Select Bus Service May Come To Queens

Based on entry views, one of the most popular topics from my blog is Select Bus Service. The service which debuted & proved to be a big hit on the Bx12 in the Bronx, is slated to possibly come to the transit deficient Queens. John Lauinger of the New York Daily News has more in this report:

Bus Rapid Transit – a system that allows buses to function more like a subway – is key to expanding the city’s mass transit, some advocates and transportation officials argue.

BRT was established in New York for the first time last year as a pilot program on the BX12 line along Fordham Road in the Bronx. By providing a separate right-of-way for buses and allowing for curbside fare payment, among other features, travel time dropped by 11 minutes – or 19% – from one end of the line to the other, city records show.

The city is now pushing BRT plans in Manhattan, Brooklyn and on Staten Island, but not in Queens, where local merchants previously opposed a Merrick Blvd. pilot, fearing it would remove on-street parking and hurt business.

But the city is proposing a second wave of BRT lines over the next decade. Whether this transit frontier will run through Queens – and if so, where – will depend on various factors, including input received at two public meetings in Jackson Heights and Jamaica last week, officials said.

The city Transportation Department has identified 31 potential BRT corridors, focusing largely on areas underserved by mass transit or targeted for growth.

Nine of those are in Queens, including southeastern Queens; Utopia/Fresh Meadows; Middle Village; the Long Island Expressway; the Long Island City waterfront and the Queens-Manhattan connections, where subways are jam-packed.

Joe Barr, director of transit development for the DOT, said eight to 12 corridors across the city will be selected this summer for further study. Projects that are ultimately selected will be built over the next decade.

The Bronx pilot was built in about a year, Barr noted. “If people are looking for short-term improvements to their transit service,” he said, “this is really a good way to deliver that.”

Click here for the complete report.

I sincerely hope this program reaches Queens. Excluding Staten Island, Queens is by far the most deficient borough in terms of quality mass transit options. The subway fails to serve enough areas & most bus routes run poorly and/or do not provide enough service.

As far as the argument used by local businesses about losing business due to less parking, they should really reconsider their position. A good business person understands that you can’t alienate potential customers via some preconceived bias. This is especially the case when it comes to mass transit riders.

The thinking that the majority of business comes from drivers is completely out of whack with reality. A better case could be made that if better transportation options were available, business would increase. Either way, personal or preconceived bias can not stand in the way of better mass transit regardless of the location.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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