BY NATHAN DUKE
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) is calling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to bring back shuttle bus service as the agency conducts repair work to the M line.
The MTA is in the midst of a multi-phase renovation of the line. Currently in its second phase, the project entails the complete demolition and rebuilding of the Myrtle Viaduct and Fresh Pond Bridge. As a result, the project has disrupted public transit for local residents, Crowley said.
“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 one,” Crowley said. “The phase one shuttle buses arrived much more frequently than the current subway shuttles and were received favorably.”
The first phase of the project included work between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and last two months. The Fresh Pond Bridge was replaced and work on the Myrtle Viaduct began. During this phase, shuttle buses provided service for M line riders.
But in the project’s ongoing second phase, shuttle bus service has shifted to supplement service between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and a special M shuttle train has taken the place of service from Metropolitan Avenue.
Currently, the operational section of the track between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle-Wyckoff can only accommodate two trains, which is causing lengthy wait times for riders and overcrowding. Crowley recently wrote a letter to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, requesting additional shuttle bus service to make up for extra time waiting for the M line shuttle.
The second phase of the project is expected to last another seven months. Crowley said that she wants supplemental bus shuttles to pick up riders during the duration of the project.