Portions of Queens have long been referred to as “transit deserts” due to their lack of transportation options. Several neighborhoods in northeast and southeast Queens have extremely limited accessibility to subway stops, Long Island Rail Road stations and bus lines.
Recently, a group of elected officials representing areas within Queens’ transit desert called on the MTA to reinstate the old Q75 bus route that ran from Hillside Avenue and Jamaica’s F train stops to Oakland Gardens. Councilman Barry Grodenchik noted that some residents in his district have to walk for 10 to 15 minutes to catch a bus, while Assemblyman David Weprin said that some of his constituents have been dealing with limited bus service for seven years after the MTA cut service in portions of the borough.
Grodenchik argued in a letter to the MTA that the reinstatement of the Q75 would provide a “one-seat connection to the subway system.” However, the MTA responded to Grodenchik, saying that it discontinued the bus line due to its having the fourth-lowest ridership in the city and noted that several current routes visit the same areas that the Q75 once covered.
Numerous ideas—many of them good ones—have been proposed in recent years on how to address the lack of transit options in southeast Queens, from adjusting roadways to accommodate Select Bus Service to making LIRR fares the same price as a MetroCard or utilizing the former South Side Rail Road line to create a light rail beginning in Montauk that would run through southeast Queens to the western portion of the borough.
Reinstating the Q75 bus line would be a solution that could be put into action quicker than some of the other proposals that have been floated to ensure that Queens is no longer a transit desert. We agree that it could go a long way for residents of southeast and northeast Queens and call on the MTA to consider bringing it back.