New York - Last stop for the V & W
New York - Doomsday is here.
The first of the MTA's massive cuts begins tomorrow as the V and W subway lines make their final runs before heading to the great train shed in the sky.
And the next few days won't get any better.
On Sunday, millions of riders will see the first weekend service changes and the elimination of dozens of bus lines.
And by Monday, the full plan will be in effect: a new orange M line will turn uptown in Manhattan and head into Queens, the N will run local along Broadway, the Q will replace the W in Astoria, and the G will be hacked at Court Square.
Not to mention even more severe bus changes across the city.
The cuts, the biggest in decades, will save the agency $93 million of an $800 million budget shortfall.
Both straphangers and MTA officials are expecting confusion during the first few days of the cuts, which the agency said were needed to have a balanced 2010 budget.
"We're doing everything we can, but some amount of confusion is probably inevitable to come," MTA chief Jay Walder said yesterday.
Elsie Rosado, who picks up her two children from school in Manhattan by taking the M from Brooklyn, complained, "It'll mess things up in a lot of ways."
Since the M will no longer serve her part of Brooklyn, "My kids and I will have to do an hour-and-15 commute instead of 45 minutes now," she said.
Bus routes slated to die include:
* The M27, from First to Eighth avenues, and the M30, from East 71st Street along Fifth Avenue to 58th Street and Eighth Avenue.
* The B39, which crosses the Williamsburg Bridge, and the B23, from 60th Street to Flatbush Avenue.
* The Q74, which will strand 2,100 passengers riding from Kew Gardens to Queens College.
* The Bx14, which served the Country Club section of The Bronx.
Meanwhile, talks between the MTA and its largest union, TWU Local 100, have come to an impasse regarding hundreds of jobs scheduled to disappear along with the bus and subway routes.
The talks were centering on avoiding layoffs by relying on attrition.
The TWU also wants an early-retirement program, along with guarantees that there won't be layoffs in the future.