|Lefferts Boulevard−JFK Airport|
New Flyer Xcelsior XD60 5391 bus operating on the Q10
|System||MTA Regional Bus Operations|
|Operator||MTA Bus Company|
|Communities served||Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park|
|Start||Kew Gardens, Queens – Queens Boulevard / Kew Gardens Road & 80th Road|
|Via||Lefferts Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard|
|End||South Ozone Park, Queens – 149th Avenue & 150th Avenue|
JFK Airport – Terminal 5 (full route)
|Length||8 miles (13 km)|
|Operates||24 hours[note 1]|
|Annual patronage||7,341,090 (2017)|
The Q10 bus route constitutes a public transit line in Queens, New York City, United States, running primarily along Lefferts Boulevard between a transfer with the New York City Subway in Kew Gardens to Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Formerly privately operated by Green Bus Lines, the route is currently city-operated under the MTA Bus Company brand of MTA Regional Bus Operations.
Route description and service
There are two variants of the Q10: a local-stop version making all stops, and a limited-stop service that skips certain stops. The limited-stop service runs every day from about 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
The southbound Q10 begins at the Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike subway station at Kew Gardens Road and 80th Road, where transfer is available to the E and F trains. It then turns left on 80th Road, and then left onto Austin Street, heading southeast. Afterward, the Q10 turns right onto Lefferts Boulevard, where it continues south until Rockaway Boulevard. At this point, Q10 locals turn left onto Rockaway Boulevard to serve the South Ozone Park neighborhood, and then run southwest via 130th Street and east via 150th Avenue. The Q10 local turns right along 134th Street, then runs southward and eastward via the Van Wyck Expressway service road to Terminal 5. Meanwhile, at Rockaway Boulevard, Q10 limited-stop buses take a shorter route, continuing south via Lefferts Boulevard until it crosses under the AirTrain JFK's Lefferts Boulevard station, and then turns left via Pan Am Road. At the Van Wyck Expressway service road, limited-stop buses turn right, and run southward and eastward via the expressway's service road to John F. Kennedy International Airport's Terminal 5. During the PM rush hour, some Q10 locals start at Queens Boulevard and 80th Road, running to 150th Avenue or JFK Central Terminal.
The northbound Q10 begins at Terminal 5, then travels west and north along the expressway and its service road. At Federal Circle, the Q10 goes around the traffic circle and turns westward, and shortly afterward, turns right along 130th Place and west along Pan Am Road. At this point, Q10 limited-stop buses continue along Pan Am Road before turning right on Lefferts Boulevard and heading north. Q10 local buses resume their circuitous route through South Ozone Park, continuing north along 134th Street, west along 150th Avenue, north along 130th Street, west along Rockaway Boulevard, and then north along Lefferts Boulevard. Both the local and limited-stop variants continue north and then northeast until Kew Gardens Road, where they turn left and run to 80th Road. During the morning rush hour, some northbound Q10 locals start at 150th Avenue.
Until 2006, an express service called the Q10A had run from the Kew Gardens subway station to JFK Airport Terminal 4, via the Van Wyck Expressway, operating non-stop from Kew Gardens to Federal Circle. There were six Q10A trips, all running toward JFK Airport during morning rush hours. The service was replaced by the Q10 Limited.
The first iteration of the Q10 came about on April 28, 1921, and was operated by the Richmond Hill Bus Corporation. The New York City Department of Plant & Structures temporarily took over the route and named it DPS Route 53. Afterwards, the Q10 route number was assigned. Originally the Q10 had three destinations; one was at Old South Road, which is at the current intersection of the Belt Parkway and North and South Conduit Avenues at Lefferts, another was at Hamilton Beach, and the final destination was Richmond Hill Circle, which was not near Richmond Hill, and it was located about a half-mile south of 130th Street and the Belt Parkway. The trips to Old South Road later went to Rockaway Boulevard. This branch received the most service, with buses running every two minutes during rush hours. Service to Hamilton Beach ran every eight minutes during rush hours. This branch did not run early in the morning, stopping at 1:40 a.m..
On November 11, 1932, the Board of Estimate approved the forms of contract for nine companies, Travelers Bus Company, which had been incorporated on October 9, 1931, and was seeking the franchise for the Q10 bus route. On December 30, 1932, Travelers Bus Lines obtained a one-year franchise for the bus route. The company received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the duration of the franchise which became effective on March 17, 1933. On July 4, 1934, the route was extended 3 miles (4.8 km). On June 5, 1935, the city granted a new franchise contract for the extended route for a period lasting between the expiration date of the first contract and a date no later than December 31, 1938.
