jackson Heights....

What are you claiming the basic principle to even be though? They're introducing 4 different route types for these local routes, which to me, if anything, is tantamount to complicating matters....

4 hours ago, BM5 via Woodhaven said:

Just because it's a draft doesn't make any more justified to come out with an overall terrible bus network. My area basically loses most useful subway connections, will see less night service, loses bus service completely on several roads, and leaves actual coverage gaps. Most outer neighborhoods in SE Queens lose overnight bus service altogether. The one bus running 24/7 is the Springfield Blvd bus, which wouldn't even go to Jamaica or Flushing. It's insulting to even consider this a draft plan, when all these service cuts are being proposed.

And what makes you think they are going to adjust frequencies properly? All they have been doing is cutting bus service in any way possible.

To sum it up, the negatives far outweigh the positives AFAIC....

We're introduced with a draft plan of this nature, but yet I'm supposed to optimistic? At best (much like with the Bronx plan), all we have to hope for is that many routes would be left alone......

Some of these concepts being introduced should be variants of routes, instead of whole routes being constructed/formulated based on that sole concept.... An example would be to take the QT41 concept & have some Q84 rush hour trips (from Cambria Hgts. - 130th av) doing that, instead of only having the Q84 portion west of Springfield do so....

Another example is what's being done with the Hillside corridor, east of Jamaica.... Even if they wanted to cut the Q43 back to 179th (F), they could have the QT36 be one route making regular stops b/w 179th (F) & LIJ, with rush hour trips making the dash to/from the subway west of Springfield... Instead, they're having all QT36's making the mad dash to the subway & having the QT18 serve the local (if I could even call it that anymore) stops between 179th (F) & Springfield...

Edited by B35 via Church

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At the rate things are going, I'm surprised no one has Mark Holmes' head on a silver platter....

The people in my area have been getting prepared for the JHS 202 open house and the rest within the Richmond Hill/Ozone Park area. I'll more than likely be in attendance at the 202 Open House, as I want to see the shitshow go down.....

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I'm glad I'm not the only one that gets the thing.

I also have a couple questions.

I keep hearing complaints about the redesign, but aren't those who complain the main ones you hear from in any situation? Those who are happy aren't really gonna care enough to speak.

Therefore, is this redesign REALLY as much of a problem as people think?

Is it possible we've actually struck silver? I mean, it would be gold if the absolute max headway was 20 minutes (average wait of 10 minutes) on all routes.

Lastly, I wonder how many peoples criticisms come from current patterns, and not patterns based on the new system. Because I see waaaayyy too much of the former. And that's a very flawed way to look at total change.

(In some ways, you can say that mindset has stalled our country as a whole)

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