MTA to restore some bus, subway services

July 19, 2012 3:22:40 PM PDT
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is restoring and extending service on almost 40 bus, subway and commuter rail lines, two years after cutting back services to cover a deep budget shortfall.

The changes come at a time when MTA ridership is steadily increasing as the economy slowly improves. Subway ridership has reached levels not seen since the 1950s, while commuter train ridership is approaching all-time records.

New York City Transit will add five new bus routes, restore one route, extend 13 existing bus routes and add midday, night or weekend service on 11 bus routes in all five boroughs. The temporary extension of the G subway line to Church Avenue during reconstruction of the Smith/9th Street station will be made permanent.

The Straphangers Campaign applauded the restoration of some services, but added that many commuters are still without services that once existed.

"The restored and added service equals more than a third of the $80 million in service that was cut in 2010. Many riders will benefit from the changes, although many will not," the campaign said in a statement.

Metro-North Railroad will enhance service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines to reduce crowding and better serve growing off-peak and weekend ridership with increased half-hourly frequency. West of the Hudson, a new round-trip peak train will be added on the Pascack Line.

The Long Island Rail Road will provide increased service from Ronkonkoma every 30 minutes on weekdays after the morning rush and during some weekend periods. Extra trains will accommodate increased rider demand on the Long Beach, Port Jefferson and Montauk branches. Trains from Atlantic Terminal will also be extended until 2 a.m.

The service changes will be phased in over several months and will cost an additional $29 million per year to operate when fully implemented. They are paid for with increased revenue generated by additional ridership on the MTA system, as well as cost-containment savings.

The service investments will be formally presented to the MTA Board during its regular monthly meeting next week. They will be included in the MTA's 2013 Budget and Four-Year Financial Plan.

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