M (New York City Subway service)

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Sixth Avenue Local
M symbol
NYC Subway 8357 on the M.jpg
A Manhattan-bound M train of R160 cars entering Hewes Street in Brooklyn.
M map
Northern end Forest Hills–71st Avenue
Essex Street (weekends)
Myrtle Avenue (late nights)
Southern end Middle Village–Metropolitan Avenue
Stations 36
Rolling stock 184 R160As (23 trains)
Depot East New York Yard

The M Sixth Avenue Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored bright orange since it uses the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan.[1] On weekdays, the M operates between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens, and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, Queens, via the IND Queens Boulevard Line and Sixth Avenue, the Williamsburg Bridge, and the BMT Jamaica and Myrtle Avenue lines. This makes the M the only service that travels through the same borough via two different, unconnected lines.

The M short turns at Essex Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan on weekends, and at Myrtle Avenue–Broadway in Brooklyn during nights. The M is the only non-shuttle service that has both of its full-run terminals in the same borough (Queens). The 71st Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue termini of the M route are 2.47 miles (3.98 km) apart, marking this as the shortest geographic distance between termini for a New York City Subway non-shuttle service.[2]


M service[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.[3] 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.[4] 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). Marcy Avenue was originally a local stop, but beginning on February 23, 1960 all trains stopped there. 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 on November 27, 1967, but did not appear on the trains until the transition to rolling stock equipped with appropriate roll signs.[4]


M Train (1967-1979).svg
1967–1979 bullet

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.[5] Beginning Monday, October 6, 1969, to make up for the discontinuation of the MJ due to the closing of the Myrtle Avenue El south of Myrtle Avenue to Jay Street, the M was expanded to run middays and a new SS shuttle ran between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue at other times.

Effective January 2, 1973,[4] 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,[6] and the M express service between Myrtle Avenue and Marcy Avenue ended in order 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 and terminated at Bay Ridge–95th Street.[4] 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 from Ninth Avenue in Brooklyn.[4]


From April 1997 to August 1997, during late nights and weekends, the M terminated at Essex Street due to reconstruction of Myrtle Avenue.[4]

From May 1 to September 1, 1999, the Williamsburg Bridge was closed for reconstruction. M service was split in two sections because of the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge subway tracks. 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.[4][7][8][9][10] In order to accommodate displaced M riders, the MTA advised commuters to use alternative subway and bus routes instead of these lines. Fares on the B39 bus crossing the Williamsburg Bridge was eliminated and free subway-bus transfers were given at Marcy Avenue and at Delancey Street. The closure was anticipated to last until October 1999, but subway service was restored one month ahead of schedule.[11] The project cost $130 million, including replacing the tracks' support structure, signal systems and other equipment.[12]

In July 2000, the M was extended to Chambers Street or Broad Street during off hours due to switch work that caused J trains to run express from Myrtle Avenue to Marcy Avenue.[4]

From July 23, 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 to 10 PM. This change preserved service between the West End Line and Chinatown for passengers that would have taken the B to Grand Street. When full Manhattan Bridge service was restored, midday M service was cut back to Chambers Street.[4][13][14][15]

The September 11, 2001 attacks caused a temporary reduction of the M to a full-time shuttle until September 17. Then it was extended full-time over the BMT Sea Beach Line to Stillwell Avenue, replacing the N, until October 28.

On July 27, 2008, weekday evening trains were extended to Broad Street, Manhattan.[16]

On June 28, 2010, the M's routing was modified to run on the IND Sixth Avenue Line and IND Queens Boulevard Line to Midtown Manhattan and Forest Hills, Queens (see below).

