Press Releases

Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Contact: Scott Gastel/Brian Zumhagen (212) 839-4850

Better Buses: NYC DOT Announces Start of Work on Busways for Jamaica and Archer Avenues in Queens

Historic investment in Southeast Queens transit will speed commutes for 250,000 daily riders

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) today announced that it will begin work this week to install Busways on Jamaica and Archer Avenues in Queens, as part of the Administration’s Better Buses commitment to install new and improved bus lanes in 2021. The City expects to complete the installation this fall. Crews will begin removing roadway markings this evening.

“Keeping New Yorkers moving is essential to getting our friends and neighbors back to work as New York City’s recovery continues, and these new Busways will speed the commutes of 250,000 daily riders through downtown Jamaica,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “We’ve seen how Busways have brought faster, more reliable service to commuters on corridors like 14th Street in Manhattan, Main Street in Flushing, and Jay Street in Brooklyn, and we look forward to the same type of success on Jamaica and Archer Avenues.”

The 2 miles of Busway coming to Jamaica and Archer Avenues will improve bus speeds in the busiest bus hub in New York City, where more than 45 NYCT, MTA Bus and NICE bus routes connect to the E, J, and Z subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road. Because of traffic congestion, buses along Archer Avenue currently have average speeds of 5.7 to 6.1 MPH during the afternoon rush, with speeds of only 4.7 to 4.9 MPH on Jamaica Avenue.

Archer and Jamaica Avenue Busway Pilots

On Archer Avenue, the eastbound busway will begin at 150th Street and extend to 160th Street, with the following elements:

  • Double bus lanes eastbound from 150th St to 160th St, with no trucks in bus lanes
  • No curbside access between 150th Street and 160th Street for any vehicle except buses
  • Eastbound traffic restriction from 153rd St to 160th St (all Archer Avenue eastbound traffic must turn left on 153rd Street)
  • Jersey barriers installed to prevent illegal vans from entering busway
  • Busway regulations are proposed for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

On Jamaica Avenue, the Busway pilot will begin at Sutphin Blvd and extend to 168th Street in both directions, with the following changes:

  • Buses and commercial trucks will have local and thru access
  • Passenger vehicles will be able to access most blocks, but would have to make the next right turn
  • New parking, loading, and pedestrian space where curbside bus lanes are removed
  • Busway regulations are proposed for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

DOT launched the community outreach process with a series of open houses to gather feedback on its proposals for the two corridors. The City went on to hold nearly 20 events with Community Advisory Boards and other local stakeholders in 2020 and 2021, extending the outreach period to address concerns from local elected officials.