Residents and elected officials are pushing to have Q22 express bus service restored in Astoria.
A petition is circulating online, and in a letter dated April 26, addressed to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder, state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) demanded the service between Astoria and Manhattan be restored.
“Recently the MTA announced with great fanfare the reinstatement of two buses serving Brooklyn commuters,” Gianaris wrote. “While I am glad bus riders of Brooklyn will have their service restored to pre-cut levels, I am concerned that the same consideration is not provided to Queens commuters who are facing similar hardship as a result of last year’s cuts.”
The Q22 express stopped serving Astoria in June of last year, when the MTA stated system-wide cuts were inevitable due to budget shortfalls. Two express buses cut in Brooklyn, the X27 and X28, have both been restored.
“When viewed in light of the MTA’s recent acquiescence in efforts to relocate a bus depot from Brooklyn to Maspeth, a troubling pattern appears to be emerging,” the legislator wrote.
At the city’s behest, the MTA recently gave the green light for an Access-A-Ride facility to be located at 49th Street to make way for a waterfront park in Greenpoint — the garage’s current location.
An environmental study is being conducted to determine if the Queens site is viable. Maspeth residents are outraged.
Though regaining the express bus would not be a consolation, it would be appreciated by Astoria commuters, including one who started a petition at petitiononline.com/qm22w
“Since the W train’s discontinuation, 5,600 of our fellow riders now have to take overcrowded N or Q trains in order to transfer to other subway services which are overcrowded and unreliable in order to get to and from Lower Manhattan,” reads the petition. “We the undersigned support the creation of an express bus service that starts at 31st Avenue and 77th Street and operates via Ditmars Boulevard, 21st Avenue, and 21st Street in Queens, then via the Queens Midtown Tunnel to and from Manhattan,” it continues.
So far, the petition has four signatures, all from Astoria residents.