MTA should bring shuttle buses back to Middle Village as M line track work continues: lawmaker

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley requested the MTA provide another shuttle bus to help move commuters while the M train is down.
Photo: Anthony Giudice/QNS

The MTA is being urged to reinstate shuttle buses between Middle Village and Brooklyn to more quickly connect M train riders to other subway lines as work on the line in Bushwick continues.

When the MTA wrapped up the two-month-long Phase 1 portion of reconstruction of the M line in Middle Village, they also took away the free shuttle buses that helped commuters get around — and according to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, riders aren’t too happy about it.

During Phase 1 of the project, crews worked to replace the bridge over the Long Island Rail Road’s (LIRR) Montauk Line between Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue. While this work was going on, the M train was out of service between the Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway stops.

To keep residents moving, the MTA provided commuters three free shuttle buses: one starting at Metropolitan Avenue and ending at Flushing Avenue; one beginning at Metropolitan Avenue and ending at Myrtle Avenue-Broadway; and one starting at Fresh Pond Road and terminating at Myrtle Avenue-Broadway.

Those shuttle buses were running smoothly and exceeded many commuters’ expectations.

Once the first phase was completed, the MTA restored an M train shuttle between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues, connecting riders to the L line, but the M line remains closed between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway as track work continues through next spring. The MTA discontinued shuttle bus service to and from Middle Village; a shuttle bus line operates between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway in Bushwick.

According to Crowley, the removal of the Middle Village shuttle buses has commuters complaining of long waits for the M train shuttle, overcrowding at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station, and lackluster service on the single shuttle bus.

Crowley said on Oct. 9 that she wrote MTA Chair Joseph Lhota requesting an additional shuttle bus service along the M line route to quickly move riders to other transportation options.

“These issues can be resolved by supplementing the subway shuttle with a shuttle bus that will follow the M line to the J/Z lines, similar to Phase I,” Crowley wrote in the Sept. 29 letter. “The Phase I shuttle buses arrived much more frequently than the current subway shuttles and were received favorably.”

Construction in connection with Phase 2 of this project — which will eliminate all M train service between Myrtle-Wyckoff and Myrtle-Broadway — began in September and is expected to last until April 30, 2018.

For more information on construction, the shuttle train, and shuttle bus routes, visit mta.info.

When reached for comment, an MTA spokesperson indicated that Lhota would look over the letter and directly respond to Crowley.

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