M (New York City Subway service)
|Sixth Avenue Local|
|Northern end||Forest Hills – 71st Avenue
Myrtle Avenue (late nights & weekends)
|Southern end||Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue|
The M Sixth Avenue Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. It is colored bright orange on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs on the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan.
The M service operates at all times. On weekdays, the M operates between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, Queens via the IND Queens Boulevard and Sixth Avenue lines, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the BMT Jamaica and Myrtle Avenue lines (making it the only service that travels in one borough twice via two different lines). During late nights and weekends, the M operates as a shuttle on the Myrtle Avenue line, between Myrtle Avenue – Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.
The M is the only non-shuttle service that has both of its full-run terminals in the same borough (Queens). The terminals of the M, 71st Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue, are 2.5 miles (4.0 km) apart, marking the shortest geographic distances between termini for a New York City Subway non-shuttle service.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2013)|
Early 1900s to late 1960s
Until 1914, the only service on the Myrtle Avenue Line east of Grand Avenue was a local service between Park Row (via the Brooklyn Bridge) and Middle Village (numbered 11 in 1924). A two-track ramp connecting the Myrtle Avenue Line with the BMT Broadway Elevated (now the Jamaica) Line at the Myrtle Avenue – Broadway station was opened on July 29, 1914, allowing for a second service, the daytime Myrtle Avenue–Chambers Street Line. These trains ran over the Williamsburg Bridge to Chambers Street station on the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan, and ran over the express tracks on the Broadway Elevated during weekday and Saturday rush hours. The number 10 was assigned to the service in 1924.
Sunday service was removed in June 1933, all Saturday trains began running local on June 28, 1952, and on June 28, 1958, all Saturday and midday service was cut, leaving only weekday rush hour service, express in the peak direction (skipping stops between Marcy Avenue and Myrtle Avenue, as the J/Z does now). M was assigned to the service in the early 1960s, with a single letter because it was an express service. Since the new cars using letter designations were not yet running on the Myrtle–Chambers service, it remained signed as 10; while the "M Nassau St" rollsigns were used for rush hour Nassau Street specials on the Brighton and Fourth Avenue Lines (QJ and RJ after 1967). M signs were used on Myrtle–Chambers trains once the Chrystie Street Connection opened in late 1967.
Late 1960s to 1990s
The second half of the Chrystie Street Connection opened on July 1, 1968, and the JJ, which had run along Nassau Street to Broad Street, was relocated through the new connection to the IND Sixth Avenue Line (and renamed the KK). To replace this service to Broad Street, the M was extended two stations, from Chambers Street to Broad Street. Beginning Saturday, October 4, 1969, to make up for the loss of the MJ service, the M was expanded to run middays and a new SS shuttle ran between Broadway–Myrtle Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue at other times.
Effective January 6, 1974, the daytime QJ was truncated to Broad Street as the J, and the M was extended beyond Broad Street during the day along the QJ's former route to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue, via the Montague Street Tunnel and Brighton Line local tracks. By this time, the off-hour SS shuttle had been renamed as part of the M. The local K (renamed from KK in 1973) was eliminated on August 27, 1976, and the M became a fully local service to provide adequate service in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Reconstruction of the Brighton Line began on April 26, 1986, and the daytime M was shifted to the Fourth Avenue Line's express tracks south of DeKalb Avenue. In 1987, the route was changed to split from Fourth Avenue at 36th Street, running along the BMT West End Line to Ninth Avenue during middays, with an extension to Bay Parkway during rush hours. This service duplicated a pattern that had last been operated as the TT until late 1967. M service along Fourth Avenue was switched to the local tracks in 1994, switching with the N, which had run local since the M was moved in 1987. The midday M was truncated to Chambers Street in April 1995.
1990s to 2010
Reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge subway tracks in 1999 split M service in two. One service ran at all times between Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue and Marcy Avenue. The other ran rush hours only between Bay Parkway and Chambers Street. A shuttle provided service on the BMT Nassau Street Line.
From July 22, 2001 to February 22, 2004, work on the Manhattan Bridge subway tracks resulted in a midday extension back to Ninth Avenue, as well as an extension of the times that the rush hour service was provided. This change preserved service between the West End Line and Chinatown for passengers that would have taken the B to Grand Street. 
