21 Nov 2008 7:15 am   //   Filed under: Holga, Transit

This is the last stop on this train

Following up on my post from Tuesday, here are the proposed subway cuts announced in an MTA press release yesterday:

  • Route modifications – shorten G, operate N via Manhattan Bridge late nights, eliminate W and extend Q to Astoria, operate M to Broad rush hours, eliminate Z, add J local service.
  • Increased headways and loading guidelines during non-rush hours – headways increase from 8 to 10 minutes on ADEFGJMNQR on Saturdays and the ADEFGNQR on Sundays; headways increase from 20 to 30 minutes from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

MTA also wants to cut some low-ridership/redundant bus service, eliminate jobs (management, station booth managers) and cut back on (ugh) cleaning. The MTA’s budget presentation says they are trying to make budget and still: “Fulfill fundamental mission of getting people where they need to go.”

Okay, let’s talk about the cuts. As I wrote earlier, we’ll be fine without the W and Z. I hadn’t considered the possibility that they would run the Q all the way out to Astoria once they kill the W, but that’s a good solution. Confirmed that they want to stop running the M all the way to south Brooklyn during rush hours, which is a bummer. The R train is going to get crowded. And the G… [long silence]… That poor train…

Most serious is increasing the overnight space between trains from 20 to 30 minutes. Psychologically, there’s a huge difference between waiting 19 minutes for a train and waiting 29 minutes. We’ll have to start carrying timetables for the subway!

About once a month I end up taking the subway during those hazy hours between 2 and 5 a.m. (heading home after parties, or heading out to an airport or Penn Station early in the morning). During the pre-dawn hours, most of the people riding the train here in Brooklyn are working-class immigrants on their way to work. Anybody who works that hard deserves a break. A functional, round-the-clock public transit system is one of the few breaks they get in this hard city. If we’re pinching pennies, let’s find another service to cut.

(Thanks to Jeremy for the tip.)