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BY DENNIS LYNCH
The MTA plans to extend the M1 bus route to Worth Street by next spring.
Instead of turning back uptown on Lafayette St. from E. 8th St., the M1 will continue down E. 8th St. and turn downtown on Third Ave., onto Bowery, turn west onto Worth St. and the head uptown on Centre St. to continue onto Lafayette St. and get back to the existing route. The extension is just under a mile long, MTA reps told Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee on Oct. 18.
Committee members raised concerns about how construction further west on Worth St. could affect service and worried that buses could make it dangerous for bikers on Worth Street. An MTA representative said the agency would consider potential service disrupters and will work with other city departments to ensure Worth St. remains safe for bikers, although did not elaborate on particular measures it could take to do so.
One city employee who works at the civic center predicted that court-goers, particularly elderly folks, will benefit the most from the extension.
“With people coming down for court and older people coming for jury duty, you can get right off here and go to the court. You don’t have to walk over from the 1 train,” Dilys Rubizzi said. “And sometimes people like to be outside, they don’t want to deal with the train, like tourists for example, they’ll want to see things and they can hop right off.”
Every other bus will make the extended loop on weekdays and every bus will take it on weekends. The MTA expects buses to run every 16–24 minutes on at weekdays, and every 12–20 minutes on weekends, depending on the time of day. The extension will not alter the frequency of buses on the existing M1 route, an MTA spokesman said.
The extended M1 will supplement the M103 bus that runs on the Bowery and join the M22 during its short trip on Worth Street. It will be the only city bus traveling in either direction on Lafayette Street.