Today’s news:

MTA moves to lessen pain of proposed service cuts

The MTA, clinging to the edge of a financial abyss, has adjusted its doomsday plan of service cuts to try to ease some of its worst aspects, although two subways and many bus lines would still be gone.

“While the cuts in funding to the MTA require painful actions, we have worked hard to limit the impact on customers,” said Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder.

As the MTA announced the revised cutbacks, the agency also released dates and locations for the public hearings where transit riders can offer opinions on the plan, which MTA officials said is essential to staying in operation despite desperate financial problems.

The plan would still bring less frequent trains and buses with the result of more jammed trains and buses.

In some cases, some subways lines would run every 20 minutes overnight rather than every 30 minutes as in the original cutback plan.

Under the adjusted plan, the Z subway line from downtown Manhattan to Jamaica would survive the cuts, but the M line would be eliminated and be replaced by the V, which would operate to Metropolitan Avenue in Queens. The W line from Whitehall in Manhattan to Astoria would also be gone.

The MTA’s new plan also would also end more express bus runs than the original plan.

The New York City Transit Authority, which operates buses and subways, estimated the revised plan would mean that perhaps 200,000 rather than 300,000 straphangers would be affected by the changes.

The cuts would require approval by the MTA board at its March meeting, but would not be carried out until next spring and early summer.

The MTA faces a $400 million budget gap because of reduced money from New York state and drastic drops in tax revenues.

The entire list of changes is available at The MTA has arranged eight public hearings throughout the metropolitan area.

In Queens, a hearing has been scheduled for March 2 at 6 p.m. at the Phoenix Ballroom of the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel at 135-20 39th Ave. in Flushing.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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