NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s another reason for people in Queens to expect some commuting headaches.
The MTA is planning to redesign some bus routes.
New York City Transit Authority President Andy Byford got an earful as he faced an overflowing room of angry Queens residents, worried their bus service is about to drastically change.
Outside, the line to get in stretched around the block, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reports.
“This is just a draft. Nothing is set in stone. Nothing is decided,” Byford told the crowd.
“My suggestion is this — leave all the buses the way they are. Just put more buses on the routes,” one resident said, getting cheers and applause.
The MTA is in the midst of a bus network redesign across the entire city that the agency says will improve service and reflect the needs of riders.
“What we’re finding is because of congestion, because of Uber, whatever, there has been a precipitous decline in bus service,” Byford said.
But looking at the proposed draft, residents don’t see how that’s possible when it seems certain bus routes, like the Q-49, will disappear.
“Look at the map. It’s not there anymore,” one woman said.
“Thank you very much, MTA, you’re nuts,” another woman said.
The concern is buses that connect to the Roosevelt Avenue Jackson Heights transit station will be greatly reduced, but they are the only way to reach the Queens subway lines.
“So now we’re going to take two buses to the train and two trains? Like, this is horrible,” one woman said.
“It’s insane what they want to do. I understand– We need more buses, not less buses. And we need to be able to have access. That’s why people buy around here, because you have access,” Queens resident Maria Walkuski said.
The MTA expects to release its final plan later this year, and these riders hope it’s not the one they’re looking at now.
If Wednesday night’s turnout is any indication of how fired up this community is about this issue, future meetings will be packed.