Along the route, changes are being made to facilitate the articulated (artic) - or longer - buses in order to ease crowding of passengers to and from places like Rockaway Boulevard and JFK Airport.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have already begun making the changes. The addition of the artic buses is a “sprinkle” according to the MTA. They stated that a full route conversion would likely occur once the new MTA buses are delivered.
The MTA requested DOT expand selected stops on the Q10 line to facilitate the 60-foot buses, rather than the current 40-foot vehicles that are in use now.
“At these elongated stops, we are providing for the capacity for two artics to stop simultaneously, which can happen when a limited overtakes a local, or an unplanned delay occurs,” said Kevin Ortiz, spokesperson for the MTA. “This has been carefully reviewed by DOT, who have traffic regulatory authority including bus stop revision.”
The Q10 line is one of the busiest routes in all of Queens and transported approximately 24,350 passengers on an average weekday in 2012, according to the MTA.
The line runs from Union Turnpike down Kew Gardens Road and Lefferts Blvd. to JFK Airport. It also passes through busy streets such as Metropolitan Avenue, Hillside Avenue, Atltanic Avenue, Linden Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard.
Despite advocating for improvements on the line, the local community board is not pleased with how the situation was handled by both the MTA and the DOT.
“We have been advocates for additional buses,” said Mary Ann Carey, district manager of CB9. “The biggest problem is that we weren’t notified.”
Given the fact that the DOT is in charge of traffic regulatory changes, it was up to them to notify the community. However, a representative from DOT would later say that it was, in fact, the MTA that should have notified the public.
Carey said she learned of the changes by coincidence. A board member was shopping at Rosenblum’s Grocery on Lefferts Boulevard and noticed a DOT worker pulling meters from the sidewalk. He said parking space were being removed to make way for longer buses.
“People rely on those parking spaces,” said store manager Shawn Rosenblum. “They didn’t tell anybody what they were doing.”
While it is only seven parking spots, “every spot counts to us and all other businesses,” said Rosenblum
Somewhere between 14 to 15 parking spots will be removed along the route, but the MTA nor DOT would give the exact bus stops that would need to be made bigger.