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q70
LaGuardia Link
A Q70 SBS bus in LaGuardia Link livery, approaching Jackson Heights, bound for Woodside.
Overview
System MTA Regional Bus Operations
Operator MTA Bus Company
Garage LaGuardia Depot
Vehicle New Flyer Xcelsior XD60
Livery Select Bus Service / LaGuardia Link
Began serviceSeptember 8, 2013 (Q70 limited-stop service)
September 25, 2016 (LaGuardia Link Q70 SBS)
Route
Locale Queens, New York, U.S.
Communities served Woodside, Jackson Heights
Start Woodside – 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue/ 61st Street–Woodside subway station (  7    <7> ​ trains) and Woodside LIRR station
Via Roosevelt Avenue, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Grand Central Parkway
End LaGuardia Airport
Length4.5 miles (7.2 km) [1] [2]
Other routes Q33 82nd/83rd Streets
Service
Operates24 hours [3]
TransfersYes
Timetable Q70 SBS
←  Q69
Q53 SBS (by borough)
M60 SBS (by route number)
 {{{system_nav}}}  Q72
S79 SBS
S79 SBS →

The LaGuardia Link Q70 Select Bus Service bus route is a public transit line in Queens, New York City, running primarily along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It runs between the 61st Street–Woodside station—with transfers to the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road—and Terminals B and C at LaGuardia Airport, with one intermediate stop at the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station. This route is operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations under the MTA Bus Company brand.

The route was created on September 8, 2013, as a limited-stop route. The Q70 Limited bus was part of a program to create faster bus service between Woodside, Jackson Heights, and LaGuardia Airport. On September 25, 2016, it became a Select Bus Service route with the branding LaGuardia Link. The Q70 route started using articulated buses in June 2020 because of increased ridership, and it has been fare-free since April 2022. The Q70 served nearly 1.2 million passengers in 2014, the first full year of operation, which increased to nearly 1.95 million passengers in 2019.

Route description and service

A LaGuardia-bound Q70 loading passengers in Woodside, prior to the implementation of Select Bus Service.

The Q70 starts in Woodside at 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue, where a connection is available to the Long Island Rail Road at its Woodside station, and a transfer is available to the IRT Flushing Line ( 7 and <7>​ trains) at 61st Street–Woodside station. The route continues via Roosevelt Avenue until it reaches 74th Street at the junction of Woodside, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. Here, a transfer is available to the Flushing Line ( 7 train) and IND Queens Boulevard Line ( E, ​ F, <F>, ​ M, and ​ R trains) at Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station; the Jackson Heights stop is the most heavily used stop on the route. The route then travels non-stop, running via Broadway before turning onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway towards LaGuardia Airport. The Q70 stops at the "Central Terminals", stopping at Terminal C, then Terminal B. [a] The route then loops through the airport roadway and continues back to Jackson Heights and Woodside. On the return trip, the Q70 uses 75th Street and Woodside Avenue to travel between the Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street and 61st Street–Woodside subway stations. [2] [3] [4]

The Q70 runs 24 hours a day. [5] The buses that operate on the Q70 have special luggage racks for people traveling to and from the airport. [2] [6] [7]

Stops

Station
Street traveled
Direction Connections
61st Street
(Woodside Avenue)
Southbound terminus LIRR: City Terminal Zone at Woodside
MTA Bus: Q18, Q53 SBS
NYC Bus: Q32
NYC Subway: "7" train "7" express train​ trains at 61st Street–Woodside
62nd Street
(Roosevelt Avenue)
Northbound station
Victor A. Moore Bus Terminal
(Roosevelt Avenue and 74th Street)
Bidirectional MTA Bus: Q33, Q47, Q49, Q53 SBS
NYC Bus: Q32
NYC Subway: "7" train "E" train "F" train "F" express train "M" train "R" train trains at Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street
94th Street Airport stop MTA Bus: Q72
NYC Bus: M60 SBS
Terminal C MTA Bus: Q72
NYC Bus: Q48,

M60 SBS

LGA Shuttle Bus

Terminal B
Notes:
  1. The route loops around LaGuardia Airport terminal bus stops and continues toward the southbound terminus at Woodside. There is no northbound terminus stand.

