A photo from back when the M86 ended its route on West End Avenue. It now makes its last stop near Broadway.

When it comes to the M86, it’s tough to make everyone happy. In fact it seems like it’s been tough to make anyone happy lately. Because of road construction, the bus line changed where it makes the second stop on its Eastbound route from the West side of Broadway to the East side about a year ago. That confused several people and annoyed others who had to walk more to get the bus. . The stop was also squeezed between a large mound of garbage and a fruit stand. We first wrote about the issue here.

Community Board 7 was getting several phone calls every day about the change, said district manager Penny Ryan. We’ve heard from several Upper West Siders about it too. Penny and Community Board 7 members like Andrew Albert worked to get the stop changed back to the West side of the block.

But now because of construction on three townhouses on 86th street between Broadway and West End Amsterdam the bus has changed its Westbound route, making its last stop between Broadway and Amsterdam on 86th instead of at West End Avenue (the why of this is complicated, and has to do with where the buses wait between their routes). People can still wait for the bus to turn around and drop them off as its begins its Eastbound route on 87th and West End, but that can take quite awhile.

“This is really bad for anyone who lives west of Broadway,” Ileen tells us.

The stop will eventually go back to its old location, but it probably won’t be for more than a year, an MTA spokesperson tells us.

Others also complain about how slow the bus is. Erica writes:

“Don’t get why MTA can’t get their act together. Takes longer for me to commute from 86th and Broadway to 61st and First then it does for colleagues coming from Brooklyn & Queens. Only real way is bus or subway then walk, same time. Can be over an hour.”

NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. B.W. says:

      I am pretty sure there are NOT three townhouses on 86th street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Do you mean between Broadway and West End?

    2. mm says:


      I depend on this bus to drop me off at west end. This is a real disappointment. Used it especially after transferring from the M11 on Amsterdam during this winter’s snow/ice/cold.

      Another blow to us seniors who rely on busses.

    3. Edward says:

      I have lived in the area for 15 years and I’m not sure what you are talking about. Going westbound, the bus stops on 86th between Broadway and Amsterdam, turns right onto Broadway then left onto 87th, stops on 87th and West End, then goes back to wait somewhere on the eastbound side of 86th between West End and Broadway. There was never a westbound stop at 86th and West End. Or am I missing something…

    4. DMH says:

      There’s a “fantasy subway” map where the L train turns north to run up 10th or 11th Ave from 14th Street to 86th, goes all the way crosstown on 86th, and straight across the river to Queens, with a stop at LaGuardia.

      Maybe – maybe – in our lifetimes. Dream route!

    5. elj says:

      I hadn’t been on the M86 for several weeks and on when I went to take it on Wednesday I saw that although the 86th & Broadway stop is now back on the west side of Broadway, the shelter is now gone and there is only a metal bench sitting out in the open.

    6. Mary Jones says:

      It doesn’t appear that the construction has started on those townhouses.

      Twice in the last few weeks the bus driver has ended the westbound route for us at Broadway/86th St. But other than that we have always been taken all the way to West End Ave/87th St…including yesterday.

      It doesn’t seem that the bus drivers are ever starting the eastbound route at West End Avenue/87th st. They are starting it at the west side of Broadway/86th st.

      Go to this link and you will see the service alert in red…It’s been there for over a month.


      Our opinion is that they are just disorganized and the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing…totally what I would expect from the MTA.

      • ursus arctos says:

        On two separate trips today, westbound drivers stopped the route and emptied the bus at Broadway and 86th, saying that the stop at 87th and West End had been “suspended”.

        Nor are eastbound pickups being made at 87th and West End, notwithstanding the MTA service alert.

        As is depressingly usual for the M86, confusion reigns.

    7. william says:

      problem is now there is parking on 86 between WEA and Broadway which means Buses have no place to sit and wait before moving up to broadway and 86 to pick up pasengers( in past buses waiting to start would park on 86 bet wea and bway)
      Now Bus will double park along side parked cars causing congestion going west from WEA to Broadway. also tightens ths turn from WEa onto 86 st for the buses –. reduced safety for pedistrians and drivers
      How does this stuff happen?

      • Ellen says:

        Although annoying for bus riders, people living
        in the apartments facing west 86th near West End no longer have to breathe the toxic diesel
        fumes from idling buses.

    8. Eli says:

      Over an hour from 86th & Broadway to 61st & 1st? That’s longer than it takes to *walk* there! Erica needs to invest in a bicycle — a 20 minute, no sweat ride, with the added bonus of saving on bus/subway fare and gym fees.

    9. D.I. says:

      I can’t understand why the 87th St ending stop of the west-bound M86 is no longer the ending stop. It makes no sense. 87th St has nothing to do with whatever is going on on 86th St. The bust can stop there, and wait if the driver needs a break, before starting again on 86th and Broadway. Not ending on 87th St and WEA is a hardship for a lot of people.
      Proposed construction on 86th St. between Bway and WEA has been “proposed” for over a year. Whoever thinks they are going to do something there either needs to do it, or stop interfering with the bus traffic.

    10. Phil says:

      I used to live almost 4 blocks from where the bus is now stopping. The M86 was my way home often and accounted for about 90% of my trips back from the UES. I’d take it all the way to 87th and West End and walk two blocks from there.
      A. As someone else mentioned, what the heck is being done to those townhouses a whole street away that it affects the ability of the bus to keep stopping on 87th? Is it that the only way to remove debris from the construction site is through an alley in the back that goes to 87th? That’s a possibility, but then SAY that! Put up city documentation (as is the law) to show what’s being done and why. Anyone can read those stapled onto a work site, they can be very informational.
      B. Unless you’re a senior or someone with disabilities (in which case none of what I’m going to say applies), if you’re a perfectly healthy and ablebodied person and now have to walk a handful of extra blocks, even if that’s in winter, in exchange for living in New York, being in the city YOU chose, living in the apartment YOU chose to rent or buy, and living in a great location like the Upper West Side and if all of this is something that you’re gonna find THIS distressing and problematic in one of the most walkable cities in the world, then you need to leave New York and find somewhere that caters more to your need to live a perfectly effort-free and relaxed life. I fear for the day you get stuck in the midst of a MTA strike like we had in 2005, or a massive blizzard that shuts down subways for 3 days. Since I’ve left New York, I cannot believe the degree to which complaints about the city from its current, usually younger residents have changed. Sure, tell me to shut up cause I don’t live there anymore, but just remember that YOU live in New York by choice, not by force. And you should never get so used to conveniences that they become entitlements.

      • Mary Jones says:

        There are many people who live on the UWS who are elderly and/or disabled. My husband is one of them.

        All of what is happening makes no sense.

        And you sound so angry.

        • Phil says:

          Ms. Jones, to clarify, what I said was…
          “Unless you’re a senior or someone with disabilities (in which case none of what I’m going to say applies)”

          I’m angry precisely because people who are lazy behave as though they don’t have full mobility and in doing so, I believe they don’t consider those who aren’t so lucky, like your husband.