Commuters who rely upon the subway to get around Queens will have more trains to ride next year.
The MTA announced on Thursday it would expand weekday service in June 2016 on 12 subway routes, meeting an increase in both current and projected future ridership throughout the system.
“New York City is in the middle of a development renaissance, and the MTA is part of the driving force behind huge changes in parts of the city that residents now see as desirable to live in and businesses to build out,” James L. Ferrara, interim MTA New York City Transit president, said in a statement. “Making these service changes wherever we can lets us make the best use of existing resources as we expand to keep up with private sector development.”
One particular change affects the morning rush hour for riders of the M line, which operates as a virtual loop between Forest Hills and Middle Village by way of midtown Manhattan. The MTA will add an extra “northbound” train out of Metropolitan Avenue-Middle Village between 8:30 and 9 a.m., increasing the number of trains from three to four.
This, however, comes at a cost to those riding the M line “southbound” out of 71st-Continental Avenue in Forest Hills between 8 and 8:30 a.m., as one less train will operate in that direction (five trains to four trains). During both periods, riders can anticipate M trains departing every 7.5 minutes.
The MTA will also add an extra train on the N line — which runs from Astoria and Long Island City through to Manhattan and Queens — on weekday mornings from 9 to 9:30 a.m., from three to four trips. The change will reduce wait times from 10 to 7.5 minutes.
Additionally, the MTA plans on adding three additional trips on the J line—which operates through Jamaica, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill — during evening hours from 7 to 10 p.m., from 16 to 19 trips. This will reduce wait time from an average of 11.3 minutes to 9.5 minutes.
Two extra round-trip trains will come to the E line — which operates as an express through much of Queens between Long Island City and Forest Hills — on weeknights from 8 to 9 p.m., from 10 to 12 trips. This will reduce estimated wait times from six to five minutes.
Finally, an extra round-trip train will be added to the A line — which runs from Ozone Park and Far Rockaway to Manhattan — on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to noon, from three to four trips, reducing wait times from 10 minutes to 7.5 minutes.
In all, the system-wide service enhancements will cost the MTA $5.8 million annually, and it has already been included in the authority’s 2016 operating budget.
One transit advocacy group was particularly thrilled to hear the news.
“This is good news for transit riders,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance. “More trains mean less waiting on lonely platforms, especially at night and on the weekends.”