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“Free Bus to Rail Transfer Makes $ense”

February 8, 2016
By Corey Bearak, The Public Ought To Know 

Queens, NY –  The MTA gets major kudos for making the Q70 Limited bus a permanent line; it connects riders who board at 74th Street/Broadway/ Roosevelt with the free Metrocard transfer and at the LIRR Woodside station (without the free transfer) to quick ride to LaGuardia Airport's main terminals (An airport shuttle connects riders who wish to go on to the Marine Air Terminal.).  A Good first step.  It falls short because LIRR riders must pay a full bus fare for the ride.

Why?  Currently no bus to rail or rail to bus transfer exists.  Why not? This space previously advocated just that late last year.

So many opportunities exist to connect bus riders to rail.  It just may relieve some the parking strain that nabes near rail hubs experience; moreover, that helps local merchants in places such Queens Village and Bayside where committed patrons often drive around looking for parking; others might drive to Long Island malls.

So why not apply the cost of the bus fare to offset part of the LIRR fare?  If 1,000 commuters take
advantage of this, it involves $5,000 per day, $25,000 per week, $1.3 million.  Perhaps one-half take
the subway or drive.  That means additional revenue.  500 monthly ticket LIRR fares from Zone 3 totals $1,308,000.  Interesting math.  A wash.  If the initiative imposes no net cost to the system, why not embrace it and add a new service option?  The MTA bus unions in Queens already embrace this.  Certainly community members, transit advocates, civic and business groups and the elected representatives should embrace this.

*Corey Bearak can be reached at StrategicPublicPolicy.com.  Find his ebook, The Public Ought To Know, at Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks.

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