Thursday, January 14, 2010

MTA Reportedly Considering Nixing M Train Line

V Line Would be Rerouted to Metropolitan Avenue

By Conor Greene

Western Queens residents and officials are anxiously awaiting official word from the MTA on the future of the M train following reports the agency is considering eliminating the line and rerouting the V train to Middle Village.

The MTA is not commenting on the rumors, which were reported this week in amNY and various transit blogs. A spokesman said Wednesday that MTA officials are “reviewing the package of service reductions that was adopted by our board in December, but I cannot speak to any individual cuts or restorations to services on any of the lines individually as the process is going.”

According to the reports, the MTA would eliminate the M line, which currently terminates at Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village. The service reduction package contained within the MTA’s doomsday budget adopted in December already includes cutting M service to Brooklyn. The M line would be replaced by the V line in northern Brooklyn through Ridgewood and Middle Village.

In response to the rumors, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said she hopes the service reductions don’t unfairly impact Queens commuters. “Clearly, the MTA needs to be reminded that the people of Western Queens need transit too,” she said in a statement to The Forum. “While the MTA brainstorms a makeover for its doomsday cuts, I hope they will consider sharing the burden with Manhattan riders rather than continually eliminating options for the Queens riders.”

Vincent Arcuri, chairman of Community Board 5, said his Transportation Committee is looking into the situation. He noted that the V line currently provides greater overnight and rush hour service than the M train. “During rush hour you can wait for three trains from lower Manhattan before you get an M,” said Arcuri. “We’ll have to analyze it. I would hope they wouldn’t adjust the schedule down if it went that way.”

According to the MTA, a series of public hearings would be held once any official decisions are made regarding service changes. “We’re a few steps out before anything takes place,” added the spokesman, Aaron Donovan. “Now that we have a little more time to evaluate the cuts, we’re taking a closer look at them.”

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