Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the MTA has additional state funds for the second year in a row. Commuters on G train will now see eight-minute wait times versus the current 10 minutes during peak afternoon and evening hours from 3 to 9 p.m.
In addition to increased G train service and station improvements, the additional funding will also allow for B37 service restoration in southwest Brooklyn, B70 service on 7th Avenue and B8 service to the Bay Ridge-95th St. Subway station.
“For the second year in a row, the state has invested in significant enhancements and expansions to our state's transit system that will improve the experience of the eight million commuters who use the MTA,” Cuomo said.
Likewise, weekend service will also be brought back to the Q31 and Sunday service to the Q77 in eastern Queens. Eight stops will also be added to the M line during weekend service. Currently, the M line has limited connections from Metropolitan Avenue to Myrtle Avenue.
“Extending weekend service of the M line will mean easier and faster commutes for residents traveling for work or for pleasure,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
Thanks to unexpected tax revenue increases, aggressive cost cutting and state aid, Cuomo announced he was able to adopt the FY2014 budget that includes $40 million in operational funding with nearly $18 million for service increases. The funding comes in addition to $11.5 million in already acquired resources.
“We have listened to our customers, and we are responding with more bus, subway and commuter rail service, as well as enhancements to make that service more reliable and more enjoyable,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.
In addition to fulfilling straphanger’s dreams of increased service, there is also nearly $11 million available for technology upgrades and special projects on the tracks.
“The revised Financial Plan puts our customer needs first while also allocating resources to longer-term challenges like reducing pension liabilities, lowering retiree health care costs and providing initial funding for our next capital program,” he added.
State senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan and the Riders Alliance called for the Full Line Review of the G line back in January.
"Yet again, the Full Line Review has proven to be a cost-effective way to make improvements that have a big impact for riders and direct new dollars where they most count,” Squadron said. “The MTA deserves real credit for quickly finding funding to grow the G and I look forward to working with the agency.”
Squadron successfully worked with the MTA in 2009 for a Full Line Review of the F and L lines, resulting in cleaner cars for the F line and increased L train service by the summer of 2012.
The MTA will be able to phase in the new service initiatives over the course of the next year.
"These service increases are exactly what riders need, and they couldn't come at a better time," said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance. “Chairman Prendergast and the board of the MTA are exactly right to prioritize restoring and increasing service, and their work to allocate these funds is much appreciated by riders throughout the region."