History

Implementation of limited service

In 2009, under the Phase II of the city's Select Bus Service (SBS) program, faster bus service to LaGuardia Airport was recommended as a primary need. [2] [8] [9] Under the LaGuardia Airport Access Alternatives Analysis study, another SBS study which was conducted by NYCDOT in partnership with MTA Bus, New York City Transit, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2011–2012, it was recommended that a bus route should connect the central terminals of LaGuardia and transit hubs in Jackson Heights and Woodside. At these transit hubs, transfers could be made to the subway, Long Island Rail Road and buses from the new connector route. [2] [10] [11] [12] The reason for the creation of the study was the slow bus service on the M60, Q33, Q47, Q48, and Q72, which all went to LaGuardia Airport. [2] [10] [11] [12] At the time, the airport was the New York area's only large airport without any rapid transit connections to Manhattan. [13]

A new bus route running between Woodside and LaGuardia Airport via the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street subway station was announced in October 2012. [14] [15] This was implemented on September 8, 2013, as the Q70 limited-stop route, [16] which replaced the portion of the Q33 local bus that went to LaGuardia Airport. [17] The Q33 was subsequently cut back to 95th Street and Ditmars Boulevard. [18] [19] The Q70 originally ran with 40-foot (12 m) buses. [20]: 173 

In April 2016, in response to higher ridership, [2] service on the Q70 was increased to run every 8 minutes instead of every 12 minutes during midday and PM peak hours. Weekend service began running every 10 minutes, and service during overnight hours was increased to run every 20 minutes from every 30 minutes. [21]

Conversion to Select Bus Service

Mockup for the proposed LaGuardia Subway Shuttle

Although the Q70 was intended as a bus rapid transit project, for its first three years of service it was not branded as Select Bus Service (SBS) and did not employ most SBS elements, lacking ticket machines, all-door boarding, branded buses, and dedicated bus lanes. [22] [23] [24] The route was implemented as a limited-stop route instead, because there were regulatory issues preventing SBS implementation. It was also thought that in the interim, the combination of highway use and widely spaced stops would provide sufficient benefits. [18]

The Q70 is one of three SBS routes that were planned under the LaGuardia Alternatives Analysis. [11] The M60 became an SBS route on May 25, 2014, [25] and the Bx41 SBS route had been planned to be extended to LaGuardia Airport under the LaGuardia Alternatives Analysis. [11] However, the Bx41 extension has yet to be implemented due to a lack of funding. [26] According to the city government, the three routes "would provide "shorter term, lower cost transit improvements" for LaGuardia Airport. [13] Compared to the Q33 route between Jackson Heights and LaGuardia, it takes the Q70 40% less time to get to LaGuardia. [27] The Q33 runs on local residential and commercial streets, which are frequently congested, resulting in slower service. [12] [18] The change, however, took direct airport service away from airport employees who live along the Q33 route in Jackson Heights, [18] [12] although MTA studies indicated that only a small portion of LaGuardia-bound passengers came from these areas. [18] However, since its implementation in September 2013, daily ridership on the Q70 has more than doubled from 2,100 riders to 4,300 riders. [17]

In November 2015, the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group for transit riders, issued a report suggesting that the Q70 be rebranded as the LaGuardia Subway Shuttle with no fares. The report mentioned that 85% of passengers using the Q70 already transferred to and from the subway, meaning that the bus brings no new revenue to the MTA. The group advocated for the rebranding of the route in conjunction with improved signage advertising for the route. Additional critiques made by the group are that the signage at LaGuardia for the Q70 is flawed and misleading, and that the bus stop locations on Roosevelt Avenue are not well marked. Increased service, bus running every 10 minutes during all times, countdown clocks and on-board announcements were all suggested by the group. [28] [29]

A Q70 Limited bus with the LaGuardia Link livery, just prior to the implementation of SBS.

