To help ease the transportation hurdle within our community, my office will help in many ways including the following:
- Queens Bus Redesign
The MTA announced plans for a total redesign of the Queens bus network in 2019. While early plans laid the ground work for simplified bus routes and additional Express Bus service in Southeast Queens, they came up short in many other ways. The redesign has since been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, but any future plans must include ample opportunity for public feedback, which was cut short by the pandemic’s outbreak. A future redesign must also include a drastic increase in bus service: without more buses on the road to move commuters in a timely fashion, even the best bus network redesign will fail to address the needs of Queens commuters.
- Access to the Railroad
For too long Southeast Queens has gone without the necessary transit connections to other parts of the City. The MTA’s Atlantic Ticket pilot program was a good start, providing $5 Long Island Railroad fares and weekly unlimited ride MetroCards from Southeast Queens to Brooklyn. But it is not enough. The MTA must make this permanent and expand this program to all parts of Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan. There is no reason why our community should have to endure 90 minute commutes into Manhattan when we have trains that run through our neighborhoods and can take you to Penn Station in under 30 minutes.
Commuter Van Enforcement
Illegal and unsafe commuter vans continue to plague Downtown Jamaica and the surrounding residential communities. Working with NYPD and city agencies, I will work to raise standards in this industry and protect our community from illegal and unsafe vans.
- Jamaica Bus Depot
The eight decade old Jamaica Bus Depot on Merrick Boulevard is outdated, overcapacity, and an eyesore. While the MTA has previously agreed to rebuild the Depot, years of delays have plagued the project, and currently the Authority is proposing to rebuild the Depot as an open-air facility. This is unacceptable and Southeast Queens deserves better. I am calling on the MTA to rebuild the Jamaica Bus Depot with a greater bus capacity to serve our community, and to build a fully enclosed facility that acknowledges the environmental injustices that have been inflected on the residents of Southeast Queens. Only through a fully enclosed facility can we mitigate the pollutants and noise that would harm our community.