April 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
The Queens bus network is about to get an extensive redesign, the MTA announced on Monday.
During a presentation to the Queens Borough Cabinet, the transit authority outlined its year-long plan to overhaul the network, with intentions to alter unnecessary or indirect bus routes and adjust spacing between stops.
The MTA is calling for a “blank slate” approach to the revamp of Queens’ 107 bus lines, which service upwards of 714,000 riders every weekday.
With ridership decreasing citywide and bus speeds slowing down due to congestion, every bus routes on the current network—largely designed based on the preceding trolley network—will be analyzed and adjusted to accommodate current and future travel patterns.
According to the MTA, average bus speeds in the heavily bus-dependent borough currently average 8.9 miles per hour.
“The Queens bus network has not substantially changed in decades and the people of Queens deserve better,” said MTA President Andy Byford. “It’s imperative that New York City Transit do its part to keep up with the rapid and changing nature of growth in one of the city’s most bus-dependent boroughs. Bus network modernization is absolutely critical to the continued success of Queens and I look forward to being a part of it.”
The transit authority hopes that the new design will be able to provide higher frequency, high capacity bus service throughout the borough’s major corridors.
Public feedback will be collected and incorporated into the future route design changes. The MTA will collect suggestions via an online form, and through a series of open houses, which will begin next month.
The MTA plans to have a first draft of the redesign done by November of this year, and will release the final plan in April 2020.