In December 2015, the MTA announced that the Q70 SBS would be implemented in September 2016, [30] [31] when it was rebranded as the LaGuardia Link with the implementation of off-board payment of fares. This is similar as to what the Riders Alliance proposed, but the route would still require a free transfer or a regular fare. [32] As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 was to be wrapped in a teal blue scheme with silhouettes of clouds and airplanes. The buses would also have the text "LaGuardia Link" on the front, back, and both sides, in addition to the route emblems for the E, F, M, R, and 7 routes and the abbreviation "LIRR," which connect to the bus at Woodside–61st Street and at Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue. The rebranding was to encourage more people to take public transportation when using the airport. [33] [34] The insides of the buses were to have air traveler branded messaging. [2]

On September 25, 2016, Q70 Select Bus Service started with the route being branded as the LaGuardia Link, though the route kept its existing Q70 designation. [35] [36] The Q70 became MTA Bus's first SBS route; the change was expected to increase annual operating costs by $870,000. There is also the potential for traffic signal priority for the corridor on which the Q70 runs, which would speed up travel even further. The bus stop in Woodside was moved to the east to share a bus stop with the Q53 SBS, and the LaGuardia Airport-bound stop in Jackson Heights was relocated from its current location on 75th Street and Roosevelt Avenue into the 74th Street–Jackson Heights Intermodal Terminal (swapping stop locations with the Q47) to provide an easier transfer to the subway. [2] A new marketing campaign is designed to raise awareness of the route, with print publications on certain airlines, an extensive social media campaign, in-flight Wi-Fi and video services, and with wall wraps in baggage claim areas in LaGuardia. [17]

Subsequent changes

A Q70 SBS bus at LaGuardia Terminal D, displaying the "LaGuardia Link" designation, prior to the introduction of articulated buses
A Q70 SBS bus in Woodside following the introduction of articulated buses

Between 2016 and 2019, ridership on the Q70 SBS increased by 35%. In March 2020, MTA Bus proposed to the MTA Transit and Bus Committee that the Q70 fleet be converted to 60-foot (18 m) articulated buses due to increasing ridership. [20]: 173  In conjunction with this action, the southbound path of the Q70 would be modified between 75th Street and 61st Street. Buses would run south on 75th Street and then west on Woodside Avenue without any intermediate stops, terminating at Woodside Avenue and 61st Street, some 250 feet (76 m) from the LIRR and subway station. [20]: 177  This would eliminate a sharp turn at Broadway and 75th Street for southbound buses, as well as relocate the route onto less-congested streets. Furthermore, the terminus at 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue would no longer be shared with the Q53 SBS route; the new articulated buses meant that there was not enough space to accommodate both routes at that terminal, since the Q53 also uses articulated buses. [20]: 175  [37] This change was expected to take effect in April 2020, but was instead implemented on June 28, 2020. The delay was due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, which prevented the New York City Department of Transportation from installing the new bus stop at 61st Street. [38]

In December 2019, the MTA released a draft redesign of the Queens bus network. [39] [40] The redesign was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, [41] and the original draft plan was dropped due to negative feedback for other routes. [42] A revised plan was released in March 2022. [43] The Q70 is the only route for which no modifications were made at all, compared with 2019 conditions (the plan does not reflect the 2020 rerouting on Woodside Avenue). [44] In April 2022, governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Q70 bus would no longer charge fares starting on May 1, 2022, while the New York state government studied alternatives to the planned AirTrain LaGuardia people-mover system. [45] [46] Previously, fares on the Q70 were periodically suspended during peak travel periods, such as Easter and Christmas, [47] and many Q70 passengers already transferred to and from the subway for free. [45]

