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Q4 (New York City bus)

The Q4 bus route constitutes a public transit corridor running along Merrick Boulevard and the easternmost portion of Linden Boulevard in Southeastern Queens, New York City, United States. The route runs from the Jamaica Center transit hub and business district to Cambria Heights near the Queens-Nassau County border. The Q4 also provides limited-stop service along the corridor during peak weekday hours. Originally operated by Bee-Line Incorporated and later the North Shore Bus Company until 1947, the route is now operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations under the New York City Transit brand.

Merrick Boulevard−Linden Boulevard
Jamaica−St. Albans−Cambria Heights[1]
This image cannot be displayed.
A Q4 bus at the Jamaica Center Bus Terminal.
SystemMTA Regional Bus Operations
OperatorNew York City Transit Authority
GarageJamaica Depot
Communities servedJamaica, St. Albans, Cambria Heights
StartJamaica Center – Parsons/Archer Bus Terminal – Bay C
ViaMerrick Boulevard, Linden Boulevard
EndCambria Heights – 235th Street
Length3.6 miles (5.8 km)[2]
Operates24 hours[3]
Annual patronage2,744,728 (2017)[4]
← Q3  {{{system_nav}}}  Q5 →

Route description and serviceEdit

The Q4 begins at Bay C of the Jamaica Center Bus Terminal. It runs east on Archer Avenue to Merrick Boulevard, then south along Merrick Boulevard to Linden Boulevard. This corridor is shared with the Q5, Q85 and the Q84 (formerly the Q4A). The Q4 then diverges east along Linden Boulevard, running through St. Albans and Cambria Heights. The route terminates at 235th Street adjacent to the Cross Island Parkway, which marks the border with North Valley Stream in Nassau County. Travel into Nassau County requires walking several blocks east to Elmont Road to transfer to the n1 route of the Nassau Inter-County Express.[3][5][6][7][8][9]

During weekday rush-hour periods, the Q4 employs limited-stop service. These buses skip all stops north of Liberty Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, using a bypass via 160th Street and Liberty Avenue, and make all local stops east of Francis Lewis Boulevard (near Springfield Boulevard). Limited-stop buses operate in both directions during AM rush hours, and towards Cambria Heights only during PM rush hours (during summer weekdays: mornings toward Jamaica and afternoons toward Cambria Heights). During the morning rush period, alternate peak-direction (Jamaica-bound) local buses begin service at Francis Lewis Boulevard.[3][5][6][10]

The Q4 operates out of the Jamaica Bus Depot on Merrick Boulevard near Jamaica Center, as do several other routes in southeast Queens.[11]

Express bus serviceEdit

The X64 express bus begins at 235th Street, running along Linden Boulevard to Farmers Boulevard. It then runs on Farmers Boulevard, Liberty Avenue, the Van Wyck Expressway, and Queens Boulevard towards Midtown Manhattan.[6][7]


What is now the Q4 began service in November 1919, running from Union Hall Street station in Jamaica along Merrick Road (Merrick Boulevard) and Central Avenue (also known as Foch Boulevard or Westchester Avenue; today's Linden Boulevard)[12] to Bank Street (now 201st Street) in St. Albans, just west of Francis Lewis Boulevard.[13] In December 1923,[14] Bee Line, Inc started operating the route. At this time, service on the eastern portion of the line to Springfield Avenue (Springfield Boulevard) was provided by Bee Line's Farmers Avenue (Farmers Boulevard) route (today's Q3).[12][15][16][17] The exception was a three-week period in July 1927, when Merrick Boulevard-Central Avenue service was extended east to Springfield during construction on Farmers Avenue.[16][17][18]

Bee Line originally operated from 163rd Street and Jamaica Avenue in the Jamaica business district.[14] On October 1, 1930,[19] the Bee Line routes began terminating at the newly constructed Jamaica Union Bus Terminal near its former terminus. The new bus terminal was located at Jamaica Avenue and New York Boulevard (now Guy R. Brewer Boulevard), adjacent to the Union Hall Street station.[19][20][21][22]

As constituted in December 1930, the Jamaica-St. Albans route (designated Route No. 4) ran along Merrick Road and Central Avenue to Farmers Boulevard, south along Farmers to 119th Avenue, then east along 119th Avenue (the current Q84 route) to 196th Street.[12] In January 1931, the city altered the franchise (designated "Q-4") to continue on Central Avenue to 223rd Street in Cambria Heights.[23]

