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Q99 (New York City bus)

The Q99 bus route constituted a public transit line in Queens, New York City, United States, running as a shuttle between the Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer subway station and the 169th Street subway station. The route operated between 1989 and 1990 as a pilot route. The route was created as part of a settlement with the local Chamber of Commerce. Due to low ridership the route was discontinued. This route was operated under the New York City Transit brand.

Jamaica Link
SystemMTA Regional Bus Operations
OperatorNew York City Transit
Began serviceMarch 12, 1989
Ended serviceSeptember 9, 1990
Communities servedJamaica
StartJamaica –Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer subway station,
ViaArcher Avenue, Merrick Boulevard, 168th Street
EndJamaica –169th Street subway station

Route description and serviceEdit

The Q99 route started at the Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer subway station and bus terminal. From there service went east on Archer Avenue, north on 168th Street, east on 88th Avenue, before turning north on 169th Street. Buses then turned west onto Hillside Avenue to reach the terminal at the 169th Street subway station. At the terminal, transfers were available to many bus routes. Buses returning to Jamaica Center turned south on Merrick Boulevard, passing into the 165th Street Bus Terminal and back onto Merrick Boulevard, before heading west on Archer Avenue, north on 153rd Street, west on Jamaica Avenue, south on 150th Street, before turning east on Archer Avenue to reach the terminal.[1][2]

Service was operated between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays. Service ran every 15 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, and every 20 minutes on Sundays.[3]


Service began on March 12, 1989[2] in response to an out-of-court settlement brought by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. The settlement was brought since merchants near the 169th Street station lost significant business with the rerouting of several bus routes along Merrick Boulevard to a new terminal at the Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer subway station. The bus route was put into service on a trial basis with the hope of getting Merrick Boulevard bus riders to patronize the businesses near 169th Street. The settlement called for a minimum one-year trial of the Q99, and turning Archer Avenue and Jamaica Avenue into a one-way pair as a strategy to keep buses running past the shops.[4] The modification of these two streets to a one-way pair required buses to do difficult turns, costing up to $1 million in delays and doubling bus accidents in the area. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce reported that 14 new stores opened since the change, and the DOT said that it liked the change, a review of which was due in April 1991.[5]

The bus route duplicated existing service and had extremely low ridership, with an average of only four passengers per trip. The fares only covered 7% of the route's cost, well below the MTA Board's guidelines of 68%.[4][6][7]

As a result, the New York City Transit Authority held a public hearing on June 25, 1990 to hear comments about its plan to discontinue service on the route.[7] Five riders attended the hearing and spoke out against the change, and a TA official stated that "Those were probably all of its riders." The Q17 had already connected the Merrick Boulevard corridor and the Hillside Avenue corridor, while the Q30 and Q31 had connected the Archer Avenue Line with the Hillside Avenue corridor. The Q17 already had the transfer privileges that the Q99 had. On August 17, 1990, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board's Transit Authority Committee extended these transfer privileges to the Q30 and Q31. A count completed in summer 1990 found that 212 riders used the Q99's 53 trips, about four riders per trip. Many of these riders were students with discount passes. Service was discontinued on September 9, 1990 because it was, in the words of Norman Silverman, the TA's director of surface transit planning, "a bus with no riders." He did not think that the route would succeed.[8] The bus' operation cost $420,000, or $280,000 a year. The route operated for 18 months, twice the length of typical TA experimental routes, and Sid Davidoff, who lobbied for the bus' creation on behalf of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, stated that it never asked that it be kept for 18 months.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "December 1989 Queens Bus Map". New York City Transit Authority. December 1989. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Introducing the Q99 Bus. The Jamaica Link". New York Daily News. March 12, 1989. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  3. ^ "1988 Revised March 1989 Queens Bus Map". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. March 1989. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Queens Merchants Win More Bus Service". The New York Times. March 17, 1989. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Moss, Michael (April 25, 1991). "No Riders, No Blame In Failed Bus Route". Newsday.
  6. ^ "Q99 route bus service notice". Queens Library. 1989. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Public Hearing Notice". New York Daily News. May 23, 1990. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  8. ^ "Proposed Discontinuation of the Q99 Jamaica Link Bus Route" (PDF). New York City Transit Authority. August 22, 1990. Retrieved March 20, 2019.