MTA Expands Waterfront Bus Service in Astoria and LIC

By Jeanmarie Evelly on September 10, 2013 11:51am 

 Passengers on a crowded MTA bus.
Passengers on a crowded MTA bus.
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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

LONG ISLAND CITY — The Q103 bus will be rolling more frequently in Queens starting this week, city officials said Monday — giving a needed transit upgrade to growing neighborhoods along the Western Queens waterfront.

The Q103, which runs on weekdays-only along Vernon Boulevard between Hunters Point and Astoria, will run more often during morning rush hours, coming every 15 minutes instead of every 20 minutes, officials said.

The bus will also start earlier and end later than it currently does, with its first run now starting at 5:40 instead of 6:10 a.m. and its end run at 7:50 instead of 7:18 p.m.

The changes follow a campaign by commuter group Riders Alliance and State Sen. Michael Gianaris, who have been pushing for a number of transit improvements in Western Queens.

The MTA will also be adjusting the schedule of the Q102, which runs along 31st Street from Astoria to Queensbridge, so that actual bus arrivals will more closely match the times posted at bus stops, Gianaris said.

The Q103 is an important link for residents who live near the East River waterfront, where the nearest subway line is often several blocks away. The bus also passes popular cultural institutions like Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum, and green spaces like Queensbridge Park.

"As western Queens continues to include our city’s fastest growing neighborhoods, we need to make sure public transportation keeps up," Gianaris said in a statement.

The senator successfully pushed for a first round of service increases on the Q103 last year. He continues to call for overnight and weekend service on the line, according to a statement.

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