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TA cuts service on Q46 bus despite protest by Weprin

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The action came Tuesday in a Transit...

By Philip Newman

Despite a vigorous appeal from a representative of a Queens assemblyman, the New York City Transit Authority board decided to cut service after 11 p.m. and weekends on the Glen Oaks branch of the Q46 bus line.

The action came Tuesday in a Transit Authority meeting at which the agency proposed the purchase of 660 new subway cars at a cost of more than $961 million. The new cars would be the first of perhaps as many as 1,700 cars with a pricetag of $2 billion, a record order for the agency.

“Please do not take away transportation from people who depend on the Q46,” implored Raymond James Irrera, representing Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Bayside).

“These people, many of whom live near no subway or Long Island Rail Road station, will be left stranded,” he said. “What about people who work at night and on weekends?”

Nevertheless, the NYC Transit panel approved with little discussion the proposal to end service on the Glen Oaks branch of the Q46 bus line after 11 p.m. and on weekends. The Transit Authority cited what it called low ridership on weekends and late night hours in ordering the cutback.

The Q46 operates between Kew Gardens at Union Turnpike, where it connects with the E and F subway lines, and Little Neck Parkway.

The changes are scheduled to take effect in September.

Arlene Bealin of Weprin’s office said the transit cuts would affect Queens residents east of Little Neck Parkway, south of the Grand Central Parkway, west of the Nassau County line and north of Union Turnpike.

“Thousands of Glen Oaks co-op owners and tenants will be affected,” Bealin said, “and hundreds of Royal Ranch homeowners and many residents of North Shore Towers.”

The Q46, the third busiest bus line in Queens, provides service between Kew Gardens and Long Island Jewish Medical Center Lake Success or 260th Street and Little Neck Parkway in Glen Oaks.

The LIJ branch runs on Queens Boulevard, Union Turnpike, Lakeville Road and Hospital Roadway to the hospital. The Glen Oaks branch operates on Queens Boulevard, Union Turnpike, 260th Street, 73rd Avenue, 73rd Road and Little Neck Parkway.

The Transit Authority contends that the Glen Oaks branch is used “primarily for work and school trips during peak hours.”

The Transit Authority said that on weekends and late nights most customers on the Glen Oaks branch will have to walk an average of 1,500 feet to or from the nearest bus stop on Union Turnpike to get the Q46 bus.

“Can we assume that the Transit Authority will provide signs advising bus riders that they will have to walk 1,500 feet to a bus stop?” asked Andrew Albert, passenger representative on the Transit Board.

Lawrence Reuter, president of the Transit Authority, said such signs would be posted.

Reuter said the 660 new subway cars, to be delivered starting in 2006, would cost $961,687,121 and would be built jointly by the multinational companies Kawasaki and Alstom. Alstom, which built France’s renowned 180-mile-an-hour TGV trains, will build cars at Hornel, in western New York and Kawasaki at its plant in Lincoln, Neb.

The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was expected to approve the new cars.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 136.

Posted 7:13 pm, October 10, 2011
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