M9 Bus Route to Expand in 2013

The M9 bus. Photo via batteryparkcity.com.

Good news for those who take the bus downtown: the M9, which travels through the Lower East Side and Chinatown before terminating at City Hall, may be moving even further south in 2013. According to a press release today from State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the bus line will be extended to Battery Park City in January, reversing budget cuts which curtailed the route in 2010. The bus line will also stretch further north, going as far uptown as 29th Street to provide accessibility to Bellevue Hospital and NYU Medical Center, Silver’s office said today.

In the release, the Speaker said he had approached MTA Chair Joseph Lhota about extending the M9 line because his Lower Manhattan constituents had suffered commuting difficulties since it was shortened in 2010. He noted that the extended service would greatly help children traveling to Battery Park area schools and elderly people visiting hospitals uptown.

A spokesman for the MTA could “neither confirm nor deny” any plans to extend the M9 bus route before July 25th, when the MTA Board will meet to discuss the matter. More specific information about the bus route’s future will be available after the board convenes.