Done as part of the cutbacks the MTA was forced to make because of the budget crisis, it brings benefits to some, but now, with the demise of the V train, the Lower East Side has lost some subway service it has enjoyed for almost 10 years.
As easy commuting makes more people want to live somewhere, and conversely, difficult commutes make places less attractive, there is a feedback loop — less service = less people, and the easier to justify further cuts. Hopefully that doesn’t happen here.
A few things about this change interest me. One, this service wouldn’t be possible, without the connection to Sixth Avenue being built, more than 40 years ago, as a bit of a ‘bonus’ part of the “Chrystie Street Cut”. It had gone largely unused ever since, but now shows its value, and the benefit of foresight.
Secondly, the M’s termini are now both in Queens, at Continental and Metropolitan Avenues, in Forest Hills and Middle Village, respectively. Those stops are only a couple of miles away from each other, though the route of the line takes it through Manhattan and Brooklyn. In the history of the subway, I can’t think of any other line (barring shuttles), where the start and finish are so close to one another.