New Yorkers are fearing the impending April 2019 shutdown of the Manhattan to Brooklyn L subway line. The contract for Hurricane Sandy repairs spanning the train tracks between 8th Avenue and Bedford Ave, Williamsburg, was awarded two years ago and plan to last at least 15 months, ending by August 2020.
The issue has been a hot topic among local politicians who are generally pushing for alternative travel routes including other subway lines, a new inter-borough bus line, and expansion of select bus services.
The L train services over 400,000 commuters daily with at least 250,000 depending the line to travel between the connecting boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
So what’s New York state going to do about suddenly losing this essential subway line? Well, the MTA released a 38-page PowerPoint presentation explaining their plans and they’re not pretty: http://web.mta.info/sandy/pdf/Canarsie-6-08-17_website.pdf
- 75% – 85% of commuters will be shunted to other subway lines. The M and J lines connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn will bear the brunt the burden, with the G suffering on its connections going up to Queens.
- The MTA admits 75% is the ideal target to avoid overcrowding. They have not yet released specific plans on how frequently trains will be running to accommodate all the new riders.
- Only between 5% – 15% of riders are estimated to use a proposed inter-borough shuttle bus service. This is where plans get messy. THERE IS NO DIRECT SHUTTLEBUS ROUTE PLANNED IN BETWEEN 8TH AVENUE AND BEDFORD AVE.
- As you can see, the shuttle buses will run from Grand St. L stop to no further than Prince St./Broadway. This means if you want to get from Bedford Avenue to 8th Avenue you will have to transfer 3 times in between shuttle buses, subways, and select bus service.
- The rest of anticipated ridership will consist of ferries, bicycles, and taxis. The MTA has not yet released plans for increases in ferry ridership.
The Democratic Primaries this year fall on September 12, 2017. When you vote please pay close attention to the travel agendas of your city council candidates. Hopefully, local politicians can address this mess of a plan and fight to keep New York City’s subways running effectively and efficiently.