State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) sent a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota on Monday asking for the reinstatement of the W subway line and the QM22 express bus.
Both transportation options were eliminated in 2010 to help close a $800 million budget gap. The V subway line also dropped off the city’s list of transportation offerings.
Gianaris said his letter is in response to recent reports that show the MTA is looking to restore services, primarily in Brooklyn and the Bronx. He would like to see Queens included in these projects.
“My position is simple, we all sacrificed when the MTA said they had no money, but now they should be restored fairly between all five boroughs,” Gianaris said.
The MTA would not comment on whether the restoration of these two lines are being looked into.
“Queens should be included. Growing thriving communities need more transportation options,” said Transportation Alternative spokesman Michael Murphy, who lives in Astoria.
The W train, which opened in 2001, followed a similar path as the N from Whitehall Station in Manhattan to the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard stop at 31st Street. None of its stops were its own.
However, Gianaris said the W train wasn’t redundant, but offered more options to commuters and students who depended on the subway line to get to Manhattan. Since the W line closed, the Q line went on a part-time schedule stopping at seven stops between the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard and Queensboro Plaza stops. However, in the next four years, once the Second Avenue subway line construction is completed in Manhattan, it’s planned for the Q to no longer go into Queens from the Lexington/63rd Street stop, but continue in Manhattan up to 125th Street.
“The W served to increase capacity. That’s a good thing,” he said. “The Q has a far shorter route and doesn’t provide the options for travel.”
The QM22 travelled from Jackson Heights to Midtown.
Peter Kokis, the manager at the Neptune Diner, located on the corner of Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street — one of the old W stops — is in favor of Gianaris’ request.
“We like that it brings us business,” Kokis said.