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The New York City Transportation Authority (MTA) will expand subway service to 12 lines starting in July, reducing wait times and increasing trains during peak hours. The plan is made possible by a $229 billion state budget. The $35 million allocated for the expansion will mostly cover the cost of additional train crews, required electricity, and maintenance. The news of the service expansion is a response to the city expanding beyond its pandemic patterns. The MTA had been at the edge of a “fiscal cliff,” which could lead to cutbacks, but the situation has reversed due to the state budget.
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The New York City Transportation Authority (MTA) will expand the city’s subway service to 12 lines this summer. AMNY writes about it.
The agency has received $35 million in service expansion in a recently passed $229 billion state budget.
The MTA will start rolling out additional services in July, increasing the frequency of weekend service on Lines G, J and M. The investment will reduce train intervals to 8-9 minutes from the current 10-11 minutes.
Next month, the MTA will increase the number of weekday trips on lines C, N and R, reducing service intervals from 10 minutes to 8, and increasing the frequency of weekend trains 1 and 6 to six minutes compared to the current 8.
In December, the MTA will once again increase weekday C, N and R train service, this time in the evening, to an eight-minute interval. G trains will also run every eight minutes at noon.
Finally, next July, the MTA will increase the frequency of services on lines B, D, J and M on weekdays so that they run every eight minutes, and on weekends trains 3 and 5 run to 10 minutes.
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“Passenger traffic on the subway is recovering, New Yorkers are ready to take public transport when they have somewhere to go,” said MTA CEO Janno Lieber. “As we have been saying throughout this process, once funding is available, we will be able to scale up services to better match post-COVID-19 passenger traffic trends.”
The $35 million allocation will primarily go toward paying for additional train crews, with some of that going towards more electricity and necessary maintenance.
The news of the service expansion is a dramatic post-budget turnaround for the MTA. The agency has been warning for months that it is on the verge of a devastating “fiscal cliff” that could lead to severe service cuts if action is not taken by Albany lawmakers.
On May 3, the metro carried more than 4.02 million passengers, the highest since March 2020, but passenger numbers remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
Last December, the MTA announced that it would cut Monday and Friday flights on some lines to accommodate changes to commuting patterns brought about by an increase in the number of New Yorkers working from home.
The move to expand service was a major victory for activists and progressive elected officials who pushed for a universal six-minute interval, free bus service, and the cancellation of the MTA’s planned fare increase. In addition to improving service, the MTA will also launch free bus service on five routes across the city and reduce the scale of fare increases from 5.5% to 4%.
“The historic public transportation funding deal at the heart of this year’s state budget will dramatically improve the lives of the millions of New Yorkers who depend on subways and buses every day,” said Betsy Plum, executive director of the Riders Alliance. “We look forward to enjoying these wins in the form of time savings, easier commuting, and a fairer New York for years to come.”
Transportation Workers’ Union Local 100, which represents 46,000 New York City transit workers and is currently negotiating a contract with the MTA, also backed a proposal to increase service through the state budget. Union president Richard Davies approved the expansion plan.
“If the MTA is going to increase service expansion, we are all for it,” Davis said in a statement. “We’ve been pushing for service expansion at the Riders Alliance. Public transport should run as often as possible. It’s good for passengers, the economy and the environment.”
As ForumDaily New York previously wrote:
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