Padavan/Weprin Secure Expansion of Access-A-Ride Service

Frank Padavan

May 13, 2008

New York State Senator Frank Padavan (R-Queens) and Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) announced today that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will expand its Access-A-Ride bus transportation service for seniors and disabled bus riders into previously unserved destinations in Nassau County from Queens. 
“After sustaining two consecutive vetoes on state legislation by two different governors that would have made the necessary changes, I am very pleased today that we are moving forward with a new plan for residents of Queens who rely on Access-A-Ride to travel just over the border into Nassau County for doctor visits and medical care,” Senator Padavan said. “With this expansion of Access-A-Ride service, we are fixing a major inconvenience for local paratransit riders by making public bus transportation more accessible and affordable for seniors and disabled riders.”

Padavan continued, “On behalf of thousands of my constituents who rely on Access-A-Ride, I extend my gratitude to Assemblyman Mark Weprin for partnering with me in making these changes possible. I also thank the MTA and the Federal Transit Administration for compromising and listening to the concerned voices of Queens residents who called for fair, accessible, affordable one-stop paratransit public bus service.” 
The expansion comes following an over two year fight by Padavan and Weprin to expand the essential service for disabled and senior bus riders into Nassau County where countless Northeastern Queens residents go for doctor and medical visits.

Prior to today’s announcement, whenever Access-A-Ride passengers needed to reach a destination within Nassau County, they would have to disembark, wait for Nassau’s service, and then ride to their destination. In most instances this inefficiency would unnecessarily cause a burden and increase travel time for disabled and senior passengers.

“Access-A-Ride users will finally be able to access doctors’ office, hospitals and other destinations just over the Nassau County border. The seniors and disabled people who need to reach those locations are the ones we have been fighting for,” said Assemblyman Mark Weprin.

State legislation, sponsored by both Padavan and Weprin, that would have expanded the service into Nassau County for Queens residents was vetoed for what the previous two executive administrations deemed as technical reasons, despite wide-spread public support. These vetoes sadly left thousands of Queens residents who needed public paratransit bus service disenfranchised. 

Over the past few months Padavan and Weprin worked with the MTA and Federal Transit Administration and after much discussion the long-awaited initiative to expand Access-A-Ride eastward into portions of Nassau County was reached.  Access-A-Ride service will now serve portions of Nassau County that include North Shore-LIJ Medical Center in Manhasset and medical centers in Great Neck and Lake Success.

 Prior to the expansion, Access-A-Ride would only travel within the five boroughs of the City. Now Access-A-Ride will serve the following streets in Nassau County: Middle Neck Road in Great Neck south to Lakeville Road, east along the service road of the Long Island Expressway to New Hyde Park Road, south on New Hyde Park Road to Jericho Turnpike, West on Jericho Turnpike to Covert Avenue, south to Covert Avenue to Meacham Ave, south on Meacham Ave to Dutch Broadway, west on Dutch Broadway to N. Fletcher Ave., south on N. Fletcher Ave. to W. Merrick Road, west on W. Merrick Road to S. Central Ave, South on Mill Road to Peninsula Blvd., southwest Peninsula Blvd. to Franklin Ave., south on Franklin Ave. to Broadway, southwest on Broadway to Auerbach Lane, south on Auerbach Lane to Hollywood Crossing, southeast on Hollywood Crossing to Ocean Ave., southwest on Ocean Ave. to Tanglewood Crossing, southeast on Tanglewood Crossing to Willow Way, south on Willow Way to Causeway, south on Causeway to Beach Road, and Vernon Blvd. from Bay Blvd. to Ocean Blvd in Atlantic Beach.