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MTA buys land to redevelop aging Jamaica Bus Depot

The MTA reached a milestone in its long-in-the-works plan to update the Jamaica Bus Depot. Photo by Rich Bockmann
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The MTA recently bought up a handful of properties adjacent to the South Jamaica bus depot, which it has been hoping to expand for years, but until the agency can come up with the needed capital funds, construction plans will sit as idle as the buses parked along Merrick Boulevard.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority paid $6.6 million earlier this month to the Hollywood, Fla.-based Rejtx LLC for four properties fronting Merrick Boulevard on the block just south of York College and Tuskegee Airmen Way as well as a fifth property at the block’s northwest corner.

The acquisition of the additional 50,000 square feet brings the MTA’s footprint on the block to about 221,000 square feet and represents a long-awaited milestone in the push to redevelop the aging facility.

“To alleviate a chronic shortage of bus parking and servicing facilities in Jamaica, the [New York City Transit] Department of Buses has long desired to expand the footprint of the Jamaica Bus Depot,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said. “Ultimately, we plan to construct a new bus depot on the site of the existing depot expanded to include the purchased properties.”

Built in 1940, the 58,000-square-foot depot is one of the oldest — if not the oldest — in the MTA’s portfolio. It serves as the home to some 200 buses operating on nine lines throughout southeast Queens, but it is too small for the task and many of the vehicles sit idle along Merrick Boulevard, especially at night and on weekends.

City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who served as head of the Queens bus drivers union before he was elected to office last year, said the MTA has been eyeing the properties for the last three years, but plans to renovate the depot go back much further.

“I went to work in the Queens division in 1989, and they probably had it in the capital plan back then,” he said.

In its most recent version of the capital plan, the agency last year scaled back the renovation to include only pre-construction work, as funding is not available to put shovels in the ground. In the meantime, South Jamaica residents will have to continue to put up with buses parking on the street.

Community Board 12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick said the vehicles are a nuisance to residents of a nearby senior center and prevent street sweepers from cleaning the street.

“As a matter of fact, just a couple of weeks ago I had to call the MTA about the buses so the mechanical broom could get by and clean,” she said. “I’m happy to hear they purchased property, but I’m disappointed they don’t have money to start constructi­on.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 12:00 am, April 18, 2014
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
This crap, which is a major eyesore, should have been taken care of decades again. This is not acceptable and would never have been acceptable in a white area, but again, just dump crap in a community of color. This is has been a long ongoing problem in all communities of color.

"City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who served as head of the Queens bus drivers union before he was elected to office last year, said the MTA has been eyeing the properties for the last three years, but plans to renovate the depot go back much further."

Well, according to former Councilman Leroy Comrie, Miller was supposedly a very active member in the community, so where was he (and other leaders like Comrie) on this issue before.

This also goes to show the problematic infrastructure not only in Jamaica but all of NYC (and the rest of the country for that matter) that cannot handle the large population that just keeps growing. So keep wasting money on wars and getting involved in other countries, while our own house is falling apart. And of course the issue of using communities of color as dumping grounds for all kinds of crap

http://cleanupjamaicaqueens.wordpress.com/
April 18, 2014, 5:19 am
edward singletin from out off state says:
I still can't find a job or get disabillty its been six monthes since I was pressured to resign I live in ga I moved dec4 2014
April 27, 2015, 11:20 am
edward singletin from out off state says:
I left DEC 5 2014 and still don't have a job or diabilty I live in ha now I was forces d out I resigned and moved to ga I been abused for five years
April 27, 2015, 11:22 am

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