Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Recently DNAinfo reported about the small service increases for the Q103 bus, but State Senator Michael Gianaris (who worked to get this initial service increase in place) wants it increased even more, “due to a developing arts corridor along the bus route and an expected increase in traffic from the construction of the Cornell-Technion Applied Science campus on Roosevelt Island.” The bus line also serves people in far western Astoria, who are further away from the N/Q subway line, and it is one of the few transit options they have.
The Q103 is the main bus route along the western edge of Queens. It travels along Vernon Blvd between the Vernon-Jackson 7 stop and a remote part of Astoria that is home to Whitey Ford Field and environs. Between these two points, the bus happens to be convenient to arts venues like Socrates Sculpture Park, the Noguchi Museum, Brick House Ceramic Art Center, and the Dorsky Gallery. Other attractions include Rainey Park (the largest park along this part of the waterfront), plenty of excellent restaurants, the Chocolate Factory Theater, and two comedy clubs – The Laughing Devil on Vernon and Creek and the Cave, located just one block over on Jackson (a street that is also home good eats).
To counter Gianaris’ request, an MTA spokeswoman said “the Q103 is the lowest-volume local route operated by MTA Bus. At this time, ridership does not warrant an increase to weekend service. However, we will continue to monitor ridership on the route and make incremental adjustments as necessary.” The Q103 currently serves about 625 people per day.
Many of the people on the Astoria end of the route are served primarily by this bus and two others (Q18 and Q102), as the closest subway station is over a mile away. New housing is planned for this area, too – the 1,800 unit Astoria Cove development is to be built near 26th Avenue and 1st Street, right at the water. The Q103 would also likely serve any car-free residents living there – unless a private shuttle services was put into place, a la Shore Towers. So, there is a good chance the ridership for the Q103 will increase from these new residents, as well as the increasing interest in art and tech in LIC.