M (New York City Subway service)

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Sixth Avenue Local
M symbol
M map
Northern end Forest Hills – 71st Avenue
Essex Street (weekends)
Myrtle Avenue (late nights)
Southern end Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue
Stations 36

The M Sixth Avenue Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route bullet is colored bright orange on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it uses the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan.

The M operates at all times. Weekday service runs between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, Queens, via IND Queens Boulevard and Sixth Avenue lines, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the BMT Jamaica and BMT Myrtle Avenue lines (making it the only service that travels in one borough twice via two different lines).

Weekend service short turns at Essex Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Night service operates as a shuttle on the Myrtle Avenue line between Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue – Broadway.

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.

History[edit]

M train entering Hewes Street on the BMT Jamaica Line in Brooklyn
M shuttle train consisting of R160As at its southern terminal of Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn prior to the extension of weekend M service from Myrtle Avenue to Essex Street
M Train (1967-1979).svg
1967–1979 bullet

M service[edit]

Early 1900s to late 1960s[edit]

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 (RJ after 1967 for 4th Avenue rush hour service, later "RR"; Brighton/Nassau rush hour service was provided by the "QJ" which ran during weekday daytime hours). The line was officially designated "M" after the Chrystie Street changeover in November, 1967, but did not appear on the trains until the transition to rolling stock equipped with appropriate roll signs.

Late 1960s to 1990s[edit]

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 augment QJ service to Broad Street, the M was extended two stations, from Chambers Street to Broad Street. Beginning Monday, October 6, 1969, to make up for the loss of the MJ due to the shutting down of the Metropolitan Avenue to Jay Street 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.[1]

1990s to present[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]

On June 28, 2010, trains were modified to run on the IND Sixth Avenue Line and IND Queens Boulevard Line to Midtown Manhattan and Forest Hills, Queens (see below).

In July 2013, it was announced that weekend M service will be extended to Essex Street. This new service pattern was implemented on June 8, 2014 as part of an $18 million funding project to improve subway service. Late night service continues to terminate at Myrtle Avenue.[4][5]

2010 service change[edit]

M Train (1979-2010).svg
The brown M logo from 1979 to 2010, when it served the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan.

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 had extended beyond 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.[6] 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, Essex Street, Canal 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.[7][8] Official M service via the Chrystie Street Connection began on Monday, June 28, 2010.[9][10]

MJ service[edit]

MJ Train (1967-1979).svg
Short lived MJ logo from 1967 to 1969

On March 5, 1944, 11 trains stopped running over the Brooklyn Bridge, instead ending at Bridge-Jay Streets on the Brooklyn side, 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[citation needed] 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.

Route[edit]

Service pattern[edit]

The following table shows the lines used by the M service, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:

Line From To Tracks Times
week
days
week-
ends
late
nights
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  
Williamsburg Bridge all
BMT Jamaica Line Marcy Avenue Flushing Avenue local
Myrtle Avenue all  
BMT Myrtle Avenue Line (full line) Central Avenue Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue

Stations[edit]

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only
Time period details
M service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Queens
Stops weekdays only Forest Hills – 71st Avenue Handicapped/disabled access E all times F all times R all hours except late nights LIRR Main Line at Forest Hills
Stops weekdays only 67th Avenue R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 63rd Drive – Rego Park R all hours except late nights Q72 bus to LaGuardia Airport
Stops weekdays only Woodhaven Boulevard R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Grand Avenue – Newtown R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Elmhurst Avenue R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue Handicapped/disabled access E all times F all times R all hours except late nights
7 all times (IRT Flushing Line)
Q47 bus to LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal
Q70 Limited bus to LaGuardia Airport
Stops weekdays only 65th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Northern Boulevard R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 46th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Steinway Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only 36th Street R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Queens Plaza Handicapped/disabled access E all times R all hours except late nights
Stops weekdays only Court Square – 23rd Street E all times
G all times (IND Crosstown Line)
7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line)
Manhattan
Stops weekdays only Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street Handicapped/disabled access E all times
6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at 51st Street)
Stops weekdays only Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street E all times
Stops weekdays only 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
Stops weekdays only 42nd Street – Bryant Park B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line at Fifth Avenue)
Stops weekdays only 34th Street – Herald Square Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
N all times Q all times R all except late nights (BMT Broadway Line)
M34 / M34A Select Bus Service
PATH at 33rd Street
Stops weekdays only 23rd Street F all times PATH at 23rd Street
Stops weekdays only 14th Street F all times
1 all times 2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line at 14th Street)
L all times (BMT Canarsie Line at Sixth Avenue)
PATH at 14th Street
Stops weekdays only West Fourth Street – Washington Square Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
A all times C all except late nights E all times (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
PATH at 9th Street
Stops weekdays only Broadway – Lafayette Street Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times
6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at Bleecker Street)
Stops all times except late nights Essex Street J all times Z rush hours, peak direction
F all times (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
Brooklyn
Stops all times except late nights Marcy Avenue Handicapped/disabled access J all times Z rush hours, peak direction B44 Select Bus Service
Stops all times except late nights Hewes Street J all times except weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., peak direction
Stops all times except late nights Lorimer Street J all times except weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., peak direction
Stops all times except late nights Flushing Avenue Handicapped/disabled access J all times except weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., peak direction B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport
Stops all times Myrtle Avenue J all times Z rush hours, peak direction
Stops all times Central Avenue
Stops all times Knickerbocker Avenue
Stops all times Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues Handicapped/disabled access L all times (BMT Canarsie Line)
Queens
Stops all times Seneca Avenue
Stops all times Forest Avenue
Stops all times Fresh Pond Road
Stops all times Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue Handicapped/disabled access

References[edit]

External links[edit]