Bus Letter

January 12, 2020

January 12, 2020

Dear President Byford:

I am writing you regarding the recent Queens Bus re-design proposal. While I understand it is merely a proposal, I am writing to officially let you know that I strongly object to the plan. It is very troublesome that the State Legislature voted to grant the MTA over a billion dollars only to have it now propose to cut bus service for many throughout Queens.

I want to request that more break-out sessions be held in Assembly District 30, as well as the surrounding areas. I also request that the MTA hold public workshops during the times/dates the local community boards throughout Queens meet. I request that the proposal be highlighted/advertised more effectively throughout Queens via the local newspapers, flyers at bus stops/on the buses, schools, small businesses, and local television and internet advertisements.

I am troubled by the fact that I do not see any public workshops for Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park, or Elmhurst. As you know, these areas heavily rely on bus service. For such a radical plan, it is truly necessary that the MTA visit all communities in Queens, since all communities in Queens will be impacted.

I am very concerned regarding what seems to be a cut in accessibility throughout basically every route in and out of my district. This plan will result in forcing people to drive more. The cutting of, radical transformation of, or the complete elimination of service on the Q18, Q59, Q39, Q53, Q66, Q29, Q47, Q67, Q60, Q38, among other lines, is unacceptable. Furthermore, the removal of the Q18 on 65th Place in Maspeth will result in removing bus service from thousands of people, including many seniors who are unable to walk to the new proposed route. People have relied on these routes for decades, and because of such reliance on the routes they didn’t have to purchase cars. Now because of this radical change, people will be forced to purchase cars. I am also greatly alarmed by the lack of express bus service in and out of my district. These are just some of the issues that have been reported to my office, and as more and more people review the plan, the negative feedback with the proposal will increase.

While many places in my Assembly District have alternative transit options like the subway, residents in Maspeth and Middle Village do not have such an option. These communities greatly rely on bus service, and to be very frank, this plan is a slap in the face to the residents who rely on bus service. The MTA should be adding service, not cutting back service in many areas.

This is not a re-design, this is a new radical plan. Because of such, the MTA needs to take a step back and listen to the feedback of the residents of Queens. As a representative, without massive changes to the current proposal, I cannot support this plan.

Sincerely,
Brian Barnwell
30th Assembly District