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Express bus foes want ’50s train back

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While the city moves forward with plans to create an express bus service that would run along Woodhaven Boulevard, some residents in Rockaway are pushing for the revival of a subway line that once ran from Rockaway to northern Queens.

“They never even considered the train tracks which are right nearby,” said Phillip McManus, president of the Queens Public Transit Committee. “We support mass transit that’s going to make a big difference.”

McManus and his group are based out of Rockaway Beach and they have held “rallies” during Select Bus Service, the city’s name for express buses, meetings and workshops. They are against Select Bus Service on Woodhaven Blvd because they fear that traffic will increase and advocate for the restoration of a train line that was owned by the Long Island Rail Road and ran between Rego Park and Rockaway Beach. The line was closed in the 1950s after a fire cut service in the middle of the line.

McManus and others argue that the A line that currently serves the Rockaways is undependable and doesn’t reach most parts of Queens.

“It’s quicker to get to Brooklyn than to Forest Hills from Rockaway,” McManus said. “It’s ridiculous.”

The city is holding public workshops throughout April for the public to give their feedback on the block-by-block street redesigns that were recently released. Advocates are calling the design the city’s most ambitious bus project aimed at reducing travel times north and south along Woodhaven Boulevard and Crossbay Boulevard.

The design features bus-only lanes along the main road and some argue, including McManus, that the bus only lanes will increase traffic congestion. Transit advocates say it will decrease traffic by establishing an order on the road and reducing skirmishes between buses and cars that can take place on the road.

According to the city, the creation of Select Bus Service (SBS) doesn’t mean that a Rockaway train line will never come to fruition.

“These two projects – Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard SBS and Rockaway Beach Line – are not in direct competition,” a spokesman for the Department of Transportation said. “Bringing SBS to Woodhaven Blvd and Cross Bay Blvd does not preclude the reactivation of the Rockaway Beach Line.”

And Joan Byron, a supporter of SBS and lead researcher at Pratt Center, noted that the abandoned line doesn’t have the long reach that an express bus service on Woodhaven Boulevard would have by running all the way up to Flushing.

“It’s hard to see it making sense to revive it as a LIRR branch,” Byron said . “The subway system is just slammed. The only way to increase capacity is to look at how we can improve the performance of the bus system.”

Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejankiewicz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, April 23, 2015
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Reader feedback

anon from queens says:
Maybe they should consider reviving the line. It would only make sense to do. I'm sure if it was a need for these tracks back in 1950 then I'm sure it will be definitely needed now.
April 23, 2015, 5:04 am
Rebecca from Rockaway Queens says:
By opening the Rockaway Beach rail line, it will eliminate 100,000 cars currently on Woodhaven Blvd. which would clear up the North/South Corrider and assist with travel to/from JFK airpor.
April 23, 2015, 8:48 am
Shaun from Rockaway Beach says:
I think it would be great for the beach community and drive business. It would give residents of North Queens better access to the beautiful south shore beaches.
April 23, 2015, 9:05 am
Richard Berger from Belle Harbor says:
Let's see now: Cross Bay/Woodhaven Boulevard has a severe traffic bottleneck condition, with not enough lanes to take the current traffic volume, so the solution is to take away some of the existing lanes, to use for bus traffic only. Hey, my training is in a different specialty than traffic engineer, but as I see things, we'd end up with something similar to the virtual shut-down of the George Washington Bridge Toll Plaza, where someone ordered 3 of 4 toll lanes closed.
While the article mentions using the LIRR going to Flushing, some of us long-time Rockaway Peninsula people, or the older folks we talk with, remember a roughly 45 minute trip between the peninsula and Penn Station. Nowadays, the same trip on the "A" line runs roughly 90 minutes, as the train has to snake it's way through Brooklyn, first.
From personal experience, I know that, using the "A" train from Columbus Circle Station to Beach 116th Street/Rockaway Park Station, including the change at Broad Channel Station, can take over that hour and a half, and I'd still have to wait for the Q-35 Bus to complete the trip. From the same Columbus Circle Station, but a different platform, via the 1, 2 and 3 subway lines to Flatbush Avenue/Nostrand Avenue/Brooklyn College Station, and the other end of the Q-35 Bus run, I could be home in less than that hour and a half.
However, for those who use the 1, 2, and 3 line/Q-35 runs, they still have to change to the Q-22 bus to travel to east of Beach 116th Street. Just the travelling is a job in itself, in addition to someone's paying job in Manhattan.
April 23, 2015, 9:17 am
MJD from SouthEast Queens says:
Where does Joan Byron live?

And what is so special about the Pratt Center?

The SBS is another scam being shoved down Rockaway resident's throats.

Has anyone even bothered to conduct an DEIS on SBS for anywhere in NYC?

