The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday it plans to expand weekend M train service and weekday G train service as well as restore bus service on five routes that were cut in 2010. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
The M subway line will stretch into Manhattan on weekends. G trains will run more often between Brooklyn and Queens during the afternoon rush. And there are plans to add a seventh, speedier Select Bus Service line.
Those are just a few of the transit improvements that are on the way, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled plans on Monday to pour $18 million into expanding bus and subway service.
"The enhancements mean that we, the MTA, are listening to our customers, and we are trying to be responsive. But that wouldn't be possible without the aggressive cost-cutting that we have continually done since 2009," said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast.
Three years ago, the agency made nearly $100 million in service cuts so it could balance its budget, though $29 million in restorations were made last year.
MTA officials said the latest service improvements are for the long haul.
"We do not want to be in a position where we're restoring services only to come back the next year and say, 'Oh, we made a mistake, we really don't have that money,'" said Prendergast.
Most of the changes will be phased in over the next 12 months, such as a plan to extend weekend M train service from Middle Village in Queens to Manhattan's Lower East Side. Currently, that line sticks to Brooklyn and Queens on weekends.
That opens up the city a whole lot more for the 27,000 weekend M train riders who transfer to other lines or ride buses.
"The weekend is so hard, man. I've got to take a bus and transfer from one bus to another. I take the 43 [line], I take a lot of buses on the weekends because it's hard," said a rider.
"Waiting for the other trains, it's a little annoying to transfer, so this helps a lot," another rider said.
There were also relieved transit users on 8th Street in Manhattan, where crosstown M8 weekend service that fell victim to the 2010 doomsday cuts is set to be restored.
"We work on the weekends around here. So we need more transportation. It's usually slow, so it will be good if there's another option," a rider said.
The changes are part of the MTA's proposed 2014 budget, which the board will vote on in December.