A $500,000 state allocation to the MTA to study the possibility of bus service restoration in Northeast Queens was announced last week by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).
Avella was able to secure the funding during this year’s budget negotiations.
The MTA will conduct the year-long study to improve bus service and look at the effects of service cuts over the last five years.
In addition, Avella said the agency will be required to seek input from the public as well as area community boards regarding possible bus changes or restoration of service.
“Northeast Queens and specifically the 11th Senatorial District has always been underserved in terms of bus service and mass transportation options,” the senator said.
When the study is completed, Avella said, the MTA will be required to report its findings to the state for further review.
The senator said he is confident that the study will ultimately lead to increased bus service in the area.
He is particularly interested in restoring the Q14 bus as well as extending the Q34 toward Francis Lewis Boulevard and the QM8 toward the entrance to the North Shore Towers.
The Q14 was eliminated four years ago and used to run between Flushing and Whitestone and Northern Boulevard to Clintonville Street. Avella’s office noted that to compensate for the Q14 cut, a new line, the Q15A, was established, but that it has caused “numerous problems” and residents want the Q14 restored.
The Q34 now has a layover at 149th Street and 25th Avenue in Whitestone, abutting a narrow two-way street and park. Avella wants the route extended along Willets Point Boulevard so the layover can be set at safer Francis Lewis Boulevard.
The QM8 now goes from Glen Oaks to downtown Manhattan via 260th Street and Little Neck Parkway. It then turns onto the parkway toward the Horace Harding Expressway.
Avella noted that several North Shore Towers residents have complained that the bus stop is a long distance away. He wants the bus extended via the Grand Central Parkway eastbound service road. It would then pass the towers’ entrance.