M train will shut down on weekends in Bushwick, Ridgewood until July

Screenshot 2023-05-02 140636
An M train pulls into Knickerbocker Avenue in Bushwick.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Weekend service on the M train in Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down until July, the MTA announced on Monday, in order for the authority to replace tracks on the elevated line.

The M will not run on weekends between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway in Bushwick to its end-of-line station at Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, starting at 9:45 pm on Friday, May 19, and continuing until the weekend of July 7-10. M trains will not run in that corridor between 9:45 p.m. on Fridays and 5 a.m. on Mondays during weekends, except for Memorial Day weekend, when the shutdown will extend through Tuesday, May 30.

The shutdown will allow the MTA to replace 1,665 feet of track between the Forest Avenue and Fresh Pond Road stations, which the agency says has reached the end of its useful life.

“Replacing tracks and switches will improve the customer experience and enable us to provide faster, cleaner and safer service for decades to come,” NYC Transit President Richard Davey said in a statement. “I want to thank customers for their patience while we complete this crucial work.”

Free shuttle bus service will be available between the Myrtle Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue stations. The bus will pass the J train stop at Myrtle/Broadway and the L train stop at Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenues, where riders can transfer to the subway.

The M train elevated tracks over Myrtle Avenue are some of the oldest in the city, with the first segments and stations opening in 1889, 15 years before the founding of the subway system. The Myrtle line originally extended all the way to Downtown Brooklyn, but the segment between Myrtle/Broadway and Bridge Street was closed and torn down in 1969.

Earlier this month, Bushwick residents and local electeds held a press conference to draw attention to the lead paint chips that are falling from the elevated M train structure, which many say is a public health hazard and has been an issue for years. The MTA has earmarked about $1.3 billion for repainting elevated structures in its $55 billion 2020-24 capital plan, which MTA leaders say upholds structural integrity.

A contract is set to go out for repainting the M train structure this year, but an MTA spokesperson said that the painting will not take place during this summer’s weekend outages.

The M train woes come a day after the MTA announced a suite of changes on the B, D, F, and M lines through July, in order to replace switches. Among other things, uptown F and D trains will be rerouted to the Eighth Avenue line for three weekends, while in Brooklyn, the F and D trains will switch lines on weeknights through July 14.