Sunday, January 24, 2010

End of the M train?

From the Times Newsweekly:

Ridgewood and Middle Village residents might be taking a new line into Manhattan by year’s end, as MTA New York City Transit is considering retooling its package of service cuts to include replacing the M train with the V train, according to reports.

In the plan, the V would extend past its current southern terminus on the Lower East Side into Queens, adding the Delancey/Essex Street, Marcy Avenue, Hewes Street, Lorimer Street, Flushing Avenue, Myrtle Avenue/Broadway, Central Avenue, Knickerbocker Avenue, Myrtle/Wyckoff Avenue, Seneca Avenue, Forest Avenue, Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue stops.

Riders wishing to head to the M line’s five most southern stations in Manhattan—Bowery, Canal Street, Chambers Street, Fulton Street and Broad Street—would have to transfer to the J line.

According to sources, the plan has not yet been finalized, but it should be finished by the time the MTA begins holding public hearings on the planned service reductions, which could begin as early as next month.


And from the NY Post:


Replacing the M with the V will result in more crammed cars because V trains are shorter, said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign.

The W subway line will still be shuttered, replaced by extending the Q in Astoria and running the N local along Broadway. The Z, which was scheduled for elimination, will remain.

Riders on nearly every "letter" subway line will have to wait longer for trains -- especially on the weekends-- by about two minutes.

The 7 and 1 lines will also see longer waits on weekends and midday.


Photo from the NY Times

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

The MTA should halt the 2ond Ave subway construction until they get what they already have running properly and restoring the close line due to cut-backs. Take care of what you have vs taking on new projects.

Anonymous said...

But the MTA union workers are all getting big raises!

Anonymous said...

OK, will any community preservation organization in the city link cutbacks in service with the 2030 Plan where Blumturd wants another million people?

Pratt? NYU? Hunter? Colombia?

MAS? Landmarks Conservency? GDC? Civitis? Landamarks West? GV? East Side?

Oh I get it, this is not impacting Brooklyn Heights or Manhattan.

We can go f*k ourselves - that is - until its time to look for donations, right?

Katherine said...

How does looping the V through Manhattan to take it back into Queens, just a few short miles away from where it starts....make much sense?

I mean, at least they're not planning on cutting the line--AKA one of the quickest ways from Western Queens into the city but...come the fudge on.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty upset about the M train changes but reading the previous comments, I am now more embarrased of my neighbors then upset about the M train.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty upset about the M train changes but reading the previous comments, I am now more embarrased of my neighbors then upset about the M train.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

why, because we are speaking up and not acting like doormats?

Go to China. They love little people that keep their mouth shut as they didicate their pathetic little lives to carrying big blocks to the top of the hill over and over and over again until they drop.

September Renegade said...

We need to speak up. This is BS.

Queens Crapper said...

What exactly was embarrassing about what was posted?

I noticed you write this same tired shit on every other post. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Mta workers get a big raise.....Don't be hatin'...........take the(a) test.And btw,all nonrepresnted workers,yuo know,the one that make the big$$$,are getting a 10%pay cut.It all evens out!

Anonymous said...

More people work in Midtown than Downtown, so having the Myrtle Avenue (M) line heading to Midtown via the V makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Mta workers get a big raise.....Don't be hatin'...........take the(a) test.And btw,all nonrepresnted workers,yuo know,the one that make the big$$$,are getting a 10%pay cut.It all evens out!

Sunday, January 24, 2010
--------------------------------

Not all nonrepresented workers make "the big bucks".

Ridgewoodian said...

Finally! I’ve been talking up this idea for a long time. I talked about it to the MTA board during one of their annual open meetings a few years ago, and I brought it up before my Community Board in December. For many of us who live in the core service area of the M (from Metro to Marcy), as well as for J/Z riders, this should actually represent an IMPROVEMENT in service. When these lines were first built at the beginning of the last century Lower Manhattan was THE business district but now Midtown is just as important, if not more so. It’s absurd to have two services (three, if you count the Z) running downtown and none running up. I think they recognized that back in the 1960s when they built the Chrystie Street Connector – but apparently they were forty years ahead of the times.

M riders will gain a one seat ride to Midtown, along with many, many more first degree transfer opportunities. Those who actually need to go downtown will have a fairly simple across-the-platform transfer to the J/Z at Myrtle-Broadway and at Marcy. (And, of course, J/Z riders who need to go uptown will have the same opportunity.) They’ll also be able to get on the 6 downtown at Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker (and, in a year or so, the 6 uptown as well), and even the A,C, and E at W. 4th. Needless to say, there will be even more uptown transfer opportunities, including the A,C,E,B,D,F,N,Q,R,1,2,3.

