Q69 and Q100 buses

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21st Street Buses
MTA NYC logo.svg
A Q100 entering northbound service in Queens Plaza
A Q100 entering northbound service in Queens Plaza
System MTA Regional Bus Operations
Operator MTA Bus Company
Garage LaGuardia Depot
Began service 1933 (Q69)
1980s (Q100)
Locale Queens
Communities served Queens: Long Island City, Astoria, Steinway, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst
The Bronx (Q100): Rikers Island

Long Island City – Queens Plaza

Via 21st Street
End Q69: Jackson Heights – 82nd Street and Astoria Boulevard
Q100: Rikers Island, Bronx
Operates 24 hours (Q100)[note 1][1][2]
Annual patronage Q69: 2,896,435 (2015)[3]
Q100: 1,404,569 (2015)[3]
Fare $2.75 (MetroCard or coins)
Cash Coins only (exact change required)
Transfers Yes
Timetable Q69
← Q67
 {{{system_nav}}}  Q70
Q101 →

The Q69 and Q100 Limited bus routes constitutes a public transit line in western Queens, New York City, United States. Beginning at Queens Plaza in Long Island City, the routes run primarily along 21st Street through the neighborhoods of Long Island City and Astoria. The Q100 continues north of Queens across Bowery Bay to the city jail complex on Rikers Island in the Bronx, the only public transit service to the island.[4] The Q69 (originally the Q19A) was formerly privately operated by the Triboro Coach Corporation, and the Q100 (formerly the Q101R) by the Queens Surface Corporation, under subsidized franchises with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). The routes are now operated by MTA Regional Bus Operations under the MTA Bus Company brand.

Route description and service[edit]

A southbound Q69 bus (right) in Queens Plaza.

The Q69 and Q100 both begin on Queens Plaza in Long Island City, sharing a south-north corridor along 21st Street through Long Island City and Astoria. The Q69 provides local service along 21st Street between Queens Plaza and Ditmars Boulevard, while the Q100 provides limited-stop service along the street.[1][2][5] Both routes operate out of the LaGuardia Depot in East Elmhurst.[6][7]


The Q69 begins at 28th Street and Queens Plaza South, near the Queensboro Plaza subway station. Northbound service makes a clockwise loop south along Jackson Avenue and west on 44th Drive (passing One Court Square and the Court Square subway complex), then travels north on 21st Street. At Ditmars Boulevard, the Q69 turns east through the neighborhood of Steinway. It terminates at 82nd Street and Astoria Boulevard in Jackson Heights, near the Marine Air Terminal of LaGuardia Airport. Travel into the airport requires a transfer to the Q47 or M60 SBS.[1][5] The Q69 does not operate during overnight hours.[1]

Former Q19A[edit]

Before the MTA takeover, the Q69 was known as the Q19A.[8] The Q19A was originally two separate routes. The original Q19A ran between Queens Plaza and the Astoria – Ditmars Boulevard subway station at 31st Avenue. The second route, originally called the Q33A, operated on the eastern portion of the line along Ditmars from the station to 82nd Street in Jackson Heights. During off-peak hours, the Q33A was extended to 102nd Street and Astoria Boulevard, the terminus of what was then the Q19B route (now the Q49) and at that time the terminal of the Q19. Through bus riders not destined for the subway had to transfer between buses. The Q33A was also called the 82nd Street Crosstown – Ditmars route. It was later designated Q51.[9][10][11][12][13][14] At the Ditmars Boulevard station, the bus stops for both routes were initially located in the middle of the block on 31st Street near the subway entrance.

In May 1949, Triboro Coach appealed to the police commissioner for permission to move the bus stop to the intersection. Following approval, the bus stop was moved north to the corner of Ditmars and 31st Street.[10] In October 1949, the bus stop was shifted back to the station stairs following protests from commuters. This move was intended to be temporary, but the stop at the corner was not reinstated.[10] At the end of April 1950, Triboro decided to shift the bus stop back to the corner, this time due to several accidents with the pillars of the Astoria elevated line.[10][15] The original setup at the middle of the block was more convenient for subway riders, as the bus stop was adjacent to the station.[10] As late as 1962, there were calls to reinstate the former setup.[16] The two bus routes were merged around 1960.[12][13][14][17][18][19]


The Q100 begins at Jackson Avenue between Queens Plaza South and 42nd Road, at the Queens Plaza station. After running west through the Queens Plaza area, it turns north onto 21st Street, stopping at the 21st Street – Queensbridge station at the Queensbridge Houses, then making four more stops along street. At the end of 21st Street in the Ditmars section of Astoria, the Q100 turns east onto 20th Avenue, making a single stop at 31st Street in front of the Astoria Con Edison/New York Power Authority facility. It then turns north onto Hazen Street, connecting with the Q101 at 19th Avenue. Travel north of 19th Avenue (formerly Riker Avenue)[20] is within the jurisdiction of the New York City Correction Department. The Q100 makes its final stop in Queens at the Rikers Island parking lot.[2][5][21] It then crosses the Rikers Island Bridge onto the island itself, passing through both security checkpoints, and terminating at the Rikers Island visitors center.[21][22][23]

