Tag Archives: Carmen Bianco

MTA to begin weekend bus trial expanding service along Vernon Boulevard


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

DSC_11092

Starting this weekend, residents and visitors will have better access to the western Queens waterfront.

The Q103 bus line, which connects Astoria and Long Island City via Vernon Boulevard, will offer service to riders on weekends, starting Sunday and operate later on weekday evenings, according to the MTA.

In April, the transit agency said the schedule update would serve as a trial program, and it would receive comments from the community at an MTA public hearing to be scheduled at a later date. After the public hearing, a decision will be made to keep the service or not. It has not been determined how long the trial program will run.

“This announcement is a milestone for all of us who fought for years to get proper bus service for the growing communities of Astoria and Long Island City,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris, who has been calling for the extra service on the bus line since 2011. “I am thrilled the MTA is finally realizing western Queens’ need for increased mass transit is real and pressing.”

Gianaris is also urging the MTA to make the Q103 expansion changes permanent.

The weekend service will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, in addition, the Q103 will also extend its weekday service hours until 9 p.m., instead of 7:30 p.m. The travel path and bus stops will not be affected, the MTA previously said.

“These enhancements were all a result of listening to our customers and keeping close watch on changing ridership trends,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.

Local leaders and business owners see the need to expand the Q103’s service as crucial to the growing neighborhoods.

“It is a positive step in improving transportation options in our neighborhood,” Councilman Costa Constantinides said. “The Vernon Boulevard corridor has been one of the more under-served transit thoroughfares in western Queens. Increasing bus service would be a vital resource to commuters traveling to Manhattan and to residents connecting from Astoria to Long Island City.”

According to officials, the Q103 ridership has been increasing in the past years, rising from 558 riders per day in 2011 to about 790 in 2014.

The MTA has also announced that this Sunday the Q19 will extend its western last stop from Astoria Boulevard and 21st Street to the East River waterfront at 27th Avenue and 2nd Street.

The Q102 will then also remain on 30th Avenue between Crescent Street and 8th Street, according to the MTA, with the stops on Crescent Street, Newtown Avenue and Astoria Boulevard to be relocated to 30th Avenue. All bus stops along Astoria Boulevard will instead be served by the Q19.

For more information visit www.mta.info.

 

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Late night Q trains to run local in Manhattan, decreasing wait times: MTA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Late night Q trains will be making all local stops in Manhattan starting this December, cutting wait times for straphangers, the MTA announced this week.

Currently, the line runs express in Manhattan between midnight and 6:30 a.m., bypassing the Prince St, 8 St-NYU, 23 St, 28 St, and 49 St stops.

With both the N and Q trains serving those stations during the late night hours, riders will see wait times decrease from an average of 10 minutes to 5 minutes because they could catch either line, according to the MTA.

After examining MetroCard data, the transit agency determined that riders at local stations will see average reduced travel times of more than six minutes, and express station customers will see average increased travel times of about one minute.

Though local Q service will lengthen the trips of approximately 1,700 customers, it will be off-set by the reduced wait times for about 1,300 customers at local stations, the transit agency said.

“We are constantly analyzing service and ridership trends in order to provide the best service possible to all of our customers at all hours,” said New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco.  “As we saw increased ridership at local stations along the Broadway Line, it simply made sense to provide these customers with more service.”

The increased service, which does not need MTA Board approval, will cost the agency $73,000 each year.

 

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MTA to restore, boost weekend bus service on two Queens routes


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Queens bus riders will soon have more options on the weekends.

Starting this Sunday, the MTA is restoring service on the Q31 and will begin Sunday service on the Q77.

The Q31 will operate on Saturdays from 8:20 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 9:10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the transit agency. In addition to its existing Saturday service, the Q77 will run from 6:55 a.m. to 10:09 p.m. on Sundays.

“We continue to work hard for our customers by strengthening service whenever we have sustainable resources to do so,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.

The increased bus service is part of an estimated $7.9 million investment the MTA is scheduled to make throughout the city.

 

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