Northeast Queens elected officials said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s decision to restore bus routes will be a great relief for community residents who rely on the buses for rides to work, school, places of worship and subway stations.
The MTA has agreed to bring back service along the on Little Neck Parkway following its cancellation in June 2010.
The city will also restore Q76 service, which runs from Jamaica to College Point and makes stops in Auburndale and Whitestone.
“The MTA’s cuts over the past several years have placed an unfair burden on the backs of riders, especially here in the parts of Queens that are underserved by public transportation,” Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone said. “Northeast Queens has been united in its stance that the Q79 was a vital service and losing it literally left riders stranded, unable to reach the Little Neck Long Island Rail Road station.”
The service restorations will extend the Q36 to cover parts of the Q79’s old route, while the Q76 will have weekend service for the first time in many years.
In 2010, Bellerose resident Henry Flax contacted Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, with the idea for the MTA to provide bus service on Little Neck Parkway by extending the Q36, which runs along Hillside Avenue, to Little Neck.
The agency originally shot down the proposal due to a lack of funding. But the MTA recently announced that it would restore funding, allowing weekday service on the Q79’s old route.
“For people who live or work in Little Neck, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Floral Park or New Hyde Park, the Q79 was the only north-south public transportation available,” Weprin said. “Restoration of service along the route will make a huge difference in their lives.”
Braunstein said the restored funding for the Q76 would assist residents in other parts of northeast Queens, such as Auburndale and Whitestone.
That route was reduced during the MTA’s budget cuts of 2009 and 2010.
“The Q76 travels through a large section of Queens, connecting to numerous other bus lines and is vital to my constituents who do not have easy access to the subway, especially those in Whitestone and Auburndale who rely on public transportation to travel to work or to their place of worship during the weekend,” Braunstein said.
Other restored funding by the MTA in northeast Queens includes overnight service on the Q27 and a stop at Queensborough Community College on the Q30.
The bus restorations are part of a group of MTA proposals that will be on the agenda during the MTA Board’s NYC Transit Committee’s July 23 meeting.