BATTERY PARK CITY — The M9 bus is coming back to Battery Park City.
More than two years after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority slashed the M9's route in a round of budget cuts, the agency will restore the popular bus to Battery Park City starting in January, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced.
"I applaud the MTA for agreeing to bring back this vital transportation service as we continue to successfully rebuild our Lower Manhattan community," Silver said in a statement, adding that he had spoken to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota to emphasize the importance of the M9.
The MTA declined to comment on the M9 extension, which is part of a series of a series of service restorations the MTA plans to make after higher-than-expected revenues this year, according to reports.
Starting in January, the M9 will continue west of City Hall into Battery Park City, traveling along West Thames Street, South End Avenue and Liberty Street, Silver's office said.
That route is particularly important for seniors in the neighborhood, who may not be able to make the long trek across West Street to the subway, said Anthony Notaro, chairman of Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee.
"They rely on it," Notaro said of the seniors. "That was a real hardship not to have the M9."
Community Board 1 passed a resolution in 2010 urging the MTA to restore the M9 bus to Battery Park City, noting that the service cut required riders to make more transfers or walk longer distances to get where they needed to go.
"There was a lot of uproar when the change went in," Notaro said. "I'm glad we were able to get it put back."