According to a new report by the Center for an Urban Future, healthcare workers in Queens have a 56-minute-long median commute with public transit.
That’s almost 10 minutes longer than the median commute time for workers throughout the five boroughs, which is 47 minutes. And it’s five minutes more than the median for healthcare employees on a citywide scale, which is 51 minutes.
Titled “An Unhealthy Commute: The Transit Challenges Facing New York City’s Healthcare Sector,” the study analyzes the issue throughout the city.
“All New Yorkers have good reason to be frustrated with the city’s transit system right now, but the city’s healthcare workers arguably have it worst,” CUF Executive Director Jonathan Bowles said in a prepared statement
More than 99,500 of the five boroughs’ healthcare workers live in Queens, the CUF said. And they are highly concentrated in certain neighborhoods: the organization found that almost one in six workers in Cambria Heights, Queens Village and Rosedale are employed by the healthcare sector.
Those neighborhoods, like many others in Queens, have buses but not subways.
The study also pointed to how many medical facilities in the borough — NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens, NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens, Flushing Hospital Medical Center and St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children — are at a minimum of eight blocks away from a subway station.
The CUF said that healthcare employees in Queens have been a large part of ridership increases on MTA buses in recent years. As an example, the group’s report cited the Q20, which has experienced a 9 percent uptick in ridership since 2011.
Starting in Jamaica, a neighborhood with a strong presence of healthcare workers, the route goes to NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens’ campus in Flushing and to the Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Briarwood.
Recommendations for improving the public transit system used by healthcare workers are also made in the CUF report.
The group is urging the city and state to create a “bus rescue plan” to make bus service more reliable and faster and invest in more transit service in the four boroughs that aren’t Manhattan.
Another idea touted by the organization is the congestion pricing plan created by Gov. Cuomo’s Fix NYC panel. The CUF recommends that the powers-that-be implement the proposal and “require a key portion of the new funds to support outer borough transit investments.”