M14 (New York City bus)
The 14th Street Crosstown Line is a public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running primarily along 14th Street from Chelsea or the West Village to the Lower East Side. Originally a streetcar line, it is now the M14 bus route, operated by the New York City Transit Authority. The line's two variants, the M14A and M14D, use Avenue A and Avenue D respectively from 14th Street south into the Lower East Side.
Route description and service
Both M14 services share the 14th Street Crosstown corridor between 9th Avenue on the West Side and Avenue A on the Lower East Side. The "A" and "D" designations refer to the north-south streets used by each service within the Lower East Side (Avenue A and Avenue D respectively).
West of 9th Avenue, the M14A turns south along Hudson Street, terminating at Bleecker Street at Abingdon Square Park. The M14D, meanwhile, travels north to Chelsea Piers, serving Hudson River Park and the Chelsea Market. The M14A follows this route on weekdays during early morning hours. At the east end of the corridor, the M14A turns south at Avenue A (which becomes Essex Street south of Houston Street), then east along Grand Street to the FDR Drive on the East River coastline. The M14D travels along Avenue C, East 10th Street, then south along Avenue D (becoming Columbia Street) to Delancey Street at the Baruch Houses.
The tracks were built by several companies and pieced together by the Metropolitan Street Railway by 1899. The Bleecker Street and Fulton Ferry Railroad built the 14th Street tracks west of 9th Avenue, the Central Crosstown Railroad built from 9th Avenue to Union Square, and the Forty-Second Street and Grand Street Ferry Railroad built from Union Square to Avenue A and south on Avenue A. The Metropolitan Crosstown built a short connection at Union Square to connect the two halves, and tracks north on 11th Avenue to the West 23rd Street Ferry.
When the Williamsburg Bridge opened in 1904, 14th Street cars were rerouted to use the bridge (running east on Delancey Street from the one-way pair of Clinton Street northbound and Essex Street southbound), running as the 14th Street-Williamsburg Bridge Line until 1911. Buses were substituted for streetcars by the New York City Omnibus Corporation on April 20, 1936.
Avenue D service was added on January 28, 1951, initially running from Broadway along 14th Street, Avenue D and Columbia Street to Stanton Street, and returning on Cannon Street and Houston Street.
That company changed its name to Fifth Avenue Coach Lines in 1956; the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) subsidiary of the New York City Transit Authority took over operations in 1962.
The route was once operated by the now defunct Hudson Pier Depot and was known only as the M14. When the depot was taken over by the Quill depot, it was separated into three lines, the M14A, M14C and M14D. After the 9/11 attacks, the block of 14th Street between Avenue C and Avenue D was closed to the public, forcing the M14D to run the M14C route, eventually it was decided since the route ran primarily on Avenue D the route would be renamed M14D. From 2004 to 2006, the M14C briefly returned running down Avenue C to Houston Street then turning East towards Avenue D/Columbia Street and resuming the normal route. This new route began running late and caused confusion with the M21 on Avenue C and eventually service returned to its current state as the M14A and M14D. Afterward, Avenue C was temporarily served by the M21 bus, but since 2010, it has been served by the M9 bus.
Select Bus Service
In April 2019, a Select Bus Service line was expected to run along 14th Street to provide alternate service during the original L train shutdown plan. Service was expected to operate from Ninth Avenue to Avenue C, then turn north along Avenue C to 20th Street, where there would be a ferry transfer. This route was to be another branch supplementing the existing M14A/D designation, but the existing lines would not be converted to Select Bus Service. To facilitate bus trips on the M14 corridor, parts of 14th Street would be turned into a bus-only street during rush hours. The Select Bus Service route was to be implemented by January 6, 2019, three months before the tunnel was set to shut down. It was to initially run with five stops in each direction between First Avenue/14th Street and 10th Avenue/14th Street. Local service on the M14A and M14D would be retained with minor modifications. One or two weeks before the tunnel would originally close, the M14 SBS was to be extended to Stuyvesant Cove. The M14A/D local and the M14 SBS would be able to serve a combined 84,000 passengers every hour, with a bus every two minutes during rush hours. During late night hours, the M14 SBS would be replaced by the L14 SBS route to the Bedford Avenue station in Brooklyn. Once the 14th Street Tunnel has re-opened, some version of M14 SBS service was to continue to operate.
On January 4, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the L train shutdown would be modified. An alternate plan of weekend and late-night construction would be executed instead, therefore putting the M14 SBS plan on hold. New York City Transit still plans to have SBS along the corridor, and is working with the DOT on the plan. The preliminary plan is to convert both the M14A and M14D routes into SBS routes.
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- The New York Times, New Bus Service Sunday, January 26, 1951, page 23
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- "Cuomo Cancels Full L Train Shutdown in Favor of Part-Time Closures". Commercial Observer. January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
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