The MTA will start running more midday subway service on the N and R lines, the agency announced Tuesday, the latest expansion of service funded in this year’s state budget.
The N and R lines, which both run from Brooklyn to Queens by way of Manhattan, will see more trains running during the midday, off-peak hours on weekdays, with average wait times between trains set to decrease from 10 to 8 minutes, New York City Transit president Rich Davey said on Tuesday. The increased service will go into effect Aug. 28.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot,” Davey noted. “But these minutes add up.”
Earlier this month, the MTA announced it would boost weekend service on the 1 and 6 lines, just days after saying weekday headways would increase on the C line. Before that, a similar announcement was made for weekend service on the G, J, and M lines. The MTA is expected to make similar announcements in December and next July.
The service expansion across 12 lines is being funded by $35 million set aside in the $229 billion state budget passed back in May, which stabilized the MTA’s teetering post-COVID finances and also set aside money to pilot free bus service on five lines, one in each borough.
The news comes two days after subway and bus fares increased to $2.90, the first bump in the base fare in nearly a decade.
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, who represents much of the N and R corridor in Brooklyn, said that a long-running joke is that the two lines stood for “never” and “rarely,” a testament to riders’ lack of confidence in subway service.
“But those days are over,” Gounardes said. “Because now we know that with the right amounts of funding, we can actually improve service so that people don’t have to wait 10 minutes, 12 minutes for an R train.”