Though the Q100 is the limited-stop service along the corridor, it runs much less frequently than the Q69. It operates on 10-15 minute headways during daytime hours, 30 minute headways during early mornings and evenings, and 1 hour headways during overnight hours.[2]

The Q100 is the only public transit option to Rikers Island. Otherwise, travel must be done by ferry, car, or privately operated shuttles between either foot of the bridge.[24] Prior to MTA takeover, the then-Q101R operated non-stop between 21st Street – Queensbridge and the Queens Rikers Island parking lot.[25][26][27][28] Although service on the route was expanded in February 2009 to better serve communities along the route,[29] much of the ridership of the Q100 still consists of inmates' family members – who are predominantly women and children – as well as prison employees.[4][30][31][32][33] The bus also transports some released inmates, particularly women.[31]


A former Jamaica Buses GMC RTS on then-Q19A in East Elmhurst.

In the 1930s, the New York City Board of Transportation (predecessor to the New York City Transit Authority) separated bus service in Queens into four zones. Zone A in Western Queens (Woodside, Astoria, and Long Island City) was awarded to Triboro Coach, including the Q19A franchise along Ditmars Boulevard and 21st Street (Van Alst Avenue) between the Ditmars Boulevard station and Long Island City.[34] Service on the Q19A began on August 18, 1934,[35][36] competing with the parallel 31st Street and Vernon Boulevard streetcar lines of the Steinway Railway (now the Q102 and Q103 buses respectively).[9][35] In 1938, Triboro began operating a bus route along Ditmars Boulevard east from the Ditmars station to 49th Street in Steinway/East Elmhurst.[37][38] In 1939, the company proposed the Q33A route along Ditmars as an extension to their existing Q33 franchise.[39]

During the late 1940s and early 1950s, there were often complaints of overcrowding and bad headways on the Q19A, such as from the Taminent Democratic Club of Long Island City. The overcrowding resulted in passengers waiting for several buses until an empty one arrived.[40][41]

By 1959, the Q33A was renumbered Q51.[12] Around this time, the Q19A and the Q51 were combined into a single Q19A service.[12][13][14] In the 1960s and 1970s, many Q19A rush hour runs from Queens Plaza terminated and turned back at the Ditmars Boulevard station.[citation needed]

Prior to the creation of the Q101R, the Q101 operated by Steinway Transit (successor to the Steinway Railway) served Rikers Island, running local down Steinway Street to Queens Plaza, and across the Queensboro Bridge to Midtown Manhattan.[19][30] Service to Rikers began around 1967;[42] the bridge from Queens to the island was opened on November 22, 1966.[24] Some local residents complained of having to share the route with Rikers-bound passengers.[43] The Q101R was created in the 1980s,[36][44][45] with the Q101 truncated to Hazen Street and 19th Avenue.[19][45] Originally, the Q101R ran non-stop between Long Island City and the Rikers Island parking lot.[26][45] Steinway would merge with sister company Queens Transit Corporation to become Queens-Steinway Transit Corporation in 1986. The company became Queens Surface Corporation in 1988.[46]

On February 27, 2005, the MTA Bus Company took over the operations of the Queens Surface routes including the Q101R, part of the city's takeover of all the remaining privately operated bus routes.[47][48] On February 2, 2006, the operations of Triboro Coach including the Q19A were taken over by MTA Bus.[46][47] As part of the takeover, the Q101R and other former Steinway Transit routes in western Queens were moved to the former Triboro Coach depot (LaGuardia Depot).[6] On April 6, 2008, the Q101R was renumbered as the Q100,[8] and on April 20, 2008, the Q19A was renumbered the Q69.[8] On June 22, 2008, the Q100 stop on 20th Avenue at the Astoria power plant was added.[49] Q100 limited-stop service along 21st Street began on February 1, 2009.[29]


  1. ^ "Q69 operates all times except late nights". 