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.[17] This merger opened up new travel options for northern Brooklyn and Queens in that it allowed 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 while the new combined route would still be used, it would carry the M train designation, recolored orange to designate the IND Sixth Avenue Line as its Manhattan trunk line, while discontinuing the V train. 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.[18][19] Official M service via the Chrystie Street Connection began on Monday, June 28, 2010.[20][21]

Post-2010 improvements[edit]

Starting June 8, 2014, weekend M service was extended to Essex Street as part of an $18 million funding project to improve subway service. Late night service continues to terminate at Myrtle Avenue.[22][23]

Currently the M is at 90% of New York City Transit's loading guidelines during the AM rush hour. Ridership on the M has been growing very rapidly since the 2010 service change, and this trend is expected to continue. In June 2016, peak train frequencies on the M route were increased, and it is expected that peak train frequencies would be raised again in the future.[24]

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).[25]

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.

The western half of the Myrtle Avenue Line closed on October 4, 1969, ending MJ service, which was replaced with a free transfer to the B54 bus.[26] Several days before the scheduled closing date the el was hit by a truck, temporarily suspending service. Timber reinforcement was applied to the damaged members, allowing the service to resume operation until the scheduled closing date.[27]


Service pattern[edit]

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

Line From To Tracks 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  
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


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
Station closed Station closed
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 Boulevard Line
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 Select Bus Service 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 9:30 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line)
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
Sixth Avenue Line
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 9:30 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)
Nassau Street Line
Stops all times except late nights Essex Street J all times Z rush hours, peak direction
F all times (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
Northern terminal for weekend trains
Jamaica Line
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 Northern terminal for late-night trains
Myrtle Avenue Line
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)
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


  1. ^ "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info. 
  2. ^ "Distance between the Middle Village – Metropolitan Avenue and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue stations: The shortest between two terminals on any route other than shuttles on the New York City Subway". Flickr. Retrieved 2016-09-02. 
  3. ^ "New L Loop in Use: Long-Sought Improvement Inaugurated Today". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 29, 1914. p. 1. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NYCT Line by Line History". erictb.info. 
  5. ^ SKIP-STOP SUBWAY BEGINS RUN TODAY - KK Line Links 3 Boroughs -Other Routes Changed - Article - NYTimes.com
  6. ^ TRANSIT AGENCY DROPS 215 RUNS - Resulting Schedule Shifts Bewilder Passengers - Article - NYTimes.com
  7. ^ "NO TRAINS OVER THE WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE TAKE ONE(jpg)-The Subway Nut". subwaynut.com. 
  8. ^ No trains over Williamsburg Bridge
  9. ^ http://www.subwaynut.com/brochures/williamsburgb2.jpg
  10. ^ http://www.subwaynut.com/brochures/williamsburgb3.jpg
  11. ^ "NYC DOT - Williamsburg Bridge". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-06-06. 
  12. ^ Donohue, Pete (September 2, 1999). "IT'S J - AS IN JOY - TRAIN RIDERS FLYING HIGH ON FIXED-UP W'BURG SPAN". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  13. ^ "265-03 M Train M&S" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 7, 2003. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  14. ^ "B D M N Q R W Weekday Service Manhattan Bridge Map" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2004. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  15. ^ "MTA NYC Transit Manhattan Bridge Information". 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  16. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20081221064845/http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/pdf/tmcur.pdf
  17. ^ "2010 NYC Transit Service Reductions". MTA New York City Transit. January 27, 2010. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (March 19, 2010). "Under a New Subway Plan, the V Stands for Vanished". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  19. ^ http://web.mta.info/news/pdf/NYCT_Summary_of_Revisions.pdf
  20. ^ "MTA News | MTA". Mta.info. Retrieved 2014-06-06. [dead link]
  21. ^ http://images.nycsubway.org/maps/sklar_2010_59style_map.pdf
  22. ^ 2014 - 2017 MTA Financial Plan Archived July 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20140612005620/http://web.mta.info/nyct/service/M_weekends.htm. Archived from the original on June 12, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ "Feasibility and Analysis of F Express Service in Brooklyn" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Brooklyn Bridge Train Service Ends Today--Trolley Cars Stay On". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 5, 1944. p. 11. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Service Changes for Myrtle Avenue "El" Riders". joekorner.com. New York City Transit Authority. October 1954. Retrieved January 24, 2016. 
  27. ^ Damages structural column #64 shored up shortly before abandonment. Hit by truck, Photo on 10/3/69

External links[edit]