On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced a sweeping draft plan that will completely redesign the Queens Bus Network for the first time in a century. The agency took a “blank slate” approach to completely redraw the routes, which were mostly adapted from old trolley lines from the turn of the 20th century. The plan focused on creating faster North-South connections between Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx and increasing service speed by expanding the average bus stop from 850 feet to 1,400 feet.
An overview of the proposed Queens network and the proposed service solutions; map courtesy of the MTA
“We are very excited about this draft plan for Queens buses because it is a true reimagination of the routes that incorporates the earned knowledge of customers, our ground personnel and operations staff to create a new foundation of bus service in Queens,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford.
The existing Queens network has a total of 77 bus routes with centers in downtown Flushing, downtown Jamaica, and Long Island City. The current average bus speed is 8.7 miles per hour, a number that has been slowing down each year since 2015. According to the MTA, 52 percent of the boroughs 2.3 million residents rely on public transit on a daily basis with 11 percent of those commuters using only buses.
The draft plan falls under the city’s Fast Forward initiative, aimed at modernizing the city’s subway and bus systems. The plan started with the Staten Island Express Bus Redesign that was implemented in August 2018 and recently announced the Bronx Bus Network Redesign.
MTA hosted a series of workshops and commuter surveys to create the current draft and will continue engaging with the public for feedback in outreach sessions planned throughout January and February. The agency hopes to have the final plan outlined by April.
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