Ridgewood subway riders can rejoice as the M line will be making stops to Manhattan on the weekends again.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the MTA will make improvements and expansions throughout the city to bus, subways and Long Island Rail Road service with state funding.
“For the second year in a row, the state has invested in significant enhancements and expansions to our state’s transit system that will improve the experience of the eight million commuters who use the MTA,” Cuomo said.
The enhancements are possible because of state aid from the 2013 Executive Budget, cost-cutting measures by the MTA and fare hikes. The agency will spend $7.9 million annually on new bus and subway services and another $5.9 million to improve track and station cleaning, increase controllers to manage numbered line service and add more security cameras.
Chief among the enchantments is the restoration of weekend service on the M line, which currently runs from Metropolitan Avenue to Myrtle Avenue stations on weekends. The route will be extended to the Essex and Delancey Street station in downtown Manhattan.
Presently, riders trying to travel to Manhattan from Ridgewood are forced to transfer to the J train on Myrtle Avenue. The service upgrade will reduce transfers and shorten waits for 37,000 weekend customers, according to the MTA.
“Extending weekend service of the M line will mean easier and faster commutes for residents travelling for work or for pleasure,” Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley said. “Investments in public transportation are crucial to the city’s economic growth.”
As part of the improvements the agency is planning to reduce wait times for G train riders by speeding up service from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays from every 10 minutes to every eight minutes.
Queens buses will also see more service. The MTA will restore weekend service to the Q31 bus, which runs from Jamaica to Bayside, and Sunday service on the Q77 will be established.
The enhancements also include $2.6 million in service add-ons for the Long Island Rail Road, including restored service in both directions every half hour from Ronkonkoma to Port Washington.