Rail has so many advantages...I would really like to hear the real story behind why so many are against it.
April 23, 2015, 9:21 am
Mike OConnor from Neponsit says:
Why not use the Old LIRR tracks as an express road to JFK and the Rockaways . They could restrict the use to buses and cabs or include ez pass for others as alternative to the over crowding on Woodhaven Blvd. ?
April 23, 2015, 9:30 am
pete from Rockaway says:
Hey...we need the Rockaway Ferry. It's cleaner and greener than buses or trains, and the track-bed so to speak arrived some 10.000 years ago when the glaciers melted right here on the gorgeous southern tier of Queens. Mayor diBlasio in his pie-in-the sky 'Plan-NYC' sets a 45 minute objective for NYC commuters - only wy to do that is with a Ferry NOW. Mayor Bloomberg delivered Rockaway a ferry in 7 days (after Sandy); while Mayor di Blasio says maybe in three years!!!

Support The Ferry, and take people off the roads and rails!!! Best...PJS
April 23, 2015, 11:20 am
Alison from Belle Harbor says:
The railroad will increase property values, increase opportunity for communities currently below the poverty level on the peninsula, and increase local business. I am unsure why the revival is lacking backing other that the fact that elected officials really do not care about Rockaway because we lack tax revenue and votes ie small insignificant population.
April 23, 2015, 3:01 pm
Matt Whalen from The Raunt says:
Could someone please inform Joan Byron the lead researcher at Pratt center that the Rockaway Beach Line is "NOT" ABANDONED ! It is owned by the City of New York. The "Right Of Way" is still in place and it is classified as "IN-ACTIVE", meaning that it can be made "ACTIVE" at ANY TIME ! The only people that do NOT want this railway to go through are the selfish home owners that live next to the tracks and have encroached and extended their back yards onto the railway property. They pay HEFTY campaign contributions to Joe Addabo to MAKE SURE that the railway doesn't get activated (Isolating Queens further). This is NO DEEP DARK SECRET!
April 23, 2015, 8:05 pm
Toby Sheppard Bloch from Glendale says:
I live half a block off Woodhaven and think the proposed changes make a lot of sense. Right now, Woodhaven is broken and doesn't work well for any road users. Regularizing the roadway and rationalizing the space is going to lead to fewer conflicts and less friction, making cars and busses flow better. We have all experienced the extreme disruption caused by accidents, and if you look closely it's pretty clear how the erratic road alignment of Woodhaven causes a lot of swerving, which triggers cascading backups.

In any event, the issue at hand is not about the Rockaway Beach Rail Line vs. Select Bus Service. It’s about identifying an affordable and reliable transportation option that can be realized quickly and efficiently so Queens residents can have access to better transportation as soon as possible. SBS will provide a safe and reliable option for riders, drivers, and pedestrians and better connect our communities within the borough.
April 23, 2015, 10:27 pm
Allan Rosen from Brooklyn says:
Byron is nuts. First of all, no one is proposing an express route along Woodhaven to Flushing and the MTA would never agree to that. Her group (the Pratt Center) proposed a Woodhaven BRT to La Guardia with exclusive bus lanes along the two lane Junction Blvd. How dumb is that? That alone should disqualify her as any type of expert. Apparently she believes La Guardia is in Flushing.

The city is really insulting our intelligence by telling us that buses will travel faster over the Cross Bay Bridge and along Cross Bay Boulevard if we lower the speed limit from 40 mph to 30 mph. They also expect us to believe that eliminating ten left turns requiring you to travel an extra mile to turn left will make your trip quicker.

This is Zero Vision nonsense like reducing the speed limit on Metropolitan Avenue between the cemeteries to 25 mph where there is no parking allowed and so many pedestrians crossing that there aren't even any paved sidewalks. Who are they protecting? This is an orchestrated effort by the city to punish anyone who owns a car and to extort fines from them for driving at speeds that are perfectly safe and appropriate.

This is only step one. They have already announced plans to add exclusive bus lanes and bike lanes to Queens Blvd (and remove at least two lanes of traffic) to help a few hundred and inconvenience many thousands. They already lowered the speed limit to an already ridiculous 25 mph due to pressure from Transportation Alternatives. Do I hear 20? Anyone?
April 24, 2015, 4:14 pm
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April 25, 2015, 9:04 am
Danny Ruscillo from Rockaway Park, NY says:
The Rockaway Beach Rail Line and the Rockaway Ferry Both!!
April 26, 2015, 10:04 am
Philip McManus from Queens says:
We need an objective non political comprehensive Queens transportation study with public participation. We need more faster, safer, and equal transportation options for the outer boroughs. Don't be fooled by City Hall, DOT, MTA, Transportation Alternatives and QueensWay Elitist. They've been stealing from Queens and the outer boroughs for generations. The city stole our 43 minute train ride, the Queens Rockaway Beach Line 65 years ago and replaced it with the 90 minute, miserable A and Shuttle train, the City put tolls bridges and longer travel times to divide and separate Queens and then over saturated Queens with our city's most underserved. We also had our ferry taken away and our roadways are crumbling everywhere. The city lowers the speed limit, steals our traffic lanes, puts more ticket cameras in Queens and outer borough drivers. Remember half of Manhattan is getting 32 billion dollars in railway expansion while Queens gets more traffic, pollution and longer, expensive travel times with less opportunities, freedom and prosperity.
Please don't settle for less than a comprehensive transportation plan that includes numerous transit options like the QueensRail, citywide ferry and bus expansion and more. We support equal treatment for all commuters. We need the best and fastest transportation options for Queens just like Manhattan.
Please support our movement, faster transportation for all. We need more volunteers.
Philip McManus
PhilAMcManus@gmail.com
718-679-5309

