By Gabriel Rom
Some Queens neighborhoods will be experiencing a temporary loss of subway service before a more-publicized suspension of service in Brooklyn takes place.
The M subway line will be skipping Middle Village and Ridgewood for much of 2017, the MTA said last week. The major repairs could leave up to 60,000 riders without service for months.
The much feared L-train repairs will not occur until major structural repairs are made on the M line, MTA officials said.
The Myrtle Avenue Line carries the elevated M train between the Metropolitan Avenue station in Middle Village and the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway station in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The elevated line is one of the few subway lines that stretches into Central Queens, and MTA officials said two decades-old overpasses that are becoming progressively worse must be repaired.
“These temporary closures are vital to the long-term viability of the M line in Brooklyn and Queens,” said NYC Transit President Veronique Hakim.
“Both of these structures have deteriorated to the point that there is simply no other option than complete replacement, and undergoing this step will ensure a safe, more reliable experience for customers for decades to come
Queens transit advocates were not surprised by the announcement.
“System breakdowns like this will become more frequent and severe as long as Gov. Cuomo and Albany fail to fully fund the MTA capital program,” said Toby Sheppard-Bloch, a Queens advocate for increased transit options in the borough. “It’s time to stop playing games with the transportation lifeblood of the city and make sure the money is committed so the MTA can better maintain the system, which would be more repairs and fewer replacements, with less impact on service levels.”
The M train currently operates on weekdays between Middle Village and Forest Hills, traveling through northern Brooklyn and Manhattan. It makes stops at Forest Avenue, Fresh Pond Road, Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue, Seneca Avenue, Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues, Knickerbocker Avenue, Central Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway stations.
On weekends, the M train runs only as a four-car shuttle between Middle Village and Essex Street in Lower Manhattan.
The nearest subway line for most of the affected commuters would be the L line, which stops at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues and Halsey Street in Ridgewood. Meanwhile, the M train would be rerouted along the J/Z line through Brooklyn to and from Broadway Junction, MTA officials said.
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@