Home Service Cuts A summer rollout for the service cuts

A summer rollout for the service cuts

by Benjamin Kabak

When the MTA raised the fares two weeks ago, the agency announced May 31 as the first day of the new fares. Now, thanks to a New York 1 report, details about the service cuts — the second half of the so-called Doomsday budget — have come to light.

These cuts will roll out over a span of five-and-a-half months with the last of them — the death of a few subway lines — to come in December. On its surface, then, this timetable may give the Senate a few months to get its collective act together as its members attempt to figure out an politically acceptable funding plan for the transit agency. With the first of these cuts, however, set to go into effect in June, time remains of the essence.

So what’s the timeline? Let’s take a look. This information comes to us via NY1 which get its hands on some MTA materials.

June 28
The MTA will eliminate 21 bus routes and increase headway from eight to ten minutes on nearly every lettered subway line. The first cuts include the deaths of the following bus lines:

  • In Manhattan: M6, 8, 10, 18, 27 and 30
  • In Brooklyn: B23, 25, 37, 39, 51, and 75
  • In the Bronx: Bx4, 14, 20, 34 and the Barretto Park Pool Shuttle
  • In Queens: Q26, 56, 74, 75 and 84

July 26
Twenty-nine maroon-vested roving station agents will be cut, and 29 token booths will be shuttered. Four stations along the BMT Broadway line in Lower Manhattan will be closed overnight. Those stations include City Hall, Cortlandt St. (if it ever reopens), Rector St. and Lawrence St. along the N line. No N trains will stop at Whitehall St. or Court St., but as those stations are parts of other lines, they will remain open.

September 6
Express service along five lines will be cut. Those lines include the X25, BxM7B, QM22, QM23 and X32. At some point over the summer, overnight and weekend bus service along numerous lines in all boroughs will be eliminated or drastically reduced as well. The timeline does not say when.

December 6
Subway cuts go into effect. The W and Z trains will eliminated entirely (with the Q continuing past 57th St. to Astoria and the J running local in Brooklyn and Queens). The G will be terminated at Court Square at all times, and the M will run as a shuttle. Overnight headway will be reduced to an anemic 30 minutes. Load guidelines will be adjusted to allow for more crowded trains as well.

So enjoy it while you can. Unless Albany acts, unless transit advocates band together and secure a funding plan, New Yorkers will see their transit options slowly whittled down over the next few months. That’s hardly a fun way to spend the summer.

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James D April 7, 2009 - 8:09 am

Cutting the local buses first seems idiotic. Those are likely to do the most damage of all the cuts. The express bus and G and M train cuts are the ones where people could get by best without them if they happened before the rest got deferred by a rescue package.

rhywun April 7, 2009 - 8:23 am

I’d rather see all the cuts happen at once, if that’s what it takes to get the attention of politicians.

Ariel April 7, 2009 - 10:34 am

When do the increased fares come into effect?

Benjamin Kabak April 7, 2009 - 10:35 am

May 31. It’s in the first paragraph of this post.

MAL April 7, 2009 - 12:00 pm

You’re not summering at the MTA Office of General Counsel are you? That would be great.

Anthony April 7, 2009 - 2:37 pm

I can understand Ariel’s confusion, the beginning made me think the increased fares would be rolled out at a later date too.

I also think they should introduce all the cuts sooner, because this will just make the senators put off the issue even longer, and I wonder why they haven’t really talked about doing anything useful with the mta’s very vacant office building on Jay st. in Brooklyn. It just seems like such a waste.

ABSORBS April 7, 2009 - 2:50 pm

Why should we expect a government run bureaucracy such as the MTA to run smoothly and efficiently especially when politicians don’t give crap about Public Transit

D Train April 7, 2009 - 6:36 pm

IIRC, this appears to be in the order of Greatest Savings to Least Savings.

The 30 minute late night headways are one of the most idiotic cuts when comparing price vs usefulness/goodwill, saving a paltry $20 million and angering about everyone (except maybe for cabbies…)

Duke87 April 7, 2009 - 8:04 pm

What’s amusing is how they’re counting terminating the G at court square nights and weekends a service cut when they’ve already been doing that for a while now.

