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The Q70 Select Bus Service bus route constitutes a public transit line in Queens, New York City, United States, 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, C, and D at LaGuardia Airport, with one intermediate stop at the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street subway station. This route is operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations under the MTA Bus Company brand.

q70 Airplane silhouette white.svg
LaGuardia Link
A Q70 SBS bus in LaGuardia Link livery, stopping in Woodside, Queens
A terminated Q70 SBS laying over in Woodside
Overview
SystemMTA Regional Bus Operations
OperatorMTA Bus Company
GarageLaGuardia Depot
VehicleNew Flyer XD40 Xcelsior
LiverySelect Bus Service / LaGuardia Link
Began serviceSeptember 8, 2013 (Q70 limited-stop service)
September 25, 2016 (Q70 SBS)
Route
LocaleQueens
Communities servedWoodside, Jackson Heights
StartWoodside – 61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue/ 61st Street–Woodside subway ( 7   <7> ​ trains) and Woodside LIRR station
ViaRoosevelt Avenue, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, Grand Central Parkway
EndLaGuardia Airport – Central Terminals
Length4.5 miles (7.2 km)[1][2]
Service
Operates24 hours[3]
Annual patronage1,578,240 (2017)[4]
TransfersYes
TimetableQ70 SBS
← Q69
Q53 SBS (by borough)
M60 SBS (by route number)
 {{{system_nav}}}  Q72
S79 SBS
S79 SBS →

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.

Contents

Route description and serviceEdit

 
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. 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, ​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", first stopping at Terminal B, then looping around to Terminal D and Terminal C, in that order.[a] The route then loops through the airport roadway and continues back to Jackson Heights and Woodside.[2][3][5]

The Q70 runs 24 hours a day.[6] The buses that operate on the Q70 have special luggage racks for people traveling to and from the airport.[2][7][8]

StopsEdit

HistoryEdit

Implementation of limited serviceEdit

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][9][10] 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][11][12][13] 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][11][12][13] At the time, the airport was the New York area's only large airport without any rapid transit connections to Manhattan.[14]

The Q70 limited-stop bus between Woodside and LaGuardia Airport via the Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue/74th Street station was implemented on September 8, 2013, replacing the portion of the Q33 local bus that went to LaGuardia Airport.[15] The Q33 was subsequently cut back to 95th Street and Ditmars Boulevard.[16][17]

 
Mockup for the proposed LaGuardia Subway Shuttle

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.[18]

Conversion to Select Bus ServiceEdit

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.[19][20][21] 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.[16]

 
A Q70 Limited bus with the LaGuardia Link livery, just prior to the implementation of SBS.
 
A Q70 SBS at LaGuardia Terminal D, displaying the "LaGuardia Link" designation.

The Q70 is one of three SBS routes that were planned under the LaGuardia Alternatives Analysis.[12] The M60 became an SBS route on May 25, 2014,[22] and the Bx41 SBS route had been planned to be extended to LaGuardia Airport under the LaGuardia Alternatives Analysis.[12] However, the Bx41 extension has yet to be implemented due to a lack of funding.[23] According to the city government, the three routes "would provide "shorter term, lower cost transit improvements" for LaGuardia Airport.[14]

Compared to the Q33 route between Jackson Heights and LaGuardia, it takes the Q70 40% less time to get to LaGuardia.[24] The Q33 runs on local residential and commercial streets, which are frequently congested, resulting in slower service.[13][16] The change, however, took direct airport service away from airport employees who live along the Q33 route in Jackson Heights,[16][13] although MTA studies indicated that only a small portion of LaGuardia-bound passengers came from these areas.[16] However, since its implementation in September 2013, daily ridership on the Q70 has more than doubled from 2,100 riders to 4,300 riders.[15]

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.[25][26]

In December 2015, the MTA announced that the Q70 SBS would be implemented in September 2016,[27][28] when it will be 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.[29] As opposed to other SBS routes, the Q70 will be wrapped in a teal blue scheme with silhouettes of clouds and airplanes. The buses will also have the text "LaGuardia Link" on the front, back, and both sides, in addition to the route emblems for five subway routes and the abbreviation "LIRR," which connect to the bus at Woodside–61st Street and at Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue. The rebranding should encourage more people to take public transportation when using the airport.[30][31] The inside of the buses will have air traveler branded messaging.[2]

The Q70 is the first SBS route for MTA Bus. Annual operating costs would increase by $870,000 with the Q70 becoming an SBS route. 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 will be moved to the east to share a bus stop with the Q53 SBS, and the LaGuardia Airport-bound stop in Jackson Heights will be 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.[15]

On September 25, 2016, Q70 Select Bus Service started with the route being branded as the LaGuardia Link. The route keeps the Q70 designation, however.[32][33]


NotesEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  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" (PDF).
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport" (PDF). www.mta.info. New York City Trnasit. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  6. ^ "mta.info | Services to LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports". web.mta.info. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Q70 Limited-Stop Service to LaGuardia Airport". www.mta.info. New York City Transit. September 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Introduction to BUS RAPID TRANSIT PHASE II" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2009.
  10. ^ "BUS RAPID TRANSIT PHASE II: Future Corridors" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ a b c "MTA | news | Plans Follow Last Week's Announcement of Rebranding of Q70 Airport Bus Service". www.mta.info. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  16. ^ 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.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  17. ^ "Revisions to LaGuardia Airport Service". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 8, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  18. ^ "MTA | news | Fast and Reliable Bus Connection Will Operate Every 8–10 Minutes". www.mta.info. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  19. ^ "Select Bus Service" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation, MTA New York City Transit Authority. November 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  20. ^ Newman, Phillip (September 16, 2013). "Take 15-minute ride to LaGuardia Airport on Q70". TimesLedger. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  21. ^ "Q70: Limited-Stop Service to LaGuardia Airport". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  22. ^ "+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.
  23. ^ "Bx41 on Webster Avenue Progress Report" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 25, 2014. p. 24. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  24. ^ "New Q70 bus will cut time to LaGuardia". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  25. ^ "LAGUARDIA BY TRANSIT: An Immediate, Free Proposal to Bring LaGuardia to the Subway" (PDF). RidersNY.org. Riders Alliance. November 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  26. ^ Whitford, Emma. "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.
  27. ^ "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.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "Q70 to be rebranded as Select Bus Service to LaGuardia". am New York. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  30. ^ Miranda Katz. "Cuomo Drops Slick New LaGuardia Renderings & Hopeful Select Bus News". Gothamist. Archived from the original on June 18, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  31. ^ "Governor Cuomo, Joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Announces Groundbreaking on New LaGuardia Airport". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. June 14, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  32. ^ "MTA Select Bus Service | Q70 SBS". web.mta.info. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  33. ^ Martinez, Jose (September 26, 2016). "Q70 Becomes Select Service Bus, Gets New Name". NY1. Retrieved October 2, 2016.

External linksEdit