The AirTrain LGA project was canceled in March 2023, [48] after a panel of three transportation experts recommended that the frequency of the Q70 bus be increased and that another bus route, running to the Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard station, be operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The panel also suggested turning a mile-long section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway into a dedicated bus lane. According to Janette Sadik-Khan, one of the three panelists, the enhanced bus service would cost $500 million. [49] [50] In June 2023, the PANYNJ provided $30 million to fund the design of the enhanced bus service. [51] [52] A final Queens bus-redesign plan was released in December 2023. [53] [54] The Q70 would not be changed at all under the final bus redesign; even the westbound routing on Woodside Avenue would be preserved. [55]: 326–327 

Ridership

In 2014, the first full year of operation, the Q70 served 1,185,485 passengers. In 2018, the latest year for which passenger numbers are available, the Q70 had 1,704,485 passengers. [56] This amounted to an average of 5,090 riders per weekday [57] and an average of 7,280 riders per weekend. [58]

Notes

  1. ^ It does not serve the Marine Air Terminal. The segment of the Q33 bus in LaGuardia Airport, which the Q70 replaced, also did not go through the Marine Air Terminal.

References

  1. ^ "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting: January 2016" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting June 2016" (PDF). www.mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b MTA Regional Bus Operations. "Q70 bus schedule".
  4. ^ "Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport" (PDF). www.mta.info. New York City Trnasit. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "mta.info | Services to LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports". web.mta.info. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "Q70 Limited-Stop Service to LaGuardia Airport". www.mta.info. New York City Transit. September 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  7. ^ "MTA Bus: LaGuardia Depot Pick Glossary; Effective: 09/04/2016" (PDF). MTA Bus Company. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Introduction to BUS RAPID TRANSIT PHASE II" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2009.
  9. ^ "BUS RAPID TRANSIT PHASE II: Future Corridors" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  10. ^ a b "LaGuardia Airport Access Alternatives Analysis Public Meeting #1" (PDF). nyc.gov. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. June 22, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d "LaGuardia Airport Access: Improvement Summary" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d Cole, Marine (December 15, 2013). "LaGuardia bus finally takes off: Zippy new Q70 brings relief after decades of slow slog on Q33". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Bus Rapid Transit – LaGuardia Airport Access Alternatives Analysis". nyc.gov. New York City Department of Transportation. June 22, 2011. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Donohue, Pete (October 11, 2012). "MTA announces three new fast-track bus routes to LaGuardia Airport from Manhattan and the Bronx". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  15. ^ Newman, Andy (October 11, 2012). "Flights Won't Change, but Bus to La Guardia Will Get Easier". City Room. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  16. ^ Cole, Marine (December 13, 2013). "LaGuardia bus finally takes off". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  17. ^ a b c "Plans Follow Last Week's Announcement of Rebranding of Q70 Airport Bus Service". www.mta.info. June 29, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting June 2013" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 2013. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2016.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL ( link)
  19. ^ "Revisions to LaGuardia Airport Service". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 8, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  20. ^ a b c d "New York City Transit and Bus Committee Meeting March 2020". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 25, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  21. ^ "Fast and Reliable Bus Connection Will Operate Every 8–10 Minutes". www.mta.info. January 22, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  22. ^ "Select Bus Service" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, MTA New York City Transit Authority. November 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  23. ^ Newman, Phillip (September 16, 2013). "Take 15-minute ride to LaGuardia Airport on Q70". TimesLedger. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  24. ^ "Q70: Limited-Stop Service to LaGuardia Airport". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2013. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  25. ^ "+selectbusservice 125th Street: Sunday, May 25, 2014 M60 Select Bus Service is coming!" (PDF). nyc.gov. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Department of Transportation. 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  26. ^ "Bx41 on Webster Avenue Progress Report" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 25, 2014. p. 24. