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NE Queens needs downtown express

TimesLedger Newspapers

As you and others might be aware, I have been fighting to get downtown service on the QM20 express bus and I am upset about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fare hike plan, which hurts express bus riders more than subway riders.

This especially hurts express bus riders in northeast Queens, who have been denied service improvements, have been denied reliable service and are expected to pay more for service that is worse. We in northeast Queens are expected to pay more for service that is unreliable and service levels, which during rush hour and other parts of the day, depending on the route, are worse off than they were under Queens Surface, which operated express buses in northeast Queens prior to the MTA takeover.

Let me give an example of the fare hike plan the MTA wants for express buses. Under Proposal 1B for the proposed express bus fares, our fare rises to $6, our bonus is eliminated and the seven-day express bus unlimited goes up to $52 with the break-even point for the seven-day express bus unlimited at nine trips.

This hurts express bus customers who use the EasyPay Express MetroCard, an automatic refill MetroCard which only has a pay-per-ride option for express bus customers, especially considering that the break-even point of nine trips makes using a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard futile for the average commuter who goes to and from work 10 times a week.

Plus, there is no seven-day unlimited express bus option for the EasyPay Express program. If the MTA designed the EasyPay Express program with express bus riders in mind, why is the MTA looking to give a bad deal to the customers who use the EasyPay Express MetroCard?

If the MTA does anything to ease the pain for express bus riders and if the MTA does anything to be less hypocritical of itself, why not give EasyPay Express customers a seven-day express bus unlimited ride option?

One more thing I would like to see from the MTA is if we express bus riders in northeast Queens are to pay more, then we should get more.

Ali Fadil


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