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MTA: Service cuts are less doomsday and more "restructuring"

Don’t call them the “doomsday” cuts.

The MTA says they’ve made a kinder, gentler package of subway and bus cuts that make sense to do regardless of the agency’s precarious finances.

“We are restructuring routes and making them more efficient,” said Peter Cafiero, an MTA planning chief.

Many bus routes have remained untouched for decades despite big changes in ridership, officials said. Proposed changes to combine overlapping routes or eliminate weak bus lines will contribute to $78 million in savings that the MTA has identified. The X32 express bus in Queens that the agency is proposing to cut, for example, averages 50 riders a day and costs the MTA $27 a person to run, according to agency data.

“These are not merciful acts. They will hurt a lot of people,” said Gene Russianoff, of the Straphangers Campaign, who added that the changes could lead to crowded trains, more transfers and longer schleps to buses.

Nearly 4 million riders will be affected by the changes, though fewer bus riders will be impacted than first anticipated. Nearly all New Yorkers will have a bus within a quarter of a mile walking distance, MTA officials said.

The MTA incorporated feedback from public hearings into these latest package of proposals, officials said. The public will get to weigh in on the new cuts in March before they possibly go through this summer.

Proposed service cuts:
- Eliminate the M train in Manhattan and Brooklyn and replace it with the V in Queens
- Replace the W line with the Q in Queens and N in Manhattan
- Shorten the G train to Court Square
- Reduce weekend and mid-day subway service on most lines
- Entirely eliminate 35 local and express bus routes

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