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  27. ^ Lestch, Corinne (September 5, 2013). "New Q70 bus will cut time to LaGuardia". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  28. ^ "LAGUARDIA BY TRANSIT: An Immediate, Free Proposal to Bring LaGuardia to the Subway" (PDF). RidersNY.org. Riders Alliance. November 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  29. ^ Whitford, Emma (November 23, 2015). "Report: A Free Shuttle Bus To LGA Might Not Cost The MTA Anything". Gothamist. Archived from the original on June 28, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  30. ^ "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting December 2015" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  31. ^ Press Release (January 22, 2016). "MTA Bus Adds Service to Popular Q70 Route to La Guardia Airport: Fast and Reliable Bus Connection Will Operate Every 8–10 Minutes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  32. ^ Barone, Vincent (June 15, 2016). "Q70 to be rebranded as Select Bus Service to LaGuardia". am New York. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  33. ^ Katz, Miranda (June 15, 2016). "Cuomo Drops Slick New LaGuardia Renderings & Hopeful Select Bus News". Gothamist. Archived from the original on June 18, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  34. ^ "Governor Cuomo, Joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Announces Groundbreaking on New LaGuardia Airport". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. June 14, 2016. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  35. ^ "MTA Select Bus Service | Q70 SBS". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on November 3, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  36. ^ Martinez, Jose (September 26, 2016). "Q70 Becomes Select Service Bus, Gets New Name". NY1. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  37. ^ "Q70 SBS Revision in Woodside" (PDF). nyc.gov. 2020.
  38. ^ "Transit Committee Meeting". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 22, 2020. p. 177. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  39. ^ Acevedo, Angélica (December 17, 2019). "MTA gives 'sneak peek' of transformative Queens bus network redesign plan". QNS.com. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  40. ^ "MTA Unveils Draft Proposal to Redesign Bus Network in Queens". Spectrum News NY1 | New York City. December 31, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  41. ^ Kaye, Jacob (June 1, 2020). "Queens bus network redesign remains on hold amid COVID-19 pandemic: MTA". QNS.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2020. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  42. ^ Duggan, Kevin (December 15, 2021). "MTA to release 'totally redone' Queens bus network redesign draft in early 2022". amNewYork. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  43. ^ Duggan, Kevin (March 29, 2022). "FIRST ON amNY: MTA reveals new Queens bus redesign draft plan". amNewYork. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  44. ^ "Draft Plan, Queens Bus Network Redesign". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 2022. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  45. ^ a b "Q70 Bus to LaGuardia Is Free for All Starting May 1, Hochul Says". NBC New York. April 27, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  46. ^ Izzo, Justin (April 27, 2022). "Q70 bus to LaGuardia to be free, Hochul says". Spectrum News NY1 New York City. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  47. ^ Nessen, Stephen (April 27, 2022). "Q70 bus to LaGuardia will be free, starting May 1st, while AirTrain alternatives are reviewed". Gothamist. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  48. ^ Simko-Bednarski, Evan (March 13, 2023). "AirTrain to LaGuardia canceled after Port Authority review". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  49. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (March 13, 2023). "Plans to Build AirTrain to La Guardia Are Officially Scrapped". The New York Times. ISSN  0362-4331. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  50. ^ "LaGuardia AirTrain NYC: Hochul scraps plan and MTA, Port Authority improve bus service". ABC7 New York. March 13, 2023. Retrieved March 14, 2023.
  51. ^ Ginsburg, Aaron (April 27, 2022). "Plan for better bus service to LaGuardia Airport rolls forward". 6sqft. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  52. ^ Nessen, Stephen (June 23, 2023). "Project to improve bus link to LaGuardia Airport project underway". Gothamist. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  53. ^ Brachfeld, Ben (December 12, 2023). "MTA unveils final proposal for Queens bus network redesign". amNewYork. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  54. ^ Shkurhan, Iryna (December 13, 2023). "MTA unveils final plan to overhaul Queens bus network for the first time in decades". QNS.com. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  55. ^ "Final Plan, Queens Bus Network Redesign". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 2023. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  56. ^ "Facts and Figures". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  57. ^ "Facts and Figures: Weekday". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  58. ^ "Facts and Figures: Weekend". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2016.

External links

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