As the MTA adjusts the planned service cuts to better meet customer demands, a novel use for the Chrystie St. Connection between the IND and the BMT at Essex and Delancey Sts. may be in the cards. According to a few message board posters and now Heather Haddon’s “transit sources,” the MTA may adjust the route of the V train to subsume the current M route out to Metropolitan Ave. This new route could alleviate some pressure on the L line and provide an indirect one-seat ride from parts of Brooklyn and Queens that just aren’t that far apart.
Over the last few days, I’ve been checking in on some of the message board chatter concerning the upcoming service cuts. Last week at the NYC Transit Forums, frequent poster Zman started a thread about a potential merging of the M and V lines. He said:
The TA is considering eliminating the M and sending the V to Metropolitan Av via the Chrystie St Cut if the doomsday cuts aren’t head off at the pass. This would mean that the V could only run 8 car trains. This could start in late June.
Logistically it would be a little difficult unless they took some of the 60 foot SMEE’s that are mothballed and put them back into service, or if ENY has enough 4 car unit 160’s to cover service since 46’s can’t run on the Williamsburg Bridge. For passengers though, this sounds like a good deal.
It’s in the talking stages and nothing is official yet.
Subchat picked up the news a short time later, and the subsequent discussion has been rather lively. Today, amNew York, citing only “transit sources,” joins the chorus. The M is scheduled to be scaled back from its current peak-hour run into South Brooklyn through the Montague St. tunnel and along the BMT Fourth Ave. and West End Lines, and this rumored cut would, in effect, kill the line.
So how would this work? Transit would run eight-car sets along the V from Forest Hills along its current route along the IND Queens Boulevard line via the 53rd St. tunnel to the IND Sixth Ave. line. After stopping at Broadway-Lafayette, the train would then take the Chrystie St. Cut, shown in in this track map, to the current J/M/Z BMT Nassau St. stop at Essex/Delancey Sts. The V would then run over the Williamsburg Bridge and up to Metropolitan Ave.
In a way, this makes sense. Once the M is scaled back from its southern extension into Brooklyn, the train will operate mainly as a spur to Metropolitan Ave. with peak-hour service to Lower Manhattan. Here, Transit would replace that M service with a line that serves Midtown. Although some Lower Manhattan-bound riders would have to transfer to the J, those heading to Williamsburg and points east could take a one-seat ride on the V and, ideally, avoid the L.
Right now, Transit and the MTA are still working to formulate a plan for the service cuts, but when everything is finalized later this year, we could see some changes to the subway map. I wouldn’t be surprised to see revenue service restored to the Chrystie St. Cut as long as the numbers work out.