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Rockaway Residents Frustrated With Crowded Buses, Longer Travel Times

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As if dealing with the damage to their homes and neighborhoods aren't enough, beleaguered residents of the Rockaways continue to have big problems just getting to work. The MTA has set up some temporary service to ease the strain, but some residents say it's not enough. NY1's Tina Redwine filed the following report.

Rockaway residents say they're fed up having to wait an extra 30 minutes or more each morning for a bus to work.

"I don't get paid if I'm not there," said one commuter. "It's crazy."

In some cases, buses are so packed, they have to bypass stops.

The buses in question are the Q52 and Q53. Both buses take the Cross Bay Bridge to the A train Rockaway Boulevard station. They've been running that route for years, but they've never been as crowded as they are now, since Sandy wiped out A service across Jamaica Bay.

The extra commuting time to get off the peninsula is particularly hard for many who, after work, have to repair their destroyed homes.

"Today, I'm going to make a complaint, because this is not fair," said one.

The MTA set up a temporary substitute to get people off the peninsula, but these riders complain the roundabout route can take up to an hour and makes no sense for most people. An interim H shuttle takes riders east to Mott Avenue, where they take free shuttle buses back west around JFK and to the Howard Beach train stop.

Some riders said the MTA should take some of the buses it's using to shuttle passengers at Mott Avenue to the A train and instead use them instead to provide additional runs of the Q52 and Q53.

NY1 asked the MTA about that. The agency said starting Friday, it will add service until the A train is fully restored, but only on the Q52. It didn't say why the Q53 route won't get extra buses.

Meanwhile, sources say full service on the A train may not be back until the summer.

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