"The MTA's original decision to cut this bus line on nights and weekends was a mistake. I'm glad to see that they listened to the pleas of this community and elected officials and have decided to fix their error. This is a big win for our community. The fact that it is being done without adding additional burden to the MTA's budget is icing on the cake," Council Member Jessica Lappin said.
"The return of weekend M50 service reestablishes a vital transportation link and reconnects a neighborhood that was left stranded by service cuts," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "This is a remarkable achievement during times of cutbacks, and it shows what you can accomplish with creative thinking."
"This is a great example of how New Yorkers can find a creative solution when faced with a problem. Through a simple adjustment, M50 weekend service has been restored at no cost. Without the M50 service, East Siders had to walk great distances, take taxis, or forego getting around town at times when they really needed it. We are all grateful to Congresswoman Maloney and the MTA for working with us to find a quick, easy solution," said Mark Thompson, Chair of Manhattan Community Board Six.
"The Turtle Bay Association and its two thousand household membership applaud and gratefully thank Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for her excellent job in obtaining the restoration the M-50 Cross-town weekend bus service. We worked diligently alongside her, as did others including the Community Board 6 leadership, to gain this victory. Community teamwork and Carolyn's dedication made it possible. This is a win not only for the Turtle Bay neighborhood but also for the great City in which we live," said Bruce Silberblatt and Carol Rinzler of the Turtle Bay Association.
The MTA's new plan will eliminate stops on the M50 route below East 48th Street at all times in order to restart bus service along the remainder of the route on weekends. According to the MTA, commuters who typically board the M50 south of 48th Street can do any of the following to travel crosstown: walk to 49th Street for M50 crosstown service; walk to 42nd Street for M42 crosstown service; or take the M15 bus to connect with the M50.
In June 2010, the MTA eliminated the M27 bus, which links Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal to First Avenue via 49th and 50th Streets; eliminated night and weekend service on the M50, which runs from the Hudson River to 1st Avenue via 49th and 50th Streets; and eliminated crosstown service on the M104, which runs from Broadway to the United Nations along 42nd Street.
When taken together, these cuts virtually eliminated crosstown service for Turtle Bay in off-peak hours. If the M27 still existed, the M50 could have been viewed as duplicative, but since the M27 was cut, this reduction in service isolated Turtle Bay from public transit, leaving residents with no crosstown service outside of business hours.