MTA Releases New Draft Queens Bus Network Redesign Plan

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has released the new draft Queens bus network overhaul plan.

The MTA’s new draft plan reflects more than 11,000 comments received during the first round of public engagement. According to MTA, the redesign of the Queens bus network is one of the largest bus network overhauls in the country, with more than 100 routes serving nearly 800,000 weekday riders in 2019 and is now the initiative’s third project. of the MTA aimed at reworking and improving the bus networks in each borough.

“Queens’ new draft plan is the third to be released, but in some respects it may be the most significant of the five because Queens has historically had less subway service relative to its size and population. than other boroughs,” MTA said. President and CEO Janno Lieber. “So many people depend on buses to access jobs, education, culture and all that New York has to offer. The new draft plan reinvents local and express services to meet the changing needs of communities across the Queens, with a focus on more reliable service, faster travel, better connections and ease of use.

The new draft plan is a forward-thinking redesign focused on routes, bus stop locations and frequency proposals that aim to meet the changing needs of local communities, taking into account factors such as population growth, travel patterns, travel times and off-peak current ridership. and future Queens Cavaliers. There will be 14 virtual public workshops held through June – one workshop for each community district in Queens. During these workshops, participants will be informed of all the changes proposed in the new draft plan and will be able to share their questions, comments and concerns.

“We are one step closer to one of our most ambitious initiatives to redesign each borough’s network,” said Craig Cipriano, interim president of New York City Transit. “With a bus network that will optimize bus routes and provide better connections to the rest of the transit system, residents of Queens are on their way to receiving a redesigned bus network better suited to their needs in a growing city. constant evolution.”

Frank Annicaro, Acting President of the MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of the New York City Bus Department, added, “Redesigning a bus system is no small feat. This is a complex process that involves complex research, planning and community input. We are excited to reach this next step in the Queens bus network redesign process which will bring noticeable service improvements to Queens.

The new draft plan includes:

  • More direct routes: Implementing more direct routes allows for faster service. Downtown Flushing and Jamaica are areas where the effects of congestion are hampering bus service. A contributing factor to this congestion is the bus routes that terminate in these areas. A series of proposed routes that serve downtown Flushing and Jamaica will pass through these congested areas, instead of ending there.
  • Balanced Bus Stop Spacing: Removing and adjusting closely spaced bus stops along routes results in fewer turns and faster service. The seconds saved per journey by having fewer bus stops have a positive cascading effect on overall journey times. The placement of bus stops is also essential to fill gaps in the bus network; Proximity to key destinations and transfer points are important considerations in choosing the location of bus stops. In the proposed redesigned plan, the location of bus stops expands the reach of accessible public transportation.
  • Improved Connectivity: The proposed redesign introduces new connections, improving connectivity at key transfer points needed to ensure customers have a smooth transition between buses and other modes of public transit. The plan focuses on expanding connectivity to ADA accessible subway stations, including stations that have been identified to receive accessibility upgrades in the near future.
  • Bus Priority: The MTA will continue to work with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to build on existing efforts to expand bus priority improvements in city corridors, implemented measures such as dedicated bus lanes, queue jumps and transit signal priority. .
  • Improving accessibility and customer experience: The MTA and DOT will continue to work to increase the accessibility of bus stops throughout the borough and city, as well as the deployment of screens. real-time digital service information on buses and countdowns at bus stops.

“The majority of Queens residents rely on public transportation for their travels and making sure their buses run on time and without obstruction has been one of our top priorities,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis. Rodríguez. “We strongly support holistic efforts to redesign the Borough’s bus network to improve bus service, through simplified routes, better access to important destinations, and better spacing of bus stops. ”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. added, “Families in Queens rely heavily on bus service which can often be inefficient and unreliable, especially in our many transit deserts, it so couldn’t be more important that we get this overhaul of our borough. bus network on the right. If our communities are fully engaged and involved in this process, we will succeed in getting it right. I encourage all of our residents to familiarize themselves with the MTA’s Draft Plan and look forward to working with the MTA to ensure that our families are not only actively involved but centered in this overhaul.

And after?

The final proposed plan will be released once the outreach process for the new draft plan is complete and community feedback received has been considered to make further changes to the bus network. The proposed final plan will be followed by another public awareness campaign.

Melvin Z. Madore