Northeast Queens elected officials are calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority to quickly implement the Q46 line into its expanding Bus Time tracking program.
Elected officials who signed on to a letter asking MTA Acting President Thomas Prendergrast to prioritize the bus line included U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Flushing, state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, D-Fresh Meadows, Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Little Neck, Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, Councilman James Gennaro, D-Fresh Meadows, and state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Howard Beach.
“The Q46 should be the highest priority in the MTA’s planned expansion of the Bus Time program,” Rozic said. “It would bring much relief to the transit desert of eastern Queens and would connect communities and commuters in real time. The Q46 is a lifeline for many other residents and the program would make their lives easier and efficient.”
In their letter, the elected officials asked Prendergrast to start the MTA’s Queens program along Union Turnpike, which they said is a major transportation artery in Queens that connects several bus lines and serves transportation hubs.
The MTA’s Bus Time program allows transit riders to use various technological devices, such as smart phones and computers, to track the arrival of buses at specific stops along the route. Currently, the program is used in the Bronx and Staten Island, but the MTA has announced plans to expand the program in Manhattan this year and then Brooklyn and Queens by April 2014.
“Residents in this area of eastern Queens, without ready access to the subway, rely on bus service to take them to work or important appointments,” Avella said. “Therefore, with the MTA’s stated goal of expanding the Bus Time program in Queens, it would make sense that eastern Queens would be given priority consideration. The Q46 is an integral transportation link between eastern Queens and the rest of the city.”
David Weprin said the bus transports residents in his district to the E and F subway lines in Kew Gardens that run express to the city.
And Gennaro said the Q46 enables passengers to get to Queens Hospital and St. John’s University as well as a number of retail establishments and office spaces.
“Union Turnpike in eastern Queens is largely served by just one local bus line, the Q46, which has become a lifeline for thousands of city residents with few other transit options,” he said. “An expansion of Bus Time to the Q46 would demonstrate the MTA’s commitment to reliable transportation for all residents of this region, not just those well-served by subways.”