Queens Public Transit Committee
Faster transportation will create more social, economic, recreational, and environmental opportunities.

Facebook:
Rockaway Beach Rail Line
Queens Public Transit
Rockaway Beach Branch

Twitter:
Rockaway Beach Line

Websites:
Rockaway Branch Line blog
Rockaway Branch Line Mission Statement
Queens Public Transit

Please support the following petitions:
Ferry
Queens Rockaway Beach Line
Toll
Train
Q 52 Bus
Station Agents
Metro North Station in Queens
April 27, 2015, 9:36 am
Peter Beadle from Rego Park says:
I respect Phil McManus' advocacy and those who support the rail, but its complete rubbish to say that rebuilding the rail line wasn't considered. It has been considered three times since it was shut down, and each time it was rejected as infeasible and too costly. That was all before the QueensWay proposal [which I support] and when they were studying Train-Plane options, which you'd figure would have provided the best context to find support for building the train line, but it was rejected. And other than about 3 lines in its last report, MTA has shown a distinct lack of interest in building a train there.

And the thrust of this story suggesting that Rockaways residents want a train is likewise off base. No question some do, but Assemblyman Goldfeder's own commissioned study, found that more people in the Rockaways supported using the right-of-way for a park than using it for a train -- granted the survey didn't hold great news for the park option either, but that's not what we are debating here. The point is, it is fraudulent to suggest that there is huge support for a train anywhere along the ROW's length, but especially in the community that we keep getting told would benefit most.

Building a train line [and it would be building from scratch, nothing to "reactivate" up there] would be very expensive, bring large trains very close to people's homes with no room to adequately handle a derailment, and would encourage overdevelopment of the Rockaways in an age when the next Superstorm is likely not that far off. You really want to encourage a much larger population, now train dependent, living on that sand bar, when you know that very same train will be shut down 30 hours in advance of the storm and no adequate way to evacuate people?

The SBS proposal is properly scaled, and provides a system the likes of which has been proven time and again to work all over the world. You can be as skeptical as you want. I get it that you don't understand how it works. People predicted carmageddon when Bloomberg started implementing road diets and installing bike lanes on avenues in Manhattan too. But guess what, it didn't happen. In fact travel times improved. It may be counter intuitive to you, but that doesn't mean there isn't good research that supports this idea. I know you love your trains - hey I think trains are awesome too! - but unless you have a nifty way to not just close the current $15 billion deficit in MTA's capital budget, but then also find an additional billion or so to build your train, its not happening. So instead of dragging us through this same old argument all over again, lets get Woodhaven redesigned so that it can carry real mass transit where our buses aren't stuck in traffic and cutoff by double parking and delivery vehicles.
April 27, 2015, 1:37 pm
Joby Jacob from Hollis Hills says:
We can have SBS essentially tomorrow and the turn around time to do this will be fairly quick. The money to build out SBS on Woodhaven as I understand it would largely come from the NYC DoT budget.

The best case scenario with reactivating a Rockaway Beach rail line is several decades. Assuming Albany will give the MTA the money it needs to pay for the reactivation and that's a big assumption since the MTA has no way of funding the $15 Billion in expansion already in the works. (See Tom Prendergasts comments this morning about the lack of funding for the MTA).
April 27, 2015, 3:06 pm
Philip McManus from Queens says:
Don't believe the lies from City Hall. Select Bus Service on Woodhaven Boulevard will cost more than 200 million dollars and millions more in traffic and camera enforcement. It's going to cost Queens our time, freedom and prosperity.
Why does half of Manhattan get most of the new railway funding and expansion? City Hall and some outer borough politician are betraying the best interest of Queens. Why can't we have subway and commuter rail expansion? We don't count because we are divided by our own elected leaders. It's time to organize and fight back.

The Queens Public Transit Committee met and rallied on Thursday, April 30 at PS 42. DOT had their last scheduled Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service workshop in Rockaway.

Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit will hurt thousand of commuters with longer more congested, crumbling roadways that will take your time, freedom and prosperity away.