By keeping riders on the M/V combo who would normally transfer to other services this change will certainly take some pressure off the F (I’ve given up even attempting the Delancey transfer at rush hour), the L, especially at Myrtle-Wyckoff, and, to a lesser extent, the N,Q,R,4,5,6.

Ridgewoodian said...

Anonymous: The MTA should halt the 2ond Ave subway construction until they get what they already have running properly and restoring the close line due to cut-backs. Take care of what you have vs taking on new projects.

The capital budget and the operational budget are separate budgets. Do away with the Second Ave and there’s no guarantee that you’d have a giant infusion of cash into your operating budget. And, let’s face it, the Second Ave is eighty years overdue. It’s necessary. And the sooner they get it done the sooner they can turn their attention and money to other, underserved areas, like most of Queens. (Montauk Branch, Rockaway Branch, etc.)

Anonymous: But the MTA union workers are all getting big raises!

Depends on how you define “big.” It’s about 3-3.5% a year over the next three years. And, actually, the MTA didn’t really “agree” to it, they were ordered to do it in binding arbitration, which was later confirmed by a New York State judge.

Obviously, the award didn’t help the MTA but the Union isn’t the main villain here. That would be the Legislature and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Governor. If you remember, last summer there were talks about doomsday cuts. The Ravitch Commission was appointed to look into better ways of funding the MTA long-term. They came up with a series of recommendations, including tolling the East River bridges. Well, that was dead on arrival in the Legislature, which put together its own rescue plan which has conspicuously failed to generate the expected income - a shortfall for the year of about $200 million. In addition, the Legislature and Governor cut about $143 million in MTA funding that the Authority had been counting. That’s the real cause of this huge end of the year budget hole.

Katherine: How does looping the V through Manhattan to take it back into Queens, just a few short miles away from where it starts....make much sense?

Well, almost no one is going to ride the service from terminal to terminal. But there are very few services that anyone rides terminal to terminal. So who cares if the terminals are just a few miles apart? The point of the service is not to get riders from Metropolitan Ave to Forrest Hills, it’s to get riders from Metropolitan Ave or Forrest Hills to Midtown and the Lower East Side. It’ll maybe look a little unusual for a New York subway service but a U shaped line isn’t unheard of. Look at the Toronto system.

In theory any of the 6th Ave services could have been combined with the M but all the rest have long established routes which more or less work and changing them would have been hugely disruptive. Not so with the V, which is notorious for being unloved and underused. This’ll hopefully make it a more useful line.

Now, there are tradeoffs: The current V runs 600 foot trains whereas the platforms along the M can only accommodate 480 footers, so the V will have to be reduced in length. That’ll be no change at all for current M riders but it will make the V a bit more snug along Queens Blvd. But since it usually runs well under capacity there that shouldn’t be a real disaster. The M will be disappearing from southern Brooklyn. I’ve heard various opinions about whether that will actually matter - I’ve never ridden it at rush hour out there so I can’t really speak from personal experience. Anyway, it was merely supplementary service there.

The V will replace the M as a shuttle late nights and weekends. Hopefully, once the financial crisis passes they can be shown that the new V is so different from the J that it would make sense to run it at all times. That would be a great outcome. In any case, this change makes sense, it would make sense even if the MTA wasn’t looking to cut its budget, and I for one hope it goes through.

MTA report on service cuts is HERE.

stinky said...

he Second Ave is eighty years overdue. It’s necessary. And the sooner they get it done the sooner they can turn their attention and money to other, underserved areas, like most of Queens. (Montauk Branch, Rockaway Branch, etc.)

Ridgwoodian: Thanks for taking the time to educating us and detailing so many of the benefits the changes to the M line could bring - I hope your right.

Regarding the Second Ave work - the line simply alleviates overcrowding on the Lexington Line is the official explanation. However it is really so that those residents on the far East Side - York Ave, East End & Beekman Place would have less walking to do to reach the Subway.
Addressing the urgent needs of Queens residents whom are not even within walking distance of a subway is more of a priority than the second Ave subway. Sure those funds could disappear if not earmarked and deployed as such but everything the MTA does is Manhattan centric with those decision makers rarely would ever take the subway when we pay their drivers to squire them around!!

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper said...
What exactly was embarrassing about what was posted?