In 1936, Queens was divided into four zones, for bus operating franchise purposes. With the new zone setup, one company would be awarded the franchise in each zone, with any remaining smaller operations acquired by the larger company. The Q10 fell into Zone C, the zone for Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill, and the Rockaways, and the route was awarded to Green Bus Lines. On November 15, 1936, Q10 service began to be operated by Green Bus Lines, and on this date Travelers Bus Lines ceased operations.
On March 19, 1941, the terminal loop of the route was changed to provide a safer connection to the Independent Subway System (IND) at Kew Gardens. Originally, Kew Gardens-bound Q10 buses traveled northeast along Lefferts Boulevard before turning left onto Austin Street, right on 80th Road, and then right at Kew Gardens Road, where the buses discharged passengers. Subway commuters had to dodge traffic at Kew Gardens Road, and three traffic deaths at the intersection had occurred during the past few years, leading Councilman James A. Burke to plead for a change in the bus route. As a result, the Police Commissioner, Cornelius O'Leary, changed the direction of traffic on Austin Street between Lefferts Boulevard and 83rd Drive (now Mowbray Drive), and reversed the direction of traffic on 80th Road. With the change, buses continued northeast along Lefferts Boulevard one more block to Kew Gardens Road, terminating on the north side of the street adjacent to the subway entrance. Buses entering service here turned onto 80th Road and then went along Austin Street to Lefferts Boulevard. This terminal loop has remained unchanged as of July 2018[update].
On February 9, 1962, the Board of Estimate approved Green Bus Lines' petition to modify its franchise to create the Q10A express bus route to Idlewild Airport. The fare was 25 cents, and the route ended at the boundary line at the airport.
On January 9, 2006, the MTA Bus Company took over the operations of the Green Bus Line routes. Under the MTA on September 3, 2006, Q10A service was discontinued, due to low ridership and parallel service from the AirTrain JFK. The Q10A was replaced by the Q10 Limited, which made limited stops along the entire route, and ran on weekdays and on Saturdays. At that time, Q10 service to all JFK terminals except Terminal 4 was replaced by AirTrain JFK. On April 6, 2008, limited service was expanded to Sundays and the hours of limited service on weekdays and Saturdays were expanded to increase ridership.
Beginning on September 4, 2011, Q10 local buses on the Lefferts Boulevard branch were rerouted to remain on Lefferts Boulevard south of Conduit Avenue, and to continue along Lefferts Boulevard and Pan Am Roadd into JFK Airport, where they returned to their regular route along 130th Place. The Conduit Avenue branch of the Q10 was discontinued and Q10 buses stopped accessing JFK Airport at 134th Street.
In spring 2013, 60-foot (18 m) articulated buses began replacing the standard 40-foot (12 m) buses on the route. The Q10 was the second route in Queens to receive articulated buses, after the Q44. The Q10 got articulated buses because its buses were overcrowded, being the third busiest route in the city. The use of articulated buses received positive feedback from commuters, but opposition from some local residents and business owners to potential traffic issues and loss of parking spaces.
On February 24, 2013, Q10 short-turn buses terminating at 150th Avenue and 149th Street stopped running via 150th Avenue. Instead, the bus route was changed, with buses running via South Conduit Avenue between 130th Street and 134th Street. The route was changed in order to avoid congestion at the sanitation yard on 150th Street. An additional reason for the change was to allow buses to avoid making a turn onto South Conduit Avenue from 132nd Street, because there is no traffic light at this intersection and vehicles often pass at high speeds, often causing severe delays. Additionally, 132nd Street is a narrow residential block. On April 28, 2013, all Q10 buses that ran via Lefferts Boulevard south of Rockaway Boulevard became limited-stop only, discontinuing stops at Sutter Avenue, 133rd Avenue, and 149th Avenue. A limited bus stop was added at 150th Avenue. At this time, the hours of the Q10 Limited were expanded, running between 5:30 AM–11:30 PM weekdays, and 6:15 AM–11:30 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, similar to former Lefferts Boulevard branch local service hours. On January 8, 2018, the Q10 was rerouted in JFK Airport in order to provide a more direct route. Two low-volume stops were eliminated as the route was rerouted from 150th Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway service road to 134th Street. In June 2019, the MTA proposed rerouting the southbound local route between 130th and 134th Street, so that it would run on South Conduit Avenue rather than on 150th and 149th Avenues, since the sanitation yard at 149th Avenue and 134th Street was not an optimal location for a bus stop.
- Limited Service operates only during the day
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