  1. ^ a b c d MTA Regional Bus Operations. "Q69 bus schedule" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c d MTA Regional Bus Operations. "Q100 bus schedule" (PDF). 
  3. ^ a b "Facts and Figures". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Rodriguez, Cindy; Hsu, Jennifer (August 29, 2014). "Shadow of Jail Violence Darkens Bus Ride to Rikers". WNYC. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "MTA Bus: LaGuardia Pick Glossary" (PDF). lgaunion.com. MTA Bus Company. January 3, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "MTA Bus: LaGuardia Depot Pick Glossary; Effective: 09/04/2016" (PDF). MTA Bus Company. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 7, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "MTA Bus Service Changes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 2008. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "1946 Triboro Coach Map". BMT Lines. Triboro Coach. 1946. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Who Moved That Bus Stop From Under Ditmars 'L'?". Long Island Star-Journal. May 11, 1950. Retrieved March 4, 2016 – via Fultonhistory.com. 
  11. ^ Triboro Coach (June 8, 1943). "TRIBORO COACH CORP. ANNOUNCES 20% EMERGENCY CURTAILMENT IN BUS SERVICE Effective Monday. June 7. 1943". Long Island Star-Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2016 – via Fultonhistory.com. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Legal Notices". Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. March 16, 1959. p. 7. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c "Map & Guide: Triboro Coach Corp". Photobucket. Triboro Coach. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c "Map & Guide: Triboro Coach Corp". Photobucket. Triboro Coach. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ Tryniski, Tom (July 14, 1951). "Astoria Riders Ask Return of 'L' Bus Stop". Long Island Star-Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2016 – via Fultonhistory.com. 
  16. ^ "Bus Shelters Demanded on Ditmars Boulevard". Long Island Star-Journal. February 26, 1962. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via Fulton History. 
  17. ^ "Map & Guide: Triboro Coach Corp". Photobucket. Triboro Coach. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Map & Guide: Triboro Coach Corp". Photobucket. Triboro Coach. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b c "1975 Queens Bus Map". wardmaps.com. New York City Transit Authority. 1975. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Legal Notices" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. October 9, 1956. p. 20. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "MTA Bus Time: Q100 Rikers Island – Long Island City Via 20th Av / 21st St". mta.info. MTA Bus Time. 
  22. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (February 13, 2006). "Taking the Bus to Rikers Island (and Back, Too)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  23. ^ Jennifer Gonnerman (February 1, 2005). Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett. Picador (imprint). pp. 177–179. ISBN 978-0-312-42457-2. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Paul Larkin (2013). By Any Means Necessary-A Journey With Celtic Bampots. Lulu.com. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-1-300-09265-0. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). nycityhealth.com. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 16, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "Queens Bus Map: Notes" (PDF). archive.org. mta.info. December 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 23, 2003. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  27. ^ Urbitran Associates, Inc (May 2004). "NYCDOT Bus Ridership Survey and Route Analysis Final Report: Chapter 4 Operating and Financial Performance" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Appendix B: Route Profiles" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b "MTA Bus Service Changes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2009. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Clines, Francis X. (July 10, 1979). "About New York: A Bus Full of Visitors to Rikers Is Is Heavy With Hope". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  31. ^ a b Fifield, Adam (December 23, 2001). "Life on Freedom Street". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  32. ^ Martin, Douglas (December 2, 1989). "About New York; Q101 Bus Carries Help for Youths On Rikers Island". New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  33. ^ X. CLINES, Francis (July 10, 1979). "About New York; A Bus Full of Visitors to Rikers Is Heavy With Hope". New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Franchises Awarded for Thirty-Four Bus Routes". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. September 25, 1936. p. 10. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  35. ^ a b "Trolley Line Receivers Ask Ban on Buses: Astoria Company Blames Triboro Competition for Loses". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. September 15, 1934. p. 7. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ROUTES". www.chicagorailfan.com. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Ditmars Bus Line Extension Asked by Civic Council: Service To East Elmhurst Asked By Steinway Residents". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. September 22, 1938. p. 7. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Ask Bus Extension". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 25, 1938. p. 7. Retrieved March 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. 
  39. ^ "Board of Estimate Notices of Public Hearing: Franchise Matteres". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. September 29, 1939. p. 21. Retrieved March 4, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Taminent Democrats Protest Bus Crowding". Long Island Star-Journal. July 14, 1951. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via Fulton History. 
  41. ^ "Triboro's Commuters Not Satisfied". Long Island Star-Journal. February 24, 1948. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via Fulton History. 
  42. ^ "'Hot' Corona School Issue Put Over" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. July 28, 1967. p. 2. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  43. ^ DeJong, Herman D. (June 22, 1981). "Crime and Punishment". New York. Retrieved March 2, 2016. 
  44. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (June 8, 1987). "INVESTIGATING A LEGEND: FRANCHISE HEAD'S REIGN". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 
  45. ^ a b c Improving Public Transportation to Non-CBD Industrial Centers: Steinway, Queens, Hunts Point, the Bronx, and Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn. February 1986. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  46. ^ a b Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (August 23, 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2. 
  47. ^ a b Silverman, Norman (July 26, 2010). "The Merger of 7 Private Bus Companies into MTA Bus" (PDF). apta.com. American Public Transportation Association, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  48. ^ Woodberry, Jr., Warren (February 24, 2005). "MAJOR BUS CO. TO JOIN MTA". Daily News (New York). Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  49. ^ "MTA Bus Service Changes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2008. Archived from the original on July 26, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2016. 

External links[edit]