The September 11, 2001 attacks caused a temporary reduction of the M to a full-time shuttle. It was extended full-time over the BMT Sea Beach Line to Stillwell Avenue, replacing the N, from September 17 until October 28.
On July 27, 2008, weekday evening trains were extended to Broad Street, Manhattan.
Restoration of service to the Chrystie Street Connection
In late 2008, in light of severe budget woes, the MTA announced a slew of potential service cuts; among them was the potential elimination of rush-hour M service, which extended from its usual terminal at Chambers Street on the Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan to Bay Parkway on the West End Line in Brooklyn. This, as well as all other proposals, were no longer considered after Albany lawmakers offered financial support to the MTA in May 2009.
However, in late 2009, the MTA once again discovered that it was confronting another financial crisis; most of the same service cuts threatened just months earlier were revisited.
One proposal included completely phasing out M service and using the V as its replacement. Under this proposal, the V would no longer serve its southern terminus at Second Avenue. Instead, after leaving Broadway – Lafayette Street, it would run along the Chrystie Street Connection, unused since the elimination of the K in 1976, and stop at the upper (BMT) level of Essex Street in Manhattan before serving all M stations to Metropolitan Avenue in Queens.
The MTA determined that this move, while still a service cut, would actually benefit M riders in northern Brooklyn; approximately 17,000 weekday riders use that route to reach its stations in Lower Manhattan, whereas 22,000 transfer to other routes to reach destinations in Midtown Manhattan. However, about 10,000 riders in Southern Brooklyn use the M to access the Nassau Street Line.
This merger opens up new travel options for northern Brooklyn and Queens in that it allows direct and more convenient access to areas that were not previously served by those routes such as Midtown Manhattan (before the service changes, M train passengers had to transfer at least once if heading to Midtown, either at Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues, Canal Street, Essex Street, Chambers Street, or Fulton Street).
On March 19, 2010, it was reported that the plan had been changed and that the M train would continue, albeit operating via the new combined route. Instead, the V train would be eliminated and the M would be recolored orange to designate the IND Sixth Avenue Line as its Manhattan trunk line. Many MTA board members opposed the elimination of the M designation, saying that riders would be more comfortable with that rather than a V designation, and because the M has been around longer than the V. Official M service via the Chrystie Street Connection began on Monday, June 28, 2010.[dead link]
2013 to present
In July 2013, it was announced that weekend M service will be extended to Essex Street in mid-2014 as part of an $18 million funding project to improve subway service. Late night service will continue to terminate at Myrtle Avenue.
Between 1931 and 1937, 11 trains stopped running over the Brooklyn Bridge, instead ending at Sands Street on the Brooklyn side. On March 5, 1944, the Myrtle Avenue Line was closed west of Bridge–Jay Streets, and all 11 trains terminated there (with a free transfer to the IND trains at Jay Street – Borough Hall).
In 1967, when the Chrystie Street Connection opened, the label MJ was assigned to the 11 service. MJ was only marked on maps and station signs; the cars along that route never had route signs.
After a fire damaged the structural integrity of the elevated tracks, the western half of the Myrtle Avenue Line was closed on October 4, 1969, ending MJ service.
The following table shows the lines used by the M service, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|IND Queens Boulevard Line||Forest Hills – 71st Avenue||Queens Plaza||local|
|Court Square – 23rd Street||Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street||all|
|IND Sixth Avenue Line||47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center||Broadway – Lafayette Street||local|
|Chrystie Street Connection||all|
|BMT Nassau Street Line||Essex Street||local|
|BMT Jamaica Line||Marcy Avenue||Flushing Avenue||local|
|BMT Myrtle Avenue Line (full line)||Central Avenue||Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue|
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction|
|Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
- "2010 NYC Transit Service Reductions" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit. January 27, 2010. p. 9. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- Grynbaum, Michael M. (March 19, 2010). "Under a New Subway Plan, the V Stands for Vanished". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- 2014 - 2017 MTA Financial Plan
- MTA NYC Transit – M Sixth Avenue Local
- "M Train Timetable, Effective December 15, 2013". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- Line by Line History