Painful MTA service cuts take effect

June 28, 2010 7:02:57 AM PDT
It was a different and longer commute for millions of New Yorkers Monday morning.

The V and W subway lines have been eliminated, along with dozens of bus routes.

The budget disaster in Albany has led the MTA to slash service across the city. And those cuts took effect Monday.

Late last week, angry straphangers staged a mock funeral for their local subway lines.

The elimination of the two lines, among the so-called Doomsday budget plans enacted by the MTA as it struggles to fill a stunning $800 million budget gap.

Starting Monday, the W and V will be consolidated into other lines, like the M, N and G, now extended and rerouted to pick up some of the slack.

Other trains will run with fewer cars and less often, especially at night and over the weekend. And millions of commuters will wait precious extra time between trains.

And cuts aren't limited to straphangers underground. The MTA is eliminating 37 bus routes across the five boroughs. And if it all isn't painful enough, the agency recently backed away from another cost-saving plan to cut free Metrocards for students.

It is good news for them, but at a meeting last week, MTA board members wondered how they would pay for that.

"What are we going to eventually come down to?" board member Andrew Albert asked. "A train or two an hour and a $10 fare? We're in the service business. I'm just amazed that more people aren't screaming about this."

Maybe they will when the fares go up an estimated 7.5 percent in 2011. And that number could rise even higher. The MTA is expected to take up the issue of fare hikes in July.

CLICK HERE for a full list of the changes.