On August 11, 1936, the Bee-Line routes were moved to the newly opened 165th Street Bus Terminal (then the Long Island Bus Terminal).[24][25][26] In early 1939, the Q4 franchise was awarded to North Shore Bus Company; at this time, the Cambria Heights Civic Association requested an extension of the route from 227th Street to 236th Street at the Nassau County border.[2][27] In May 1939, Bee-Line relinquished its Queens routes including the Q4.[28] These routes began operation from the terminal under North Shore Bus Company on June 25, 1939,[29] as part of the company's takeover of nearly all routes in Zone D (Jamaica and Southeast Queens).[30][31] The northern terminus of the Q4, Q4A (predecessor to the Q84), Q5, and Q5A was moved once again to Hillside Avenue and 168th Street, near the 169th Street station of the IND Queens Boulevard Line, on October 27, 1939.[8][32]

In early 1945, the Q4 was extended from 227th Street to its current terminus at 235th Street near the county line.[33] At this time, short run service was operated to Francis Lewis Boulevard.[34] Following the extension, the route was frequented by residents of nearby Valley Stream towards Jamaica. This led to crowding on the route and complaints from Queens passengers.[34][35][36][37] On March 30, 1947, North Shore Bus would be taken over by the New York City Board of Transportation (later the New York City Transit Authority), making the bus routes city operated.[32][38][39] Under municipal operations, service on the Q4 was increased on April 3 of that year.[38][40]

On December 11, 1988, in conjunction with the opening of the Archer Avenue Subway, the northern terminal of the Q4, Q4A, and the other Merrick Boulevard routes was moved to the Jamaica Center Bus Terminal.[41][42][43] That same day, the Q4A was renumbered Q84.[44] In January 1993, the Merrick Boulevard routes began traveling on Archer Avenue in both directions. Previously, terminating buses traveled along Archer Avenue, while southbound buses traveled via Jamaica Avenue.[45][46]

In September 2003, limited service on the Q4, Q5, and Q85 was expanded during AM rush hours, beginning earlier in the morning.[47] On January 14, 2004, the MTA instituted the current limited-stop bypass in the Jamaica business district via Liberty Avenue and 160th Street. Reverse-peak limited-stop service was also added to the Q4 during morning hours.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ New York City Board of Estimate (September 19, 1938). "Hearing-Omnibus Operations". Long Island Daily Press. p. 8. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Notice of Public Hearing: Franchise Matters". Long Island Daily Press. January 27, 1939. p. 19. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c MTA Regional Bus Operations. "Q4 bus schedule" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures". August 28, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "MTA Bus Time: Q4 Cambria Heights - Jamaica via Linden Blvd / Merrick Blvd". MTA Bus Time.
  6. ^ a b c "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "1975 Queens Bus Map". New York City Transit Authority. 1975. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  8. ^ a b North Shore Bus Company (July 29, 1942). "For the Convenience of Queens Bus Riders". Long Island Daily Press. p. 4. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "NASSAU INTER-COUNTY EXPRESS System Map" (PDF). Nassau Inter-County Express, Transdev. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Dentch, Courtney (January 8, 2004). "Enhanced service begins on Q27 in Queens Village". TimesLedger. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  11. ^ Bockmann, Rich (April 18, 2014). "MTA buys land to redevelop aging Jamaica Bus Depot". Times Ledger. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Harvey Lists Changes in Bus Routes Locally". Long Island Daily Press. December 5, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  13. ^ "ST. ALBANS". The Daily Long Island Farmer. November 5, 1919. p. 8. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Bee Line Runs Many Routes: Has Large Central Garage and Headquarters at Rockville Centre". Brooklyn Standard Union. November 18, 1929. p. 18. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "More Bee Line Buses For Route To St. Albans: President Carter Says Service Is to be of the Best". Long Island Daily Press. August 28, 1925. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Bee Bus Lines Begin New Route To Cambria Hgts. Section of St. Albans". Long Island Daily Press. March 17, 1927. p. 10. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Bus Route Resumed By Bee Lines: Hollis and Central Avenue Run Put Back at St. Albans' Request". Long Island Daily Press. July 30, 1927. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "St. Albans Wants Buses Back Again". Long Island Daily Press. July 1, 1927. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Jamaica Opens Terminal Today: Bus Station Triples Service: 50,000 Passengers To Be Handled Daily By New Plan". The Nassau Daily Review. October 1, 1930. p. 9. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  20. ^ "Bus Routes Over Which Companies Are Battling". Long Island Daily Press. July 15, 1931. p. 4. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "$1,500,000 Bus Terminal Started: Service To Begin In 30 Days, Say Depot Builders". Long Island Daily Press. August 12, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  22. ^ "Green Line to Use New York Ave. Depot As Bee Buses Shift to 165th St. Terminal". Long Island Daily Press. August 12, 1936. p. 2. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  23. ^ "54 Bus Routes Win Approval By City". The New York Times. January 28, 1931. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  24. ^ "At Midnight...Tuesday, August 11, 1936". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 11, 1936. p. 4. Retrieved February 20, 2016 – via
  25. ^ "Bee Bus Line Will Use New Jamaica Station: To Remove to $1,500,000 Terminal Tuseday Night". New York Herald Tribune. August 10, 1936. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  26. ^ "Jamaica's Bus Terminal Open: Bee Line and Four Shops Lease Space-Centrally Located". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 16, 1936. Retrieved July 9, 2015 – via
  27. ^ "Bus Terminal Change Asked" (PDF). Long Island Daily Press. February 1, 1939. p. 5. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  28. ^ Hall, Charles (May 23, 1939). "Bee Line Quits Zone D As Police Jail Drivers: Ousted 'Wildcat' Presses Fight In Courts". Long Island Daily Press (72). p. 1. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  29. ^ "North Shore Buses Start From Terminal Today". Long Island Star-Journal. June 25, 1939. p. 3. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  30. ^ "North Shore May Take Over Z & M And Schenck Lines on Saturday: Franchise for Zone D Area Is Legalized". Long Island Daily Press. June 27, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  31. ^ Abelman, Lester (February 2, 1939). "Court Upholds Bus Permit; City Defeats Bee Line In Zone D Fight; Way Cleared for North Shore to Take Over Routes in Jamaica Area". Long Island Daily Press. p. 1. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Major Improvements Ordered in Zone D". Long Island Star-Journal. April 10, 1947. p. 2. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
  33. ^ "Home Owners in Cambria Heights Oppose Buses in Side Streets" (PDF). Long Island Daily Press. April 11, 1945. p. 4. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  34. ^ a b Welsh, Frederick J. (February 25, 1947). "Nassau Riders Cross Line to Jam Buses" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  35. ^ Welsh, Frederick J. (February 25, 1947). "Nassau Riders Cross Line to Jam Buses" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. p. 2. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  36. ^ Welsh, Frederick J. (February 5, 1948). "Battle Over Seats Brings Police; Getting to Work Is a Daily Struggle" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  37. ^ Welsh, Frederick J. (February 5, 1948). "Battle Over Seats Brings Police; Getting to Work Is a Daily Struggle" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. p. 8. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  38. ^ a b "Trips Doubled, Headway Time Is Cut In Half; Q-43 and Q-4 Lines of North Shore Affected; Rush Hours Extended" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. April 2, 1947. p. 1. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  39. ^ "CITY TAKES OVER BUS LINE: O'Connor Selected to Operate North Shore System" (PDF). The New York Times. March 30, 1947. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  40. ^ "Trips Doubled, Headway Time Is Cut In Half; Q-43 and Q-4 Lines of North Shore Affected; Rush Hours Extended" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. April 2, 1947. p. 2. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  41. ^ "History Of The Bus System". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 1998. Archived from the original on January 27, 1998. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  42. ^ Johnson, Kirk (November 12, 1988). "M.T.A. Refuses To Change Plan On Bus Routes". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  43. ^ "Queens Merchants Win More Bus Service". The New York Times. March 17, 1989. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  44. ^ "Revised Bus Service In Queens Introducing Great Connections To Archer Avenue Subway Extension". New York City Transit Authority. December 1988. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  45. ^ Faison, Seth (November 29, 1992). "Bus-Fare Cuts Fail to Lure Queens Riders". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2016.
  46. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (October 10, 1993). "JAMAICA; Merchants Say a Change in Bus Routes Hurts". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  47. ^ Woodberry, Warren, Jr. (September 8, 2003). "TA SHIFTS GEARS ON SIX BUS ROUTES". Daily News (New York). Retrieved December 16, 2015.