BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Two Grand St. stops on the M14A bus route will be restored, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.
“We rallied, petitioned and organized and we won!” tweeted Councilmember Margaret Chin. “The M14 Grand Street stops were restored. I want to thank everyone —especially the seniors — who marched, went to meetings and raised their voices to show @MTA the importance of an accessible bus system for all NYers. #SaveM14Service.”
The news comes two weeks after 50 seniors marched along Grand St. to call on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to keep the bus route’s stops on Grand St. Chin marched with protesters. Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein have also supported the seniors’ efforts.
Earlier this year, the M.T.A. proposed a plan to switch the M14 to Select Bus Service and remove three stops along Grand St., including at Pitt St., which would include bypassing a senior residence and senior center. According to the M.T.A’s new proposal, the M14A bus stop at Grand and Pitt Sts. will now remain.
The M.T.A pitched switching the service to S.B.S. in hopes that it would boost the route’s notoriously slow speed. According to an M.T.A. study, the M14A/D is the city’s second-most used bus route — with 27,000 riders daily — but also its second slowest. Yet seniors and the disabled felt targeted since getting rid of any stops makes using the city’s largely inaccessible public transit system even harder.
“We arrived at this final compromise plan through close consultation with residents, community groups, advocates and elected officials,” an M.T.A. spokesperson said. “Once the new route is implemented, we will actively monitor it to ensure it is providing the best possible service for our customers, seeking to balance convenience and increased speed, which is desperately needed along this line.”
According to the M.T.A., S.B.S. would have stops every 675 feet on the Lower East Side, which is closer than the systemwide average of 805 feet.