City Hall and NIMBY politics refuses to restore our train the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the new QueensRail, citywide ferry service, expand and maintain our transportation system to our borough and region.

We believe removing numerous traffic lanes, left turns, lowering the speed limit and taking away bus stops for the Select Bus Service plan will be a disaster and divide our borough. We need to restore the unused train tracks on the QueensRail and expand citywide ferry, bus, train and roadway services. Our plan unites and helps all the people of Queens and the region.

City Hall is hurting and stealing from Queens.

City Hall will push for more bus lane cameras and more traffic enforcement which will cause more Queens commuters to pay more. The city is demonizing motorist and taxing them to benefit half of Manhattan and outer borough power brokers.

The City took away the Rockaway Beach Line, our ferry, put tolls on Rockaway bridges, refuses to repair our roadways and railways and now they are taking OUR BUS STOPS!

The Dept. of Transportation is planning to take away the following bus stops:
5 rd in Broad Channel,
Beach 105 St.,
Beach 101 St.,
and Beach 98 St.

The Dept. of Transportation is
a misnomer it should be called the Dept. of Bicycle Safety or Dept. of Slow Transportation.

DOT has the audacity to take away our bus stops too? Do they realize the
Q 53 Bus was a Rockaway Express Bus from Woodside to Rockaway that took 45 minutes?

How dare they take away bus stops in Queens?

This is outrageous!

Is anyone surprised by this discrimination of our community again? Who is going to stand up and fight for Queens? Who wants to be the next Mayor?

Are we going to lie down and take this or are we going to rise up and fight back?

The Select Bus Service plan on Woodhaven Boulevard is anti transportation and must be stopped. The bicycle fanatics in power only care about bicyclist. We need to have a balanced approach and treat everyone equally. We need to help people get around safely and quickly. City Hall only cares about extreme safety precautions and not transportation. We should share the road not steal the road.
Vision Zero and Select Bus Service are hurting our city with slower more congested roadways and with traffic lanes closures. DOT has taken away traffic lanes all over Queens, Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Freeway, Shore Front Pkwy, Cross Bay Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, and Rockaway Boulevard.

We need more faster transportation including the QueensRail, ferry, bus, train and roadway expansion.

We need to get organized, unite and build transit coalitions.

Write to the newspapers and demand more service not less service. Don't take away traffic lanes, left turns, parking, railways, and now bus stops.

We told the people that commuters would be hurt by this plan. City Hall and DOT can not be trusted.

Transportation Alternatives, City Hall, Vision Zero, Select Bus Service, and QueensWay are killing Queens.

Don't settle for Select Bus Service crumbs and bones from Manhattan elite. We deserve railway expansion too.

We need your help. Please support our group and help us promote the QueensRail, (Queens Rockaway Beach Line), and faster transportation.

We need to show unity, strength and recruit new friends and groups to our transportation movement.

Thank you to all our supporters.

Philip McManus
PhilAMcManus@gmail.com
718-679-5309

Queens Public Transit Committee
Faster transportation will create more social, economic, recreational, and environmental opportunities.

Facebook:
Rockaway Beach Rail Line
Queens Public Transit
Rockaway Beach Branch

Twitter:
Rockaway Beach Line

Websites:
Rockaway Branch Line blog
Rockaway Branch Line Mission Statement
Queens Public Transit

