By Nicholas Briano
The Q21 bus will soon turn left instead of right onto Rockaway Beach Boulevard and head towards Arverne. The MTA Bus Operations Committee has proposed this week to revise the Q21 bus line to serve the Arverne By The Sea community by having the bus turn east coming off the Cross Bay Bridge, towards Arverne, instead of going west towards Beach 116 Street.
According to the MTA report, new residential and retail developments in and around the Arverne By The Sea complex have prompted the need for increased bus service to the area. While there is currently service coming from the Cross Bay Bridge to Rockaway Park via the Q21 and Q53, there is no direct access to Arverne from the bridge. The MTA wants to change that.
Therefore, starting in 2012, they’re proposing to revise the Q21 route to turn left at Rockaway Beach Boulevard and make stops along the boulevard until Beach 69 Street where its route will terminate. The Q21 bus currently turns west onto Rockaway Beach Boulevard and terminates its route at Beach 116 Street.
The Q21 bus travels along Crossbay/Woodhaven Boulevard through the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills, Ozone Park and Lindenwood before going through Broad Channel and Rockaway.
In addition to the changes, the MTA is planning to create local and limited stop variations of the line. The limited bus service is designed to move faster and only stop at some of the more popular locations along a bus line.
The MTA says the operating costs of the bus line would not increase as a result of the change and will maintain its current frequencies and approximate route length. The MTA justifies the route change by saying that most of the stops for the Q53 and Q21 in the Rockaway portion of the route overlap or are within less than three blocks from one another. The three stops that do not overlap with the Q53 (Beach 106, 110 and 112 Streets) are underutilized anyway with an average of less then 14 riders on weekdays, the Bus Committee say