Monday, September 22, 2014

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Far Rockaway Residents to Rally For Increased Bus Service

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One Queens bus line stretches across much of the borough, but for some riders, it's not far enough. Residents of Far Rockaway are preparing to hold a rally this weekend for extended Q52 bus service to their area. NY1's Transit Reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.

You can take the A train, the bus or a dollar van.

When it comes to getting around in this distant corner of the city, though, commuters and public officials know why it's called Far Rockaway.

"It's not convenient at all," said one commuter.

However, as the city Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority study how to improve Rockaways bus service, advocates are pushing for the Q52 to be extended to the eastern end of the peninsula.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., they'll rally at Beach 67th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard to push for a Q52 extension.

The line currently runs from Woodside and down Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards to Arverne.

"It only serves for those who live on 67th on down. Those who live on Wavecrest, those who live down on the Far Rockaway end—they don't have access to this bus. They don't have the opportunity to get to this bus," stated Jazmine Outlaw of the Rockaway Youth Task Force.

Q52 riders can hop on the train or transfer to the Q22 if they're heading further east.

"It's extra time that we don't need. We want to be able to extend the buses so we don't have unnecessary transfer times," remarked Philip McManus of the Queens Public Transit Committee.

Some riders say it just amounts to something any New Yorker does—grumbling about the commute.

"You got the subways going to the city, not too many people going to the Queens Boulevard or wherever they go, to Far Rockaway. They have a station, they have a subway," said one resident.

"One idea that's already on the table from the city Department of Transportation and the MTA is creating Queens' first Select Bus Service line. That would run from the northern part of the borough to the Rockaways," said NY1's Jose Martinez.

While it's very early in the planning stages, an MTA spokesman says it's possible that the Q52 could eventually extend beyond its current end point.

That's welcome news, says a city councilman who's been lobbying for better bus service.

"We need more alternatives. That's the bottom line. I think the 52 is a huge step in the right direction," said Councilman Donovan Richards.

Especially if that direction is east.

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