I noticed you write this same tired shit on every other post. What's up with that?

It is because some of the shit that is spewed is the most ignorant and mindless comments I have ever heard in my life.
Halt the 2nd Ave subway? "Pratt?NYU?Hunter?"

Its frustrating when you constantly try to be pro-Queens and then the people that are your neighbors consistently have negative, and ignorant comments and push a extremly NIMBY attitude.
In addition most of these comments are almost always negative.
Around a year ago there were some very intelligent debates on this blog, now...not so much.

Queens Crapper said...

Yeah? If that's how you feel, then why do you keep coming here?

What the hell is NIMBY about what was written here?

And how do you know that the people commenting here are "your neighbors"? Try creating a dialogue with your real neighbors and stop taking what is typed in cyberspace so seriously. The internet was always, is now, and forever will be a place to vent.

Anonymous said...

Makes sense. Anonymous troll can't stand the repetitive lines that are written here by some commenters, so he prints his "tired old shit" in response.

Someone needs to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like how the comments of two or three people have caused this genius to lose hope in the humanity of Queens. It's laughable.

Anonymous said...

My initial reaction to hearing "no more M" gets me upset, but i do agree that it may be a benefit.

If i can get from glendale to my midtown office with no train transfers, hell, that sounds good to me.

Maybe our line will no longer be considered the redheaded stepchild of the system now that it goes all thru Manhattan.

Dan C said...

It's amazing that the lines the MTA chooses to cut are the ONLY lines to serve certain areas of the City. Yes, that is correct, believe it or not Bloomberg: Queens IS part of New York City.

The expansion of train lines in Manhattan is to relieve congestion on trains that are only congested because of the Queens load. The Queens lines are so congested nowadays that you have to wait 2, 3 or even 4 trains sometimes before there is enough room for you to fit on a train. When will the expansion of service come to the outer boroughs rather than contraction?

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper said...
Yeah? If that's how you feel, then why do you keep coming here?

I have said it on this blog before and the same still applies...
Queens Crap is still the best source of local Queens news (kudos to the Queenscrapper and shame on the NYC media).

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is a good idea. Leave the M train alone and cut the Z train.

I hate the MTA. They are always screwing things up. If we want to go uptown we can switch to the F at Delancy.

Ridgewoodian said...

Stinky - Thanks for you words of support.

Stinky: Regarding the Second Ave work - the line simply alleviates overcrowding on the Lexington Line is the official explanation. However it is really so that those residents on the far East Side - York Ave, East End & Beekman Place would have less walking to do to reach the Subway.

Well, anyone who rides the Lex, especially during rush hour, knows how dangerously overcrowded it is. It’s been recognized almost from the day that the IRT was built that another line was needed on the East Side. If anything it’s MORE necessary now than it was sixty or seventy years ago: remember, the 3rd Ave El was pulled down in the 50s. So I think we should all agree that the Second Ave is long, long overdue. And if some East Siders get a shorter walk to the train I don’t begrudge them it.

Stinky: Addressing the urgent needs of Queens residents whom are not even within walking distance of a subway is more of a priority than the second Ave subway.

I’m not sure exactly what criteria you’re using to decided what’s a greater or lesser priority. Again, the 2nd Ave is pretty important: Manhattan is still where most business gets done in the city, and the East Side has a lot of people, and during rush hours most of them try to cram onto one subway line. That’s just insane and it’s good that something is finally being done about it. That said, I of course agree with you that Queens is woefully underserved by the subways. Part of that is the fault of the MTA, yes. But part of it is the fault of Queens residents. Over the years various plans have been put forward to expand the system in the borough and they’ve all met intense opposition. It was just 12 years ago the MTA proposed an extension of the N train to LaGuardia. It could have been a spur along the Grand Central Parkway, or it could have run along industrial 19th Street in northern Astoria, but the whole idea was eventually scrapped in the face of rabid community opposition. Queens has lots of un- and underused railroads and rights of way - the LIRR Rockaway Branch, for example, the northern section of which hasn’t been in service since 1962, or the Montauk Branch, which is only a block or two from me - that with an infusion of cash and labor could be made fit for transit use. (Take a look at one proposal, the “Triboro RX” which could be built mostly on existing rights of way and which Lee Sanders even mentioned positively in a speech a year or two ago.) But every time anyone proposes to do that it gets shouted down. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that Geraldine Ferraro, when she was in Congress, got a law passed which forbids the federal government from funding the conversion of certain rail lines in Queens into subway lines. (Although, to be 100% honest, I haven’t been able to track down the reference or the law so my memory might be playing tricks on me.)

