In a huge departure from the “doomsday” cuts of June 2010, the MTA announced a $29 million service improvement package set for implementation over the next year.
I’m very happy to see weekend service restored on the Bx34; buses will roll once again starting January 2013. While most of the conversation involving this route centered around the vocal residents of Woodlawn, the bus also benefits riders in Norwood, Bedford Park, and Fordham; the route’s restoration also provides more direct bus service between Fordham and Montefiore Hospital than the roundabout Bx28 route (the only option left for Fordhamites – for now). It also restores a feeder route to the Concourse Line at two points – Norwood and Fordham Rd; this may help increase ridership at those subway stations, especially after the shortening of Westchester County Bee-Line Routes 60 and 61 to Fordham Plaza some time ago.
Also on the list is a Bx13 extension to the Gateway Mall which I’m sure will attract more ridership. Like the weekend Bx34 restoration, this extension has a target date of January 2013.
Other Bronx service improvements:
- A new bus route serving western Hunts Point and Baretto Point Park; the area in question has no nearby access to transit – the Bx6 serves eastern Hunts Point and the 6 train runs under Southern Blvd, a significant distance west.
- Increases in Metro-North service on all three east-of-Hudson branches; most notable are trains every half-hour on Sundays on the Harlem and New Haven lines. These increases will be partially implemented this October, with full implementation coming April 2013.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much news on the subway side; other than the G extension to Church Ave becoming permanent, there’s nothing to report. MTA reports month in and month out note the record levels of weekend subway ridership – indeed, they state weekend subway ridership reached levels unseen in over 45 years! I’d be shocked if weekend subway service increases weren’t on tap in the near future; with a fare hike coming next year, it’d better!