Community Board 3 Protests M22 Bus Service Cuts

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Community Board 3 and local elected officials are protesting the MTA’s decision to cut weekend service on the M22 bus.

Starting April 1, you’ll be waiting 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes for the M22 on weekends between 8-9 a.m. and 8-9 p.m. CB3 approved a resolution last night that read, in part:

The M22 is currently the only nearby mass transit option for residents between South Street and Madison from Pike Street to the water’s edge that provides crosstown service to the downtown area. The M22 is the closest mass transit option to get to the Gouverneur Hospital and the Lower Manhattan Hospital/NY Presbyterian… CB3 believes that if service were more reliably on time on the M22 line, that would have a better chance of actually increasing ridership. In addition, we believe that any modest benefit to the MTA’s operating expense is far outweighed by the adverse effects this proposed cut would have on those who depend on M22 bus service, not to mention potential further declines in ridership.

The M22 was brought up during a meeting of the MTA board’s transit committee in January. Here’s part of a story in The Daily News after that meeting:

MTA board member Andrew Albert, a riders advocate, said the MTA was sending buses into a death spiral. “This … perpetuates the self-fulfilling cycle of death for bus routes,” Albert said. “Because those buses have become slow, riders have opted for a different option, so when the counts are done, the counts show fewer riders. So once again, the service is cut.” Albert picked out one service change to hold up as an example — the M22 route across lower Manhattan. On weekends, the M22 will run every 30 minutes, instead of every 20 minutes. “That’s one heck of a big service cut,” he said.

At last night’s community board meeting, a representative from City Councilmember Carlina Rivera’s office said they’ve been in contact with the MTA about the situation. One of the points Rivera is making concerns the addition of ferry service at Corlears Hook this coming summer. When NYC Ferry begins operating from the area, there could be stepped up demand for the M22. Her office is preparing to make the case to the MTA that cutting service is ill-advised for that reason.