Tag Archives: NYC Transit

MTA to move problematic buses away from Flushing church


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Big wheels,  keep on turning — away from a historic Flushing church. 

The MTA will redirect five city bus routes from St. George’s Episcopal Church after local leaders and parishioners complained about idling buses and its drivers who relieve themselves on the side of the church.

“What was happening to our beautiful church was devastating,” said Assemblymember Ron Kim. “It’s very sad that when their congregation meets every week, they have to walk through all that pollution and smell.”

Drivers use the streets adjacent to the landmark church at 135-32 38th Ave. as a bus depot, Kim said, contaminating the block with noise, pollution and even urine at night.

Serving Flushing since 1702, the church is the only one in the city to be surrounded on three sides by city buses, said Kim and St. George’s Reverend Wilfredo Benitez.

“These buses have been a hardship on this parish for too long,” Benitez wrote to the MTA in February.

But come September, no city bus will travel along or stop on 38th Avenue, between Main and Prince streets, the MTA said.

The heavily-used Q17 and Q27, which currently have layovers there, will instead rest on 138th Street, between 39th and 37th avenues. And the Q19, Q50 and Q66 will idle near the municipal parking lot on 39th Avenue.

“The community requested the MTA study how to decrease the number of buses stopping near the church,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. “This reroute of Q17 and Q27 accomplishes that with minimal inconvenience to customers.”

Local leaders praised the adjustments but said they need to come sooner. Benitez also wants the Q20A, Q20B and Q44’s stops moved away from the front of the church.

“Waiting until Septembers means another summer of bus drivers urinating on the side of our buildings and the summer heat festering the stench,” he said. “All the other hardships already enumerated to the MTA in the past will remain in effect until then.”

The change is part of Kim’s new initiative, launched last November, to clean downtown Flushing.

Residents can click here or call Kim’s office at 718-939-0195 to suggest other blighted sites.

 

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NYC subway, bus ridership highest in over 60 years


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Total ridership for New York City Transit buses and trains are at their highest in more than 60 years, according to the MTA’s 2012 Ridership data report.

Total annual ridership increased 0.9 percent from 2011, despite a five day span of no service and free fares following Sandy.

Weekend ridership increased 3 percent from 2011, matching its highest ever level achieved back in 1946. Weekday ridership increased 1.8 percent, excluding the five day disruption following Sandy, from 2011, reaching its highest level since 1950.

According to the report, the busiest station in Queens was the Flushing-Main Street stop for the No. 7 train.

For specific data on ridership in different boroughs and stations, click here.

 

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Hurricane Sandy to shut down NYC public transportation


| josh.schneps@queenscourier.com

File photo
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announced at his Hurricane Sandy news conference Sunday morning that the MTA will suspend subway and bus service beginning Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Bridges and tunnels will also be closed if winds reach 60 mph, while JFK and LaGuardia airports will currently remain open.

The governor advised this will be a serious storm and everyone should be cautious and plan accordingly.

There is no estimated time for service restorations.

 

MTA removes trash cans from more subway stations


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER / Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

An MTA pilot program that removed trash cans from two subway stations — one in Queens and one in Manhattan — to help alleviate garbage problems such as rodents and track fires has been extended to eight more stations.

Last fall, trash cans were removed from the Flushing-Main Street No. 7 line and Manhattan 8th Street “R” line stations. After positive results from those two locations, the MTA decided to add two stations each in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan to the pilot for six more months, starting on September 2.

In Queens, these include the “A” line’s 111th Street stop and the 65th Street station of the “M/R” line.

According to the transit agency, the cans removed last year reduced the number of trash bags by 67 percent at Main Street and 50 percent at 8th Street. Also, the stations were cleaner and there wasn’t an increase in track fires.

“After removing the trash cans at the initial pilot stations, customers for the most part took their trash with them,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

Each year, NYC Transit removes about 14,000 tons of trash from the subway, said the agency. Despite more frequent bag removal, reinforced trash storage rooms and temper-proof cans, garbage still piles up, attracting rats and landing on train tracks, causing fires.

Commuters heading to work and the free papers handed out at subway stops may be a large part of the trash, according to a 2008 analysis of about 75,000 pounds of subway station garbage, which showed that the most common item thrown out at subway stations was newspapers, at 44 percent.

Though trash is an issue, a 2011 Straphangers Campaign subway platform survey found that garbage was not the biggest problem at subway stations. Observing 250 subway platforms, surveyors only saw one overflowing trash can and 15 garbage bags; rats were found on 11 percent of platforms. Problems such as broken lighting fixtures, substantial water damage and peeling paint were found at 50 to 79 percent of platforms.