ANONYMOUS: If i can get from glendale to my midtown office with no train transfers, hell, that sounds good to me.

Exactly. Multiply you by about 22,000.

ANONYMOUS: Maybe our line will no longer be considered the redheaded stepchild of the system now that it goes all thru Manhattan.

What’s wrong with redheads?

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: I don't think it is a good idea. Leave the M train alone and cut the Z train.

Well, what good, exactly, would that do? The Zs would either be replaced by a bunch more Js, which would defeat the purpose of saving some money, or, if they weren’t, the Js would become completely and utterly overcrowded - worse even than the Lex.

ANONYMOUS: I hate the MTA. They are always screwing things up. If we want to go uptown we can switch to the F at Delancy.

Except that at rush hour it’s almost impossible to even get on an F at Delancey. Most Nassau St. (J, M, Z) riders are NOT going downtown to the couple of stops in Lower Manhattan that the line hits. At some point most of them will transfer to some other uptown service. Doesn’t it make more sense, isn’t it a better use of limited resources, to send a train where most of its riders actually need to go? I think so, that’s why I support this particular change.

As it happens, there’s another service nearby, the V, that terminates kind of uselessly at 2nd Ave. Well, if you combine the V and one of the Nassau services - let’s say the M, to keep the resulting service to a reasonable length - voilĂ , you have a quite useful little service there. And, since two services have magically become one you suddenly don’t need to employ quite as many train crews, which will save you some money.

Dan C: It's amazing that the lines the MTA chooses to cut are the ONLY lines to serve certain areas of the City. Yes, that is correct, believe it or not Bloomberg: Queens IS part of New York City.

Right now the M is the sole service along the BMT Myrtle Ave Line - the section from Metropolitan Ave to Myrtle-Broadway. That’s the only part of its entire run where it’s the only service. Under this proposal the M designation will disappear, yes, but the actual trains will remain and they’ll still make all their usual stops in Queens and northern Brooklyn. The only part of the service that will disappear completely and not be replaced is its rush hour only service to southern Brooklyn, which was always supplemental to other services anyway.

Right now there’s no section of the V that’s served solely by the V. Under this proposal it will make each and every one of its usual stops except its current terminal at 2nd Ave on the Lower East Side. Its trains will be somewhat shorter but aside from that riders on Queens Boulevard shouldn’t notice a huge difference.

So no one is going to be losing their SOLE service. The only place where service is going to be cut and not replaced is where it was least used and where there are alternatives. And for most riders this new service pattern should be an improvement.

Whether Bloomberg knows that Queens is part of the City of New York or not (I suspect he does) is immaterial to this conversation. He only controls 4 votes on the 17 member MTA board. Most of the rest are appointed by the Governor. So if you want to blame anyone, blame the board and blame Paterson. Although in this case they probably deserve thanks rather than blame.

Anonymous said...

Why the M and NOT the Z? The Z already doubles up the J. People getting on at those stations can chose Midtown OR Downtown by deciding which train to get on.

Who says M riders ALL go to Midtown? The 3 people on straphangers.com that like that idea?

I chose to live where I live because I work DOWNTOWN.

It may be a transfer across the platform, but it is a platform that is outside in the brunt of all the lousy weather we get in NEW YORK. And the J/Z is almost never coordinated with the timing of the M, increasing the time of the commute substantially. You'd think skipping a bunch of stops would make a difference. It doesn't. It still takes a lot longer when one transfers to the J.

And then what happens if you leave after 9:01? Then you have to transfer 3 times to get below Chambers Street?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone aware of a petition against this or any other action residents can take to voice their opinions? I probably missed the public hearing

Anonymous said...

The problem with cutting the M train service to downtown is that the J/Z lines are often so extremely crowded! Have they ever realized this! It is usually already very crowded at Myrtle Ave, where people transfer from M to J/Z. I can't imagine after the M service change, how people can get onto the train at later stops such as Marcy Ave!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday's commute proves without a doubt what a bad idea this change was.

At Myrtle Avenue, 3/4 of the M train got OFF the train to switch to the J. (Yeah right, "no one" works downtown"). The J train was almost a sardine can. I can't imagine what it will be like in rainy and snowy weather, when more people are taking the train. !!

Last night was even worse. 6 J/Z trains went by before there was a single M. It took an hour and 10 minutes, vs the usual 45. Is this what we should come to expect?