Please support the following petitions:
Ferry
Queens Rockaway Beach Line
Toll
Train
Q 52 Bus
Station Agents
Metro North Station in Queens
May 5, 2015, 5:51 pm
Danny Ruscillo from Rockaway Park Queens says:
The the issue is about the Rockaway Beach Rail Line vs. Select Bus Service because once that's in place $$$$$$ my opinion is we will never see a rail line. The Rockaway Beach Rail Line should be activated NOW no more studies no more asking just do it!
May 5, 2015, 6:40 pm
Carl Perrera from Ozone Park says:
Peter Beadle is misinterpreting the facts regarding the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. Past studies of the RBL were flawed since much unnecessary costs were incorporated into those past studies for a second trestle over Jamaica Bay to handle both LIRR service to one end of the Rockaway Peninsula and LIRR service to the other end. Also those studies made it appear that the "A Line has a greater frequency than the LIRR service also flawing the study making it seem unfeasible. The Port Authority Study may have excluded local service for the community along the RBL line since passenger facility charges (PFC) funding was to be used and for this to be used the Line has to be part of JFK Airport. This is why the Jamaica Station and the Howard Beach Station on a MTA NYCT Subway Map say JFK Airport because technically they had to rename those two stations to use those PFC funds to renovate those two stations to build the transfers between the Airtrain and the subway. This is why it didn't make sense to operate the AIRTRAIN along the Rockaway Beach Line because there would have been no local stops as with the current line along the Van Wyck Expressway. A proper study could use a simple transfer at the Aqueduct Station between the LIRR and the "A" subway Line which would be at least 75% less costly bu just reactivating the line from Aqueduct to either Whitepot Junction (under the LIRR Option) or or between Rego Park and Aqueduct under the subway Option. Also a light rail system could also be studied between rego park and aqueduct along the RBL as well if residents are concerned with noise and vibrations. The berm along the Rockaway Beach Line is extremely strong and was built to last. Only some of the bridges may need to be replaced. The majority of the costs would only be for stations, landscaping, rail beds and bridges. That's it, that reactivating not rebuilding(except for a few bridges). As far as SBS is concerned is the only reason that NYCDOT & the MTA is pushing for this is due to federal funding is paying for it. I have nothing against enhanced limited stop bus service along Woodhaven Blvd./Cross Bay Blvd. but not at the expenses of motorists. In many past articles Allan Rosen has shown how the SBS bus service doessn't work. The nuts at Transportation Alternatives(TA) are only primarily interested in putting bicycle lanes everywhere in the City even though less than one percent of the population commutes by bicycle. They can't change those statistics. Also those few can't ride bikes to commute in the winter. The only reason TA supporting sbs along Woodhaven Blvd. is so they get a bike lane on the Queensway and maybe later City Hall will throw them another bone by also putting a bicycle lane along Woodhaven Blvd/Cross bay Blvd. as well for supporting SBS. If it were up to TA they would have bicycle lanes on the moon.
May 5, 2015, 7:42 pm
Moshe from Flushing says:
If not a train, then buses could be run along the Rockaway Beach Branch right-of-way and it would not be cost prohibitive. Perhaps a bicycle path could also run alongside the right-of-way.

Reactivation has NEVER been about cost or "infeasibility." It's been about a small, but influential group of NIMBYs who decided to buy property adjacent to a rail line. They then complain when a growing BOROUGH and a CITY that are DESPERATE for TRANSIT rights-of-way decide to explore its reactivation.

Peter Beadle, a Queensway supporter, acknowledged in his comment that ROW reactivation had been studied previously. Therefore, this small group of ROW homeowners should have prepared themselves for the possibility of a transit option returning.

Restoring the Rockaway Beach Branch would help not only Rockaway, but EVERY neighborhood along the right-of-way including Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and, YES, even Forest Hills and Rego Park.

How much longer are we going to sacrifice the TRANSIT needs of TENS OF THOUSANDS of NYC residents for those of a relatively tiny few?

And Peter, the Queens College study also demonstrated that many more FOREST HILLS RESIDENTS wanted the TRAIN than a park!
May 5, 2015, 7:49 pm
Allan Rosen from Sheepshead Bay says:
This is for Peter Beadle from Rego Park. You are grossly misinformed. You state that SBS works all over the world. If that is the case why has it failed in New York City? That's right, I said failed. We have seven SBS routes now. Between 2013 and 2014, ridership has declined on four of the seven routes, greater than the borough average decline. On the B44, it declined by three times the borough average. Ridership increased only on the two Bronx routes where the borough average also increased and in Staten Island ridership went up the same as the borough average.  You can read more here: 

http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2015/05/the-commute-we-now-have-definitive-proof-select-bus-service-sbs-is-a-failure-part-2-of-2/

On Woodhaven, the plan which includes the banning of all but a few left turns prevents drivers from getting off the road when traffic backs up, stranding them in traffic. The design allows only two through lanes and a service lane that is only accessible once every mile. It will delay emergency response times as well trucks, taxis, and cars. 

DOT has proved they can't enforce existing bus lanes or even maintain them. They have presented no data to show that traffic would properly flow. They can't answer the simplest of questions. Here are 60 of them that we asked:

https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=16B101054C13A9CB!632&ithint=file%2cdoc&app=Word&authkey=!APFeLZ0q7gWvPFw 

Don't you think we deserve answers?

 We don't need to waste $231 million on an ill-conceived  plan that may have to be ripped up after it fails miserably and force us to waste even more money.  All my predictions for the failed B44 SBS came true and so will my predictions for the Woodhaven $28 million project which has already increased to $231 million. The one year construction period has already increased to 18 months  and will increase again to 24 months by the time it begins. When it is finally completed after 36 months after countless business have to shut their doors, what will you say then? 

