When all subway news seems like bad news, it’s worth celebrating any update from the MTA that portends even a slight quality-of-life uptick. Today brings us just such a happy missive: the MTA announced that, starting in December, it plans to increase service on the L, M, 2, and 7 lines. About time?
This comes a week after the MTA-led report that, in 2014, the subway system had higher ridership than at any point since 1940, when, due to competing corporations and the elevated lines, the system was actually better equipped to handle the crowds. “New York is a dynamic city and it continues to grow as new or better housing options become available and more people come here for jobs or school,” NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco said. “We face the challenge of serving that growing ridership at a time when real estate developers outpace the growth of the city’s infrastructure.”
Bearing an undue portion of this increase is the L train, where last year ridership grew 4.7 percent—more than 5,600 riders. Every Brooklyn station on the L saw a ridership bump last year. Noting that, the MTA will add seven new weekday round trips between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the L line, which will reduce the average wait time to five minutes during the periods between morning and evening rush hours.
The 2 and M trains will also see an increase in service, reflecting population growth and development in Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Flatbush. The J/M/Z Marcy Av station in Williamsburg saw the single biggest increase last year: 24%. The M will add one additional round trip on weekdays, dropping the average time between trains to 7½ minutes during the morning rush hour. The 2 line will also add two new weeknight round trips between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., reducing the average time between trains to 7½ minutes.
In related news, while the L train is out of commission on nights and weekends, the MTA will once again offer a free transfer between the Broadway G train and the Lorimer J/M/Z, starting tonight.
Follow Phillip Pantuso on Twitter @phillippantuso.