for The New York Times: When the Only Way to Get to Work Is This Slow Bus
josé a. alvarado jr.
Jul 18, 2022
“Sometimes it’s faster to walk, but at night, I get scared,” Ms. Mora said in Spanish.
Just beyond the reach of New York City’s frenetic, round-the-clock subway, people in a slice of western Queens wait — and wait — to board one of the borough’s slowest buses.

Many of the 2.3 million New Yorkers who live and work in Queens aren’t served directly by the vast network of trains that keeps the nation’s biggest metropolis moving. The borough, the city’s second most populous, has less subway service relative to its size and population than the other four.

So hundreds of thousands of people here plan their lives around the only mass transit choice they have: the buses that lumber along traffic-choked streets.One of those buses, the Q23, is among the slowest in the city. For the past four years, it has consistently traveled more slowly than the citywide average of about 8 miles per hour — about the speed some people can run — bogged down by an awkward path and riders who swarm two stops that connect to the subway.

Photography and Video for The New York Times, with words by Ana Ley.
When the Only Way to Get to Work Is This Slow Bus
The Q23 is one of the slowest buses in Queens, where many residents live beyond the subway’s reach and more people ride buses than anywhere else in New York City.


José A. Alvarado Jr. is a visual storyteller devoted to documenting cultural and social issues, as well as human interest stories in the US and Puerto Rico.
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