East and West Side Officials Call for Crosstown Service Improvements

New York, NY – East and West Side officials agree: Improvements must be made on crosstown bus lines.  In advance of service changes that will take effect in April, Manhattan elected officials Congress Member Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Council Member Ben Kallos, Assembly Member Dan Quart, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Council Member Dan Garodnick and Council Member Mark Levine are calling for close review of the M96, M86, M79 and M72 crosstown routes. The service changes would increase headway times, the wait between buses, on the already strained M96 and M72 routes— some of the busiest in the city. The officials additionally requested a review into the conditions at the M86 and M79 buses, sources of strong community discontent. The M79 recently won the “Pokey Award,” the Straphangers’ campaigns award for slowest bus line in the city.

NYC Transit is currently planning to increase headway in M72 midday service from 10 to 12 minutes and in evening service from 12 to 15 minutes – both in off-rush times. The M96 is slated to increase headway from 5.5 to 6 minutes midday. 

“In a borough where the traffic lights and subways are primarily designed to facilitate North/South movement, crosstown buses are a critical link between the East and West Sides.  And, in recent years that link has grown frayed. No one should have to stand on lines stretching around the block or have to wait for another bus to arrive because they couldn’t squeeze onto the first one. I look forward to expanding and improving this vital service for my constituents with the help of the MTA and my fellow elected officials,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

“For many New Yorkers, buses are the only option for going crosstown. That means that we need more and better bus service. I thank NYC Transit for close attention to reforming and improving the service on many of our lines, and ask them to make needed improvements to crosstown service,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

“Local bus service is a vital mode of transportation for my constituents and I look forward to working with the MTA to expand and improve this service,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart.

“Cutting back crosstown bus service, one of the best transportation options for those traveling between the East Side and West Side, would be disastrous for this neighborhood.  I stand with my fellow elected officials in urging New York City Transit to reconsider its proposed cuts," said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.

"There are challenges across all of the crosstown routes in Manhattan. Addressing one single line helps, but doesn't solve the deeper problems.  We need the MTA to further review its service plans for all of these routes,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick.