UPPER EAST SIDE — Additional Q trains will be added during the morning and evening rush starting in November as ridership grows on the Second Avenue Subway line, MTA officials said.
A new southbound Q train from 96th Street will operate on weekdays between 8 and 9 a.m., and a new northbound train will run to 96th Street between 6:30 and 7 p.m., according to MTA officials who approved the service change during a Monday board meeting.
That brings the number of southbound trains running between 8:15 and 9:14 a.m. on weekdays from 10 to 11, and the number of northbound trains running from 6:30 to 7 p.m. ony weekdays from three to four, MTA data shows.
The additional trains would run over the entirely of the Q line, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.
"This is a product of New York City Transit's continuing effort to review and revise to accurately meet customer demand," said Judith McLane, the MTA's senior director of service planning, at the Monday meeting.
The additions will cost $600,000 each year and will start this November.
"Ridership on the Second Avenue line continues to grow," said Wynton Habersham, the MTA's head of subways, at the meeting. "Total daily use has increased from 124,000 passengers opening week to 176,000 passengers each weekday."
Habersham said that ridership on the Lexington Avenue lines — the 4, 5, and 6 trains — is down 26 percent overall and down 40 percent for the morning rush because people are shifting to the Second Avenue Subway.
“The Second Avenue Subway has also improved the operating performance on the Lexington Avenue line," he added, noting that rush hour waiting times have decreased on those lines by roughly 3 percent, especially for the 6 train where it takes one-and-a-half minutes less to get from station to station.
Board member Andrew Albert complained that there should be more of an effort to speed up commute times by adding even more trains to the Second Avenue Subway.
"We get this really terrific report this morning that ridership is burgeoning on the Second Avenue line and how it’s taking pressure off the Lex [lines], and all we get is one round trip added?" he said Monday.
McLane explained that the MTA is acting preemptively by adding the new trips and that additional N and R trains are added to the Second Avenue line when there is a need for more service.