Friday, December 26, 2014

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New Bus Lines Offer First Mass Transit Option for Some Hell's Kitchen Residents

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TWC News: New Bus Lines Offer First Mass Transit Option for Some Hell's Kitchen Residents
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Improvements to bus service are on the way for several lines across the city as soon as this weekend. Along 11th and 12th Avenues in Manhattan, just having a bus line all their own will be a first. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

You can drive, bike, take a cab or walk to move along 11th Avenue.

Getting around on mass transit is a real stretch for those working and living along this fast-growing area of Hell's Kitchen, though.

"The options, as far as transportation, are very limited. You have to go all the way to Ninth Avenue to get the first bus and all the way to Eighth Avenue to get the subway," says Christine Berthet of Community Board 4.

"I've been working over here for 20 years. Bus service is horrible," one rider says.

That could change on Sunday with the arrival of the M12, a new line that will connect Columbus Circle to the West Village and run daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Southbound buses will travel on Seventh Avenue to West 57th Street, then down 11th Avenue on the way to Abingdon Square.

Northbound, buses will mostly move up 12th Avenue before cutting across West 57th Street and up Eighth Avenue to West 58th Street and Seventh Avenue.

At the outset, buses will run every 30 minutes on the M12. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it's open to adjusting those timetables once it's had a chance to study how riders take to the new line.

The agency is spending $4.9 million on bus service improvements across the city, though the M12 is the only new local line. It's one that local leaders say is long overdue.

"With all these influx of people, you need to move them right and left. It's really critical," says Berthet.

Also included in the service changes is the expansion of the Bx24 from Westchester Square to the new Hutchinson Metro Center in the north Bronx. Plus the debut of the X21, a Super Express bus linking Eltingville, Staten Island, to 42nd Street in Manhattan.

"We took a look at places that needed public transportation and we also looked at places where the lines weren't currently going," MTA Spokeswoman Amanda Kwan.

Like past Daisy May's on 11th Avenue, where workers said they'll welcome new customers arriving on the new bus line.

"You can take the bus, buy whatever you would like—buy lunch, dinner and have a great time," one rider says.

To learn about other changes to bus service, be sure to check out

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