What’s perhaps also amusing is that it’s last in the list of cuts. It’s the G train. Shouldn’t the MTA want to cut it first? 😛

James D April 8, 2009 - 4:30 pm

Re: “What’s amusing is how they’re counting terminating the G at court square nights and weekends a service cut when they’ve already been doing that for a while now.”

Crews still pick the non-jobs annd still get paid for them.

The Secret Conductor April 8, 2009 - 12:25 am

I don’t think Albany will come through. The is juat not enough political power behind it nor enough public outrage toward Albany (there is plenty for the MTA). I also think that it is part of the American psychy of cars and roads first, mass transit second.

And finally the people who ride the trains may not be as politically involved as someone who drives from the suburbs. Train riders will grumble but car drivers will call and write.

I don’t know aboutt all the bus lines, but I am not surprised by the B25 bus. That bus runs totally above the A and C trains. As for the trains, the Q probably should always go to Astoria and eliminate the W all together and the G ending at Court Square perminatly doesn’t make much differeence from what already takes place. All the other cuts seem pretty harsh.

Ed April 8, 2009 - 12:56 am

No one likes cuts, but I think the MTA may have gotten this one right. The one caveat is that I have no idea where these bus lines run and they may have cut the wrong bus lines.

In general, the MTA seems to be shutting down lines entirely rather than reducing (giving crappier) service along the entire system, which I think is the right approach. Consider a city with no mass transit system. If you are instituting a system for the first time, you would put in a few lines, make sure service on those lines is up to standard, expand, make sure service on the new lines is up to standard, and so on. It should work the same way with shrinking a mass transit system, which is where we are at now.

I’ve also noticed that many of these “cuts” have already happened. For example, except on the 6 line, the waiting time for trains at night is 30 minutes or greater already. I’m not sure what the strategy is behind announcing removal of service that doesn’t exist as a cut.

Mellisa April 8, 2009 - 12:33 pm

I am still amazed that they are cutting that many bus lines. In response to the secret conductor, yes the Bus Line runs above the A, C lines. But have you been on that particular train lately. It is disgusting, and hardly safe. I grew up around that area, and hundreds of people take that train daily.

We are organizing a boycott of all MTA services on June 1st, 2009 in response to the fare increase and service reduction. Please visit us at boycottmta.com


Benjamin Kabak April 8, 2009 - 12:37 pm

So hundreds – actually, it’s thousands – of people take that train daily and you don’t feel safe? Subway crime is down and you don’t feel safe? I don’t think that’s the MTA’s fault though. How exactly do you feel unsafe?

Anyway, I don’t think boycotting the MTA targets the right people. The State Senates wants people to believe we don’t like the MTA. We might not like the MTA, but we have to show them right now that we need fully funded mass transit in NYC. While I see from your site that you understand this, a boycott, I think, sends the wrong message.

The MTA doesn’t want to cut service. They don’t want to raise fares. They are legally mandated to do so. As I’ve said over and over again, the Senate has a few plans to fund the MTA, and the State Senate has opted to do nothing about it. Boycotting the MTA adds to the confusion and adds to the misinformation about the MTA, and it doesn’t send the right message to the right people.

Mellisa April 8, 2009 - 12:48 pm


Just wanted you to know that I am linking some of your articles to our web site. I am not sure what the proper etiquette is for this, but hope its cool. Thanks


Mellisa April 8, 2009 - 1:13 pm


I am not blaming any one in regard to safety or lact there of. I still ride that train sometimes. My mother uses the B25 instead of the A or C, because she feels safer when she leaves her job late at night, and lots of people do. It is just a fact.

Also, I have been consistenly calling my local state senators and writing letters, and having more people get involved with that process. Unlike you though, I equally blame Albany and the MTA. Thanks for taking the time..

Todd April 9, 2009 - 9:51 am

Headway from eight to ten minutes on nearly every lettered subway line….Overnight headway will be reduced to an anemic 30 minutes

and this is in MTA time! I mean, last night we waited 45 minutes for an N train. What does 30 minutes equal in real time? 2 hours?

To staff or not to staff? :: Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog April 10, 2009 - 1:29 am

[…] with an appropriate MTA funding package, as part of the Doomsday budget, the transit agency will be eliminating numerous station agents and shuttering token booths at the end of July. In fact, New York City Transit has already begun reducing staffing levels at […]

Frank July 25, 2009 - 11:18 pm

I will cut the V train


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