Richards, Addabbo, Hevesi, Schulman Call on MTA to Reassess Proposal that Would Replace Q23 Bus Line in Forest Hills and Rego Park

Forest Hills, NY – After receiving numerous inquiries from residents in Rego Park and Forest Hills, four local elected officials – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and Council Member Lynn Schulman – are calling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to reassess its proposed changes to bus service due to the plan’s negative effect on the neighborhoods in Central Queens.

As currently proposed via the agency’s Queens Bus Redesign Network Redesign (“QBRN”), the measure would replace Q23 bus service – which currently offers single-seat transit between southern Forest Hills to the northwest end of Rego Park – with a new Q73 line, that would divert service eastbound at Queens Boulevard and 108th St, towards Union Turnpike, creating what the elected officials say will be a “huge disruption” in the area. 

In a 10/02/2023 letter to MTA Chairman Janno Leiber, the elected officials noted that current Q23 bus line not only connects the two neighborhoods – but provides direct access to numerous senior resource centers, five schools serving elementary through high school age students, and provides access to the Austin St business district in Forest Hills.

Despite their concerns, the electeds expressed appreciation of MTA’s transparency in unveiling QBRN proposals and noted confidence that the concerns would be considered and reviewed by the agency.

“The Q23 has been an integral part of our communities for decades and has allowed residents of these neighborhoods direct access to the resources offered by the other,” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi. “Earlier this year we successfully worked with LIRR to restore transportation links between Forest Hills and Kew Gardens, and MTA has been responsive to past inquiries. We’re hopeful that we can also reach a successful resolution in this instance.”

“Forest Hills and Rego Park families rely heavily on the inter-neighborhood service provided by the Q23 bus — service that cannot afford to be interrupted,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “I look forward to working with the MTA and my colleagues in government to ensure that service continues for residents of all ages.”

“The Q23 bus line stands as a testament to the resilient spirit of Queens, ensuring that our residents – young families and seniors alike – can easily navigate between the neighborhoods of Rego Park and Forest Hills. The proposed changes threaten to disrupt a system that has catered to our communities' diverse needs for years. While I am always in favor of progress and improved transit solutions, such changes must be made with care, ensuring that we do not diminish the quality of life for our constituents. I value MTA's commitment to transparency and their willingness to work with us on past issues, and I trust they will give our present concerns the same level of scrutiny and attention. Together, we can ensure that our borough's transit future is both prudent and community-centered.” said Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

"I am deeply concerned about the MTA's proposal to replace the Q23 bus line in Forest Hills and Rego Park," said Council Member Lynn Schulman. "This vital bus route serves as a lifeline for our community, providing essential transportation for residents. We must ensure that any changes made truly benefit our constituents and improve public transit accessibility. I urge the MTA to reconsider this proposal and I look forward to working with the MTA to ensure Q23 bus service continues for the residents of District 29."