Thank You to Senator Gianaris for Supporting Expanded MTA Bus Service in Western Queens!
Have you ever tried to get to Socrates Sculpture Park, The Noguchi Museum, the Farmer's Market or even Costco on a weekday after 6:00 pm or on a weekend from Hunter's Point?
Sure if you own a bicycle and don't mind cycling at night or in inclement weather or own a gas guzzler it's no problem. It's been a weee bit harder however, to use the safer, green method of a city bus. The #7 train's first stop in Queens and the subway's closest stop to the western Queens arts corridor (two miles away) is at the beginning of the Q103 connecting bus service in Hunter's Point. But yet, the proximity of the Q103 to the Vernon-Jackson station is of no help ..... after 6:00 pm or on weekends.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) does a herculean job of moving residents, tourists and commuters around the city, but somehow when it comes to western Queens they have had a bit of a blind spot on the bus issue.
Let's put aside the frequent call for bus service directly to Manhattan during #7 train planned service changes effecting Hunter's Point....which is an entirely separate transportation issue.
The idea, however, of making the Queens arts scene less visitor friendly for western Queens residents, commuters and tourists is mystifying. It brings to mind the disconnect between the messaging at New York City area airports that encourages travelers to whisk directly to Manhattan completely bypassing all that the borough has to offer--the very same borough that is home to those airports!
There is also the disconnect between MTA's own support of the arts through its Arts for Transit program and the lack of support for western Queens. Isn't there a tie in somewhere between MTA's Arts for Transit and say MTA's Arts for western Queens? Can't the MTA expand the subway arts scene to the bus arts scene?
Or a tie in for connecting a growing Queens tech scene with the Cornell Technion applied sciences campus and Manhattan.
Wouldn't it be better to expand the Q103 bus service along the Vernon Blvd corridor now? Can you imagine 15,000 units of Queens West residents, Hunter's Point South renters and Queens Plaza homeowners deprived of a vibrant part of Queens because of limited access? How much richer would we be with a better connection to our arts...to say nothing of how much richer the arts would be! How about connecting students and professionals from western Queens to Roosevelt Island?
Well, Senator Michael Gianaris has just announced, following pronouncements that previously cut transportation services in western Queens would not be restored, that he is calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to expand Q103 bus line hours of operation. He sent a letter to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota requesting a review of the Q103 for possible expansion to night and weekend service.
Senator Gianaris points out that “Western Queens has experienced a population and development boom, and it is important that mass transit keeps pace with that growth. The emergence of our LIC arts community and the opening of the Cornell-Technion Campus on Roosevelt Island make an expanded Q103 service a necessity.”