By DOMENICK RAFTER
Some big changes are coming to the bus lines that run along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards.
The MTA announced at the May 3 Community Board 10 meeting that the agency is altering two of the three bus routes that use the major thoroughfare between Queens Center Mall and the Rockaway Peninsula.
Currently, the Q21, Q53 and Q11 run along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards. The latter two originate in Rockaway while the Q11 begins in Howard Beach. During peak times, the Q21 also has an express line, the Q21 Limited, which like the existing Q53 makes limited stops between Elmhurst and the Rockaways.
Under MTA’s new plan, the Q21 will be cut back to Howard Beach and terminate at 164th Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach. The Q21 Limited will become an entirely new bus line – the Q52 – and will run all day from Arverne to Queens Center Mall making limited stops with the Q53, the current Rockaway Park-Woodside limited route. The MTA moved the Rockaway terminus of the Q21 from Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park to Beach 67th Street in Arverne to serve the new Arverne-By-The-Sea development.
“We wanted to provide better service to this growing community,” Robert Lai, the MTA’s director of service design told CB10.
The Q52 will terminate at Queens Center Mall while the Q53 will continue to end its run at the Woodside LIRR station. Lai said the new bus routes aim to better connect the Rockaway Peninsula with neighborhoods such as Long Island City, Jackson Heights and Flushing. Before MTA rerouted the Q21, there was no directly bus connection from Arverne to the mainland, residents had to take the Q22 – which runs along the peninsula – or the A train to a bus in Rockaway Park, Far Rockaway or on the mainland. The new route will make it commutes easier for those who live in Arverne and work or go to school within the borough and borough residents to access Rockaway Beach by public transportation.
The implementation of the new Q52 service is scheduled for July 1. No changes will be made to the Q53, which current runs from Woodside to Rockaway Park as a limited service.