SBS supposed to speed the buses so why is the speed limit being lowered? That will slow down buses not speed them up. Apparently Mr. Beadle, you are the one who doesn't understand how SBS works. 
May 5, 2015, 8:35 pm
Richard Berger from Belle Harbor says:
The Rockaways has homes being built. We who live in the Rockaways welcome the new residents, but a problem that will increase, is how are the residents supposed to get to work/play/etc. in a city that views itself as New York (Manhattan), and the rest of the world?
Take away existing lanes on Cross Bay/Woodhaven Boulevards, just for bus traffic? I'll compare it to a multiple lane highway, when one lane is blocked by an accident, and the next lane over is blocked for safety for the Fire Fighters, Police, and Emergency Medical Services "working" the accident. All the traffic has to go into the "bottle-necked" lane. The entire road slows to a crawl. What of ambulances coming along the road from behind the traffic jam, as even with their lights and sirens engaged, there's no place for traffic to move, to clear out of their way.
We might need express bus lanes, but we also need the Rockaway Beach Line and the ferry reactivated, to offer alternatives to driving into "the city".
May 5, 2015, 10:53 pm
Joseph M. Calisi from Flushing says:
Nothing is as efficient as a train which can carry 1,000 at one time. In addition to that, the trip into Manhattan is only a half-hour and a half hour on the bus doesn't even get you to the subway station.

A bus has a capacity of less than 100 and burns fossil fuel - how 'green' is that?
May 6, 2015, 6:44 am
David Miraglia from Bay ridge says:
I live in Brooklyn and work in the Bronx. AL Rosen is correct about sbs. Driving my bus on for dam road is a nightmare. Bloomberg screwed up Brooklyn big time the area around prospect park is a nightmare. I might live in Brooklyn. But it is more important to have the rockaway line restored than build a park. To go from 95 street. I have to take the r to the f or get to the a. If the line was restored with the shuttle connecting to the long island railroad. It would take half the time
May 6, 2015, 11:09 am
Matt Whalen from The Raunt says:
Buses will NEVER be as efficient as a train at moving large amounts of people quickly. Buses are always dirty and disgusting, trains have more room in them and get cleaned more often between stops. Few businesses make any money near a BUS stop but, a Train station creates more jobs, more business. People are willing to move near a train station to get to work. There is absolutely NO ADVANTAGE to living near a bus stop. The "Rockaway Line" will bring people into and out of Manhattan to work, as well as people from HOT Manhattan to the COOL refreshing sea breezes at the beach.
May 6, 2015, 4 pm
Steve from Howard Beach says:
The city and MTA must think we are stupid goats. Take away one lane of traffic from an overburdened road, and traffic will flow smoother. ????? Duh.

It's already been done, before SBS goes into effect. And the traffic backups are apparent.

The two major reasons the old LIRR line is not getting serious attention is money and lack of political support.

I have no crystal ball, but SBS is not going to work.
May 7, 2015, 10:05 am
Glen Rivara from Forest Hills says:
I'm from Arverne originally. I don't drive. If I wanted to go back there I would have to either take a subway into Manhattan and then back out through Brooklyn OR take local buses that stop for every rat in the road OR take the subway to Jamaica then take the train to the plane and the train from the plane on the other side and then take the subway. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Everyone should be screaming for this train line. The big thing holding Rockaway back is that it's too hard to get there whether or not you drive a car.
I go to Long Beach all the time because it makes more sense. Going to Rockaway by public transportation is just too much work.
May 8, 2015, 10:11 pm
Philip McManus from Rockaway Park says:
Dear Steve from Howard Beach,

Your right. Money and politics. That's why we are organizing and changing that political opinion so we can get $ 32 billion dollars invested in Queens and the outer boroughs. Do you see how Manhattan is stealing our transportation funding and forcing us to take cars and get stuck in more traffic congestion. Who is going to pay for railway expansion in Manhattan? Answer: Motorist and commuters from the outer boroughs with longer, expensive commutes, speeding cameras and tickets? Manhattan has been stealing from the outer boroughs since 1898. Who has the most and best services Queens or Manhattan? We need railways all over Queens including the QueensRail to reduce travel times, congestion, pollution, emergency response times and increase social, recreational, environmental and economic opportunities. We need to fight with unity. Join the Queens Public Transit Committee. We need more volunteers to fight City Hall and the corruption.
Philip McManus
QPTC
718-679-5309
May 9, 2015, 3:38 pm
stanley schulman from rockaway park, ny 11694 says:
Let's discuss the racial issue regarding the restoration of the dormant Rockaway Beach Line right of way. In 1962 when most of the Rockaway Beach was gerrymanded to connect with the A train at Euclid Avenue, the main motive was to keep the black people of Far Rockaway from traveling through Queens. Logic and economics tells you it would have made much more sense to continue the track bed another quarter mile to the Queens subway line, but in keeping with the racial attitudes of the era, they were diverted the long way round to Manhattan via Bedford Stuyvestant and on to Sugar Hill in Harlem. Nothing has changed. Keep the poor people poor for the sake of the upper middle class people in Forrest Hills; keep the poor people who were dumped in Rockaway to begin with from having rapid and ready access to work opportunities
May 9, 2015, 4:47 pm
Glenn DiResto from Rockaways says:
The Old Rockaway Line would provide easy access to fast transportation not just for the people of south Queens but access for ALL the residents of Queens AND the rest of the City. Those who live in the areas serviced by the Rockaway Line would be able to commute back and forth to work in about half the current time. Every New Yorker in the City would be able to finally access Shopping in Queens, JFK Airport, Resorts World Casino and the Beaches of Rockaway with ease. It would open a transportation corridor from South Queens to the middle of Queens and create endless economic opportunities for the forgotten borough. The ease of Transportation will make the areas of Queens serviced by the Rockaway Line more desirable to live, improving economic opportunity and property values.

The significant housing development and a growing population of Queens make the need for the Re-opening of the Rockaway Line a no brainier. To put a park on this right away would be a travesty considering most of the areas of Queens close to the proposed Queensway already have Forest Park and with the continued growing population of New York City and Queens the need for additional Park space is not as crucial as the need for faster and accessible transportation.

Many say it will take years to build. Well any major infrastructure undertaking takes careful planning and many years of construction to come to fruition. Look at the 2nd Ave Subway it was first proposed in 1929 and is only now becoming a reality. How about the extension of the #7 train to the West Side of Manhattan, it will be opening THIS year, or how about East Side Access corridor that will bring the LIRR into Grand Central. All these major undertakings are huge projects and take time to complete, but in the long run will make our city a much better place.

Peter Beadle says it would be to costly. But we all know it will be to costly NOT to build it. Just like any other major infrastructure project, the re-opening of the Rockaway Line would not be funded by one single source. This project could be funded just like many of the other large capital improvement projects around the City. This project would be a partnership between the Feds, State and City. The Federal Transportation Administration, The City of New York, State of New York and the MTA could all chip in to make this a reality. Selling bonds is another way a being able to pay for the Rockaway Line that would only be fraction of the cost of any of the major MTA projects I mentioned above.

WHEN WE STOP INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE WE STOP INVESTING IN THE FUTURE. ITS NEVER ABOUT US ITS ABOUT THE FUTURE AND THE NEXT GENERATION.

Some say build the Queens Way and we can have our own High Line right here in Queens. Under normal circumstances I would have to agree. But, to deny the people of this city and Queens better transportation to build a scenic walkway is NOT the answer. One must remember, we are not Manhattan and tourists are not naturally attracted to visit this area of queens. However, build faster transportation, let them know then can use it to go to the Airport of Casino or even the beach only 30 min from Midtown Manhattan and watch them come in large numbers. Also one must remember the High Line was an abandon rail line that would have either become the High Line or it would have needed to been demolished at a significant cost. The scenarios of the High Line and the Queens Way are totally different and should not be compared.

Many have said you can’t re-open the Rockaway Line because people have built along the right of way. Unfortunately, for these homeowners who happen to live along the Right of Way they are obviously opposed to the re-opening of the line. But should tens if not hundreds of thousands of people be denied faster and more affordable and accessible transportation for the benefit of a few?? The residents along the right of way who purchased knew or should have known that these abandon rails could once again be activated by the MTA. I hate to say it but in real estate there is a phrase called Caveat Emptor which means "Buyer Beware."

We must never forget that we ALWAYS have to invest in our future and the Rebuilding of the Rockaway Line is a way to do it.
May 10, 2015, 7:43 am
Danny Ruscillo from Rockaway Park, NY says:
I already put a comment in, but the Rockaway Beach Rail Line means so much to me and many others especially Rockaway residents I'll put in another comment PUT THE RAIL ON THE TRACKS AND GET IT GOING!!!!!!!
May 11, 2015, 5:24 pm
Virginia from Rockaway Park says:
The reactivation of the Rockaway Beach line and the Rockaway Ferry make the most sense. The corridor is overburdened. Invest in our future of good, convenient transportation for all any time of day, any day of the week.
May 11, 2015, 5:45 pm
Matt Whalen from The Raunt says:
I've commented on this before but, please, I appeal to all of those with some "common sense". Queens needs the RE-ACTIVATION of the RBL. It was built for a reason with our hard earned tax payer's money. This RB rail line was cut for political reasons. They effectively separated Northern Queens from Southern Queens. They also separated Manhattan from Rockaway. It used to be a 35 minute train ride from Rockaway to Manhattan. The RBL has 4 tracks in some areas and would relieve the bumper to bumper traffic on Cross bay and Woodhaven Blvd. Adding more SBS Buses to cure the traffic problem on these roads is "INSANE" ! Why don't we put ROCKET BOOSTERS on a horse and Buggy while we're at it to make it GO FASTER ! RE-ACTIVATE the QUEENSLINE (formely L.I.R.R. RBL) NOW ! It was needed back then, IT'S REALLY NEEDED RIGHT NOW !
May 11, 2015, 6:44 pm
Paul King from Rockaway says:
"The subway system is just slammed." I submit this expert who wrote this has not done a lot of driving on Woddhave Blvd. at rush hour. That's the definition of slammed. I have no problem with improved bus service but that is just a drop in the bucket compared with what trains can do. The options should not be mutually exclusive but unfortunately, experience tells us otherwise.
May 11, 2015, 9:35 pm
David Miraglia from Bay ridge says:
The fully reopened rockaway line. Would also be a boon for Brooklyn. As I said earlier. It takes 2 hours to go from Brooklyn to the rockaway by train. The simplest way would be sending the rockaway park shuttle to a new junction station with long island railroad. And have all rockaway line station's equipped with long island railroad ticket vending machines. So customers entering. The station's can buy their tickets and make a quick cross platform transfer at that new junction station.
May 12, 2015, 12:11 pm
Mary from Breezy Point says:
Why do we have to wait until 2017 for the ferry to be back-- is it because of elections??? Rockaway's needs are being ignored while the free Staten Island ferry is getting more frequent service. The economic benefit by improving transportation to and from the Rockaways is just the boost needed after Sandy!!
May 14, 2015, 12:53 pm
Jerome Reyes from Arverne says:
We need the rail system to be implemented to help cut down the time it takes to get to your prospective jobs I cannot stress enough the importance of having more than two options in order to reach your place of business and or work communities which are on the outskirts of the city suffer not only because of lack of transportation but lack of jobs and businesses which will not come to the Rockaways because of excessive travel time to and from Manhattan and other parts of the city thank you for your concern.
May 18, 2015, 6:40 am
Philip McManus from Queens says:
Joan Byron thinks crowded, slow, unreliable bus service stuck in traffic including exclusive bus lane traffic is better than expanding the railways in our region. Does this sound right? This is a ploy to force and control people into longer unreliable service while ignoring the QueensWay option.
Please read on the Internet.

WPIX SBS Piece

Queens Chronicle:

Select Bus Plan Will Endanger People

Residents Split On Woodhaven SBS

Select Bus Service Needs Fine Tuning Some Say

Bus BS On Our Boulevards

Ten Myths About Select and Rapid Transit Buses

Select Bus Service Will Make Woodhaven Worse

No Left Turns Onto Jamaica Avenue

Goldfeder Working on the Rail Line

Queens Ledger

Don’t Waste Rail Line

Queens Tribune

Woodhaven – A mixed Reception to SBS Plan

Rockaway Times

Ideas for Smarter Transportation 2

Rockaway Wave

Transportation Debate

Select Bus Blues

W 12 Rd Block Assoc.

Select Bus Service SBS Routes

Forum News Group

Mixed Reviews at First Q52/53 Select Bus Service Workshop

Times Ledger

Anti-SBS Rally

Forest Hills Times

Residents Discuss Woodhaven Blvd Redesign

Sheepsheadbites Blog

We Now Have Definitive Proof SBS is a Failure – Part 1, and Part 2

DOT and the MTA Have No Answers

We Pay Taxes- We Deserve Answers

NYC DOT Announces Final Plans for Woodhaven Blvd

We Need a Moratorium on Future SBS Routes – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

June 27, 2015, 7:15 pm
Philip McManus from Queens says:
The Select Bus Service is going to force people onto local streets to avoid gridlock and unfair tickets on Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. Don't believe people who say we can have Select Bus Service and QueensRail together. The Queens Public Transit Committee hasn't heard from any of these SBS people advocate for the QueensRail. This is a political agenda to divide and punish the outer boroughs and take our money from hard working poor and middle class commuters for the lower half of Manhattan real estate interest, City Hall and QueensWay. Stop stealing our time, freedom, safety and prosperity. Give us back the QueensRail, and expand our transportation system including more longer buses, more ferries, more subways, commuter rails and maintain our roadways. Give us back our travel lanes and stop painting and closing them causing more congestion and accidents. Look at Cross Bay Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue near Broad Channel and Rockaway. City Hall painted those travel lanes in each direction and lowered the speed limit to slow our commutes and take our money and time from the outer boroughs. City Hall took those travel lanes so they can control us more and keep us isolated, divided, separated, distracted and unorganized.
City Hall and the MTA are stealing our services for the lower half of Manhattan. How many times has the A and Shuttle trains and Marine Parkway Bridge, an unfair toll bridge, been closed to commuters? Do you really think we are getting our fair share? Is this blockbusting and redlining by our own government? How many politicians own property in these areas? A tale of two cities Mr. Mayor.
Get organized and take back your government from City Hall, Transportation Alternatives, QueensWay, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign, Pratt Institute and tree and bike huggers who are all part of the gang to steal your time, money, opportunities and your transportation options. None of these groups have stated to me that they support the restoration of the QueensRail. QPTC are the real transportation advocates. If they support the QueensRail and faster transportation they can contact me at 718-679-5309, PhilAMcManus@gmail.com, Philip McManus, Queens Public Transit Committee. I'm still waiting. We can work together when you advocate for all commuters.
Aug. 27, 2015, 9:08 am

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