Saturday, August 16, 2014

New bus depot needed in Jamaica

From the Times Ledger:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority bought this year several properties adjacent to the South Jamaica bus depot with a plan to expand the facility in order to alleviate the lack of bus parking space.

City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) testified last Thursday before the state Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions regarding the MTA’s 2015-19 capital plan hearing to request the new Jamaica bus depot is built.

“We require an expanded depot with additional bus counts that would be able to handle additional service needs,” the councilman said. “I trust it will be in the budget,” he added, referring to the MTA’s four-year capital project.

Miller said the land purchased will allow the facility to expand onto Merrick Boulevard.

The MTA paid more than $6.5 million to acquire four properties alongside Merrick Boulevard just south of York College and Tuskegee Airmen Way. The negotiation included a nearby fifth property. In total, the MTA added to its portfolio 50,000 square feet.

“This depot, where major repairs are done, is vital to the effective use of bus service for southeast Queens riders,” he said. That’s why, added Miller, “it must remain the highest priority.”

The Jamaica bus depot was built in 1940 and is one of the oldest in the city. It houses approximately 200 buses that cover a total of nine southeast Queens routes. The depot grew small for all the operations running from South Jamaica, and during nights and weekends a lot of the buses are parked alongside Merrick Boulevard, creating a nuisance for neighbors.

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