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M to replace the V train, potentially fueling crowding

After an eight-year run, the V train will likely bow out of the system, potentially causing longer waits and more crowding in Brooklyn and Queens.

The MTA is expected to merge the M train with the V, where the line would run as the M from Middle Village in Queens to Essex Street and then swap over to the V tracks on its way to Forest Hills-71st Avenue in Queens. The change will decrease the amount of subway service for southern Brooklyn riders, causing 22,000 straphangers to wait longer for a train and forcing 26,000 others to make an extra transfer for lower Manhattan, MTA figures show.

The area of Brooklyn that will be cut off from the old M route is rapidly developing, and transit advocates expected the crowding to get brutal.

“Do transit officials stick their heads above ground? They are always behind the pace of change,” said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign.

A NYC Transit spokesman said that the trains will still follow agency guidelines for sufficient space on-board, and the MTA would consider increasing Brooklyn service on the D or R if ridership grows.

“The M was not very effective in attracting riders,” the spokesman said.

On Wednesday, the MTA is expected to approve the swap, which would save the cash-strapped agency $4 million and take effect in June. Meanwhile, the MTA opted to spare several bus routes after getting an earful of angry reaction from riders at public hearings earlier this month.

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