ASTORIA — The Q103 bus, which connects Astoria and Long Island City along the waterfront, will begin running on weekends soon as part of a trial run being conducted by the MTA.
The MTA will expand service on the line on an experimental basis beginning in June, when the bus will run on weekends from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to a spokesman. The bus will also run for an extra hour and a half on weekday evenings, until 9 p.m.
The added service is being tested out because of increased ridership on the Q103.
It has not yet been determined how long the trial period will last, according to an MTA spokesman, who said a public hearing will be scheduled to get community feedback on the expansion before a decision is made on whether or not it will be permanent.
Local leaders and elected officials have previously advocated for extra service on the Q103, and its hours have been expanded before. Officials say the bus route is an important transportation link along the rapidly developing Queens waterfront.
In a statement, State Sen. Michael Gianaris said Astoria and Long Island City "have become hubs for the arts," drawing more visitors out to the neighborhoods.
"The need for more public transportation in our area will only continue to grow, especially on weekends, as more people flock to our waterfront to visit our restaurants, parks, and cultural institutions," he said.