ASTORIA – New York State Senator Michael Gianaris called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to extend bus service along 31st Street throughout Astoria in response to ongoing subway closures. Currently, no bus service runs along 31st Street north of 30th Avenue.
The Senator sent a letter to Darryl Irick, the President of the MTA Bus Company that runs the Q102.
“Our community has been waiting for an accessible station on the N/W line for decades, and the news about Astoria Boulevard was a long time coming. Still, the MTA is not doing nearly enough to cushion the blow that will come with the extended station closure during construction,” said Sen. Gianaris. “We are already dealing with closing businesses and inconvenienced riders where other stations are closed. The MTA needs to do more to help our entire community deal with yet another months-long shutdown. It is time they extend this bus route the neighborhood to provide service for the whole community.”
North-South bus routes currently run from 20th Avenue to Queens Plaza along Steinway Street and 21st Street, but there exists a wide gulf in bus service between these routes. Sen. Gianaris has asked the MTA to create a spur off the Q102 that would run along 31st Street from 30th Avenue to 20th Avenue.
The Senator previously called for shuttle bus service to address the problems of access in that section of Astoria.
Below is the Senator’s letter to the MTA.
April 25, 2018
President, MTA Bus Company
New York, New York 10004-2207
Dear Mr. Irick,
I write regarding increasing access to bus service in western Queens. With ongoing Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) construction that will result in the full closure of the N/W Astoria Boulevard station beginning in 2019, restoration work at the Ditmars Boulevard station, and continued Enhanced Station Initiative (ESI) projects at four additional stations, residents and commuters grapple with frequent delays and ever-changing service. Given the hardship faced by local businesses and residents, the least the MTA can do is mitigate the enduring damage by increasing bus service to offset the negative effects of all this construction. One possible solution to this longstanding ordeal would be to extend the Q102 bus that runs along 31st Street so that it terminates at 20th Avenue instead of 30th Avenue. This would give residents and visitors in the northern section of Astoria more transportation options.
The Q102 currently turns west on 30th Avenue and proceeds to Astoria Houses – a vital service that should continue uninterrupted while an added spur extends the route to 20th Avenue. Other bus lines throughout Queens follow a similar approach, including the Q15 and Q15a, which have a divergent route to provide more service to more residents throughout Whitestone. This request is not unique; it is simply fair.
I repeatedly asked for shuttle bus service to compensate for disruptions to normal train service, only to be denied. The problem is so serious that a more permanent solution is now required.
I hope that Q102 service to the people of northern Astoria can begin soon. Please reach out should you have any questions. I look forward to your prompt response.
New York State Senate