Ali Fadil, a community activist and MTA critic, was among the first to notice the changes. He immediately issued a statement claiming the decision would, “harm QM2 and QM20 service reliability and waste money.”
“The money that the MTA is using to do this is money that could be used for the MTA to make service investments, which QM2 and QM20 riders have petitioned for and have reached out to elected officials and civic leaders over,” Fadil said.
MTA Spokesperson Kevin Ortiz explained that while there will be buses stored in Eastchester providing service to Queens, and Queens-based buses serving the Bronx, the buses will operate on alternate schedules to avoid any confusion.
“In the morning, there are extra buses at the Eastchester Depot not being used,” Ortiz said. “Rather than just sitting there empty, we will use those [six] buses on the QM2/20 routes. Conversely in the afternoon, six extra buses from College Point will be used to provide service in the Bronx on the BxM9.”
Mary Behrens, who commutes to her government job in the city daily, feels that the move is going to cause even more problems to the already troubled bus lines.
"Something’s got to be done. Coming out of the Bronx? They don’t even make it on time coming out of the College Point Depot,” Behrens said. “How do they come out of the Bronx and expect to be on time for people who have to be at work at a certain hour? What, are you supposed to leave two hours in advance?"
Ortiz and the MTA disagree with this assessment, believing that the changes will go unnoticed by most riders.
“These changes will be completely invisible to the customer and will not impact their commutes in any way and will provide us with the opportunity to best maximize the use of our fleet and provide seamless service on the QM2/20 route and other area routes as well,” Ortiz said.