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Improvements Planned for Busy Queens Transit Corridor

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Queens is the only borough that doesn't yet have speedier Select Bus Service lines, but that could be changing, as some improvements are planned for a busy transit corridor that runs the length of the borough. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Everybody's got an opinion on how the buses run along Woodhaven and Cross Bay boulevards, one of the busiest transit corridors in Queens.

"The time schedule is usually, it's kinda fluky at times," said one commuter. "It doesn't come when it says on the chart over there. Very inconsistent."

"Run more often," said another. "I think it's a great line, the 52 and the 53, but I think it should run at least every five minutes or so."

Well, on Wednesday night, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city Department of Transportation want commuters to share those ideas at a community workshop on how to improve bus service.

The workshop is the first in a series of public workshops before the agency decides on big changes for the boulevards that serve more than 31,000 riders daily on local routes, with close to 3,000 riders on express lines.

Among the potential developments includes bringing the first Select Bus Service line to Queens, which would allow riders to pay fares in advance, then hop on from any entrance.

"The problem that I see is, try to get in the front, and this is all crowded, so you know what, people don't want to move all the way to the back," said one commuter. "So if you have an entrance over here in the back side, then you can get in."

The proposed Woodhaven SBS corridor would stretch from Roosevelt Avenue to the Rockaways, though a source says it's not yet clear which lines might get SBS services, or when.

While some riders say Queens is overdue for SBS service that's cut travel times and boosted ridership on other lines in the city, others aren't sold on it yet.

"We'd like to listen to the transit authority and see what they say about the Select Bus Service, but we have some concerns about what's going to happen to the extra traffic on Woodhaven Boulevard, the buses, and the trucks and the cars," said Philip McManus of the Queens Public Transit Committee.

The corridor was first pegged as a potential SBS route in 2009, though the design phase won't begin without a long period of public input, one that's finally set to get going.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at JHS 210, the Elizabeth